Every CES I give an interview and I say “We’re one year closer to the Internet of Things, becoming a Thing”. This year we saw clear signs that IoT was in fact well on its way to becoming mainstream.
Samsung’s SmartThings is a hidden hero of CES
SmartThings has replaced ADT’s proprietary back end with the SmartThings’ Cloud. ADT is a US home security monitoring system which is now run on the cloud that supports all of Samsung’s connected devices and services. What’s really interesting is that offering a cheaper monitoring solution using SmartThings’ devices and cloud is more profitable for ADT according to Alex Hawkinson, CEO of SmartThings.
15M Homes in the US get Automation Capabilities Through Comcast
Comcast has made smart home services available to all homes that have its most advanced router, the router will act as a smart home hub as well as a broadband modem. The Smarthome features are made possible through Comcast’s purchase of Stringify. 15M homes has to be considered mainstream.
Comcast is also launching a security service later this year which looks to secure IoT devices. Cujo, is the maker of an IoT security box which Comcast is adding a software layer that will make setting up the Cujo network security system easier. Features like network traffic monitoring, quarantining devices that have security flaws and more, will be part of the service.
This news might not be impactful for Germany, but it’s a clear sign that IoT is in fact going mainstream
Ring debuts new indoor/outdoor security cameras and LED lighting
Ring’s new Stick Up Cam can work both indoor or outdoors, with a fully weatherproof casing, and it can operate wirelessly thanks to a built-in rechargeable battery. It works with Ring’s existing solar panel, in case you were already using one with the original Stick Up Cam and it offers 1080p HD video, two-way audio via built-in speaker and mic, and passive infrared sensing for motion detection.
The Ring Beams LED lights come in pathway light, stairway light and spotlight flavors, and provide relatively easy to install, energy-efficient connected LED lights that can easily work with your existing Ring devices
The most open light switch ever
LeGrand, the maker of high-end switches and outlets, has decided to go all-in on Thread and the OCF to create as open a platform as possible for the smart home. LeGrand uses Thread radios or Wi-Fi radios in its gear and then relies on the SmartThings cloud to connect its stuff to other smart devices. It’s also going to offer a connected light switch that carries software by a company called Ivani that can detect people in a room by measuring their effect on radio waves. If this sounds similar to what Cognitive Objects, the maker of the Aura security system does, you’re right.
Google Assistant is coming to Smart Display’s
A slew of handrware manufactures launched Echo Show-like devices which are home hubs that have a display. We spend most of our time with the Lenovo Smart display and the integration of Google Assistant was well thought out for the form factor.
MediaTek launches new IoT chips alongside an Alibaba partnership
MediaTek announced a strategic partnership with Alibaba’s AI division. Under this partnership, the companies will work on smart home standards, customised IoT chips, and AI smart hardware. The partnership also revealed a Smartmesh connectivity solution in China that will help increase adoption in smart home settings. Smartmesh will enable smart home devices to pair with Tmall Genie, Alibaba’s voice-controlled virtual assistant.
Two customised Bluetooth SoCs (MT7581 and MT7583) have been developed for Smartmesh and will be available in the second half of 2018.
Microsoft’s IoT strategy is all about the Cloud
We’ve heard a lot from Microsoft this CES, and it was all about Azure. ZF announced a partnership with them for an Open IoT platform.
Kohler, a designer of kitchen and bath products, is taking the wraps off a voice-lighted mirror that works with Amazon’s Alexa. It has an iOS and Android app and works with Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. No Cortana? No problem Microsoft still has a seat at the table since the whole thing is running on Microsoft’s Azure platform.
Be sure to check out more of our CES 2018 coverage here.