Outside HomeKit & Smart Home Dogs

Gerard's Smart Home Newsletter

Good morning everybody; hope all is well. ……All great here, our second-youngest is 12 today, so big day planned! Also, just finished charging the Ring gen 2 doorbell, so need to re-attach to the bracket later this morning. Otherwise, that’s it, enjoy some smart home stories I picked up this week on the Interweb!

HomeKit Goes Outside 🏔️

If you own or planning to implement a Caseta smart lighting system, then this Lutron announcement at CES this year could be of interest.

At the virtual show, the company revealed a new Outdoor plug under the Caseta brand. As expected the unit is rated for IP 65, which comes in useful in countries such as Ireland the features lots of rainy weather.

In addition to the weatherproofing, this new Smart Plug also complies with Apple HomeKit, which makes it controllable via the Home app. If you own an Android device, then full control is enabled within the Lutron app. And of course lots of support for all the voice assistant platforms. All the details about this new product can be found in this press release.

Got a Hunch 🔇

The Alexa smart speakers pioneered has enabled a new feature this week that helps to automate your daily tasks. Previously, this capability was available in Alexa smart homes, but permission was required before the automation step was carried out.

This feature takes this one step further by automatically carrying out tasks, such as adjusting smart thermostat temperatures, switching off smart lights, and arming security sensors. Alexa uses AI technologies to learn your daily habits, which should enable the effective implementation of this new addition to the long list of Alexa features. More details on how to enable this feature are available here.

Barking Dogs 🐕

Often smart homes are associated with boring stuff such as improved safety and security, here is a more light-hearted story coming from Amazon. In recent times, they have enabled triggering a barking dog sound from an Amazon echo if one of a security camera detects motion.

Most people, simply trigger some lights but this could be a really good way to deter aspirational thieves. Like everything in life, this feature costs, and is only currently available to customers of the Alexa Guard Plus subscription service. Get the whole read here.

Weekly Smart Home Voice Command! 🎤

Turn on cooling

More Alexa News 🆕

For years, smart home enthusiasts have been boasting about the energy savings they were enjoying through the use of devices such as smart plugs, light switches, smart thermostats, and water heaters. Now Alexa is embellishing on this functionality by announcing a new Alexa energy dashboard. The update was provided on an article hosted over at the Amazon Alexa developers blog, which leads me to believe that full rollout could take a little time. Will keep an eye out and update accordingly.

Bye Wink 👋

It appears that the demise of a leading light in the smart home hub space has accelerated in recent days, with a major outage that has lasted a number of days.  Although. its parent company went bust in 2014, the company has struggled to stay relevant in the smart home industry ever since. It’s a real pity, because the platform rivaled Smartthings in his ‘hay day’, and still has a significant number of homes using its solution.  A great post from Endgaget outlines more details about the outage.

Thanks for reading. If you have colleagues that would benefit from knowing about smart home devices, please consider sharing it.

– Gerard

ICT professional, Author, Serial Internet Entrepreneur, Investor, Smart Home Enthusiast, and Creator!

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