Hiya, Gerard here; hope your week is going pretty cool; no major news in this part of the world. Hoping for a relatively easy Sunday ahead! Check out some smart home stories I gleaned from the Web over the past seven days:
Multiple HomePod Colors 📻
Although unexpected, Apple announced some iterations of its HomePod Mini at a recent surprise event. At the moment, you can only purchase a HomePod mini in two colors, namely grey and white. In November, however, people living in the United States, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom will be able to buy blue, orange or yellow HomePod minis. Check out the Apple site for more details
Monthly Subscriptions Ouch! 💸
Some of you out there may own Arlo smart cameras. From, what I’ve heard, they are pretty solid and were one of the earlier pioneers in using batteries to power their cameras. In a kinda unusual move this week, Arlo has introduced a new pay-for-support subscription fee. So, if you run into any configuration or operational problems, then forums and manuals seem to be your only help option. If however, you pay the $3 monthly fee then the world of telephone support gets opened up. Reading through some of the social media comments, the announcement is not going down so well at the moment. Let’s see how this story progresses. A little more info is available in this article.
This Weeks Blog Post ✍️
Before the smart home industry buzz began, Google was mainly known for being a search engine giant. Other than that, the other aspects that users would ever associate Google with were pay-per-click ads and, of course, Google+.
However, all this is not the case now. Ever since, through Google Ventures, the search engine giant now owns Nest. As we all know, Nest is a premier brand in the automation industry famous for manufacturing alarms and smart thermostats. When Google announced that they were acquiring Nest, most people didn’t know what to think about all this. However, with time people have begun to see results in the $3.2 billion deal. >> Read the complete article on the blog
Nano Nano Lines 📏
Yep, this one is super cool. Famous and notorious for their smart lighting panels, Nanoleaf continues innovation in the smart lighting space, with the recent release of “Lines”. As the name implies the product consists of a set of straight lines of lighting. Each of these light lines is modular and the starter kit comes with 9 ultra-lightweight light lines. Seems like a really nice addition to a room and installation seems really easy. Some cool features include:
- Something called layout detect seems to be some type of proprietary technology that makes these lights look cooler.
- The new lines can sync with a music source. In the press release, Nanoleaf call this feature ‘Rhythm Music Visualizer’, pretty fancy!
- The ‘screen mirror’ feature allows you to replicate the colors in a movie or a game onto the smart lights, a pretty nice experience when running
- And of course, everything will be controllable via voice command.
Click here to read the official product release statement.
High Tech Locks 🚪
Chinese company Xiaomi has just added another smart lock to its existing portfolio of smart locks. What makes this one different from the others is its facial recognition capabilities. What I personally like is the ability of this lock to work with mortice-style doors, which are used widely in Europe. The one weird thing about this lock is its lack of HomeKit support. If you’re not a fan of facial recognition, then passcodes and fingerprint capabilities are also supported. Might be worth checking out a little further, if interested here is an article with some more information.
Weekly Smart Home Voice Command! 🎤
Turn off the lights in the family room
This is it for today, See you next Sunday 😉. If you have colleagues, friends, or neighbors that would benefit from knowing about smart home devices, please consider sharing them.
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