Hope all is well! Getting the sense of spring in the air, the days are getting longer and weather is pretty okay here for the past few days.
A short week with St. Paddy’s Day last Wednesday, so back to normality on Monday again! Plus kids are also back in school! Now let’s check out some smart home news stories.
HomePod – See Ya!
This story really came out of the left-field last Friday. Apple surprised everybody by announcing that it plans to discontinue its flagship smart speaker the HomePod. Meant to compete with both Amazon and Google’s line of speakers, the product will cease production immediately. It is worth noting that the smaller and cheaper HomePod mini will continue. In fact, I recently purchased a HomePod mini and its services as the hub for the HomeKit setup here at the O’Driscoll household. A strange move by Apple, but obviously the figures didn’t add up. Check out this article a little more about Apple’s exit from high-end smart speakers and some more technical detail on HomePods in general.
Philips Hue Play Bar
Not really news, but I stumbled across this product and it looks interesting.
Hue has a ton of smart lighting solutions for different scenarios around your house; the Hue play bar seems to be a great addition for those of you who want to add ambiance to the TV room. As with other Hue lighting products, these play bars support all the major voice assistants, millions of different colors, and can be included in various smart home automation systems.
If you’re looking to dig in deeper, perhaps reading about an actual installation, head over to 9 to 5 mac.
Yeelight Mesh Smart Lights
China-based smart lighting supplier has released some new downlights this week. They are relatively unique in the sense that the units combine the casing and bulb together. Another interesting feature worth noting is that they communicate with each other using Bluetooth mesh. To get full voice assistant functionality a smart hub is required. Visit yeelight to learn some more about their solutions
Sonos Goes to the Beach
The original innovators of wireless multi-room music systems have reappeared on stage this week with the announcement of a portable speaker. Dubbed Sonos Roam, the speaker seems like a great companion when heading off to the beach, that’s assuming lockdown is lifted and we get some Sun! Here are some key points:
- Only six inches in height
- Support for Airplay 2
- Can interoperate with Alexa and Google Assistant, no sign of Siri yet.
- Available in black and white colors
- And most importantly a ten-hour battery (ideal timeline to grab some sun rays)
Oh and trueplay is also packed into this tiny speaker. For those of you who haven’t heard of trueplay, Here is the official definition from the Sonos site:
‘Trueplay measures how sound reflects off walls, furnishings, and other surfaces in a room, then fine-tunes your Sonos speaker to make sure it sounds great no matter where you’ve placed it.’
Back in my installer days, regularly installed Sonos devices for clients, and really were a game changer all those years ago.
Best of luck Sonos on this new product and if you want to read some more, then check out this blog post over at Apple Insider.
Cheap Abode Cameras
Abode unveiled a Wi-Fi camera this week for $29! equating to nine cappuccinos here in Ireland….So here are a few things I like about this device:
- As part of the smart home in 8 weeks course, ended you buying, installing, and recording various how-to videos about the abode smart alarm. Since install, the alarm is rock solid, and might consider picking up one of these new Wi-Fi cameras.
- It’s rated for outdoor conditions.
- The articulating base looks cool from the photos.
And most importantly, very affordable. All the details about the new smart camera can be found on the company’s website.
Weekly Smart Home Voice Command! 🎤
Hey Siri, play U2 in the living room
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P.S. My new training program titled Certified Next-Generation Smart Home Installer (NGSHI) is really coming together, keep an eye out for some details over the coming days and weeks.