Morning! and welcome to my weekly digest of Smart Home news. Hope Christmas went well! Lots of Santa, turkey, and ham here at the O’Driscoll home, got a Fitbit sense from my wife Olive, and really loving it!
Not only does it do lots of cool health stuff, but it includes Google Assistant and Alexa, which I’ve set up to control smart devices around the house. Really like the ability to ask my wrist to control my smart lights, thermostats etc…Recorded the setup and planning to publish the video within the entry or essential versions of my Smart Home in 8 Weeks Course! Now down to the latest and greatest in Smart Home land:
Smart Windows 🪟
From a distance, the ‘smartifying’ of windows dressings is more challenging compared to implementing other smart devices in your home. For the entrepreneurs out there, Tony Fadell (Nest founder) has yet emerged to transform this smart home devices category. There are however well-established players in the automated blinds space for years and one of those (Somfy based in France) recently announced HomeKit support. If you are already a Somfy customer then the software upgrade may have already happened. Here are the cool things supported:
- The home app, CarPlay, and Siri control smart blinds.
- Inclusion of smart window dressings in your automation sequences.
- Hands-free opening and closing of shades.
You can check out a blog post posted over at iMore to learn some more.
Apple Music spreads its wings 🍎
Often associated with a walled Garden, Apple appears to be opening up its content with the recent announcement that Apple Music is now available on Google Smart speakers. The feature appears to be available in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Japan at the moment, no sign of it here in Ireland yet :-). Apple Music subscribers will now be able to search and play over 70 million songs on various Google Assistant-enabled devices, namely Nest Audio, Nest Hub Max, and Nest Mini. Check out the official announcement here.
EU Smart Hub
Similar to Wyze, this has been a boom year in terms of smart home announcements for a Chinese based company called Aqara. To conclude the year the company has announced the launch of its M2 Hub in Europe. As of writing the M2 Hub is now available in Czechia, Slovakia, and Sweden, and will be available in Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Spain in early 2021. Aqara, don’t forget Ireland also 🙂
Here are some of the juicy features supported by this new hub:
- Supports a wide range of sensors.
- Includes support for version 3.0 of the Zigbee protocol.
- Interestingly, it also includes Infrared connectivity.
- Includes built-in speaker
- And of course, supports all of the major voice assistants
Take a look here yourself on the companies website for more information on this new and powerful smart hub.
Weekly Smart Home Voice Command! 🎤
Set ceiling lights to 50%
Thanks for reading! and Happy New Year, Gerard
P.S. For those who feel the choice of smart home systems and solutions out there can be overwhelming, then why not consider taking part in the Smart Home in 8 Weeks Course in 2021