Morning, just finishing my coffee and hope to take it easy for the day. Here are a few stories I thought you might enjoy reading!
HomeKit Buttons 🔘
In addition to interfacing with your smart home via an app or smart speaker, many people like to use tactile buttons to control smart devices. Smart home buttons have been around for a while and one came across my radar this week, namely Flic from Shortcut Labs. The young company has released the next generation of smart home buttons that boost some awesome features:
Significantly increases the number of supported smart devices by adding Homekit support.
Provides a simple way of controlling smart lights, blinds, and other types of smart home appliances.
Uses reusable adhesive backing to allow mounting wherever it suits.
Allows you to activate various types of smart home automations with a touch of a button!
I kinda like the idea of smart buttons and will be looking at ways to incorporate them into the O’Driscoll household in due course. There’s plenty more to read about these smart buttons over at the companies website.
Although no sense that this has any aspirations to supply their products across the pond, it’s great to see the innovation that they are pursuing Stateside. And this week we got a sneak peek at their ultra-low-cost camera, the Wyze Cam 3. The features are the same as any other smart camera, however, there is one glaring feature, the price. It’s available for pre-order at $19.99! Take a look here yourself
Amazon Sidewalk Rollout 🚶
Don’t think I mentioned this before in the newsletter, but Amazon has come up with a new technology platform called ‘Sidewalk’. As explained on Amazon’s Web-site, Sidewalk is
“a low-bandwidth network with the help of Sidewalk Bridge devices including select Echo and Ring devices. These Bridge devices share a small portion of your internet bandwidth which is pooled together to provide these services to you and your neighbors. And when more neighbors participate, the network becomes even stronger.”
It sounds cool, however, Victoria Song in Gizmodo raised concerns on how Amazon plans to enable this functionality. In her article, she describes an email received from Amazon outlining the benefits of Sidewalk and how it is to be enabled on Alexa enabled devices by default. For those of you that are particularly sensitive to privacy and security concerns, this is one to watch in the future.
Smart home fridge cameras
Two giant behemoths in the smart home space are starting to cozy up to each other. Finally! From Jan 2021, Samsung will support thermostats, safety detectors, and cameras manufactured by the Nest division within Google. This makes sense from a Samsung perspective who has grander plans to dominate the Smart home hub platform in the coming years. From a technical perspective, the integration means that Smarthings hub owners can now natively integrate Nest smart devices into their scenes. Furthermore, if you own a smart fridge from Samsung, you will now be able to view a Nest camera on the door! Get the whole read here
Weekly Smart Home Voice Command! 🎤
Hey, Google, turn my bedroom lights off, in 2 minutes
Thanks for reading! Until next week, Gerard