Will our smart home monitoring devices spend more time monitoring us than our homes?

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Just as people originally bought mobile phones to protect against hypothetical emergencies, so internet-connected smart devices now often sell comfort from fear. Motion cameras that deter evil babysitters. Recording doorbells that stave off solicitors and burglars. Propane scales that avert cook-out disaster. Sensor-tentacled boxes that warn against flooding.

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Which Smart Home Device will be Under your Tree this Year?

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Apple’s splash into home automation with addition of HomeKit to iOS 8 is expected to have a huge impact on sales of smart home devices in 2015 according to a Park Associates report that found 37% of U.S. Households plan to purchase one or more devices next year.

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What do Americans really want from their smart homes?

smart home

Smartphone-enabled, security-minded, and no monthly fees.

Homeowners in the U.S. would prefer a smartphone-enabled, do-it-yourself platform for home automation over a closed, subscription-based system.  They also care a lot more about security and peace of mind than they do about saving on their energy bills.

 

 

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Devices for smart homes need to get a lot smarter

homekit

Apple HomeKit

The battle between Google and Apple is moving from smart phones to smart things, with both companies vying to provide the underlying architecture that networks your appliances, utilities, and entertainment equipment. Earlier in June, at its annual developer conference, Apple announced HomeKit, a new software framework for communications between home devices and Apple’s devices. Meanwhile, Nest, a maker of smart thermostats and smoke alarms that was bought by Google earlier this year for $3.2 billion, recently launched a similar endeavor with software that lets developers build apps for its products and those from several other companies.

 

 

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The Internet of Things will be a $290B market by 2017 that starts at home

smart home

Internet of Things start in the home.

The Internet of Things is poised to be the next wave of technology to wash over Silicon Valley and it may create a $290 billion global market by 2017, building on past tech waves like mobile, software, personal computers and semiconductors.

 

 

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OpenRemote – software that ties the Internet of Things together

OpenRemote is an open-source Internet of Things platform.

If you were to buy several Internet-connected home gadgets—say, a “smart” thermostat, “smart” door lock, and “smart” window blinds—you would likely have to control each one with a separate app, meaning it exists on its own. But, that’s not how Elier Ramirez does it. In his home, an iPad app controls his lights, ceiling fans, and TV and stereo. Pressing a single button within the app can shut off all his lights and gadgets when he leaves.

 

 

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The cybercrime of things coming soon

Once everything in your house contains a computer, everything in your house can be hacked.

Security researchers have found that one of the problems with having a “smart” home is that some day, it might be smart enough to attack you. Everything we own, from our refrigerators and egg cartons to our cars and thermostats, will some day be outfitted with internet-connected sensors and control systems, allowing all our possessions, and ultimately all of our civic infrastructure, to communicate with each other and be controlled remotely.

 

 

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Longmont, CO May Host Global Contest

Longmont Paper page 1 09 06 2009 2

The Greener Home Competition

Fifty Longmont homeowners could get full-house makeovers.
But that wouldn’t mean new couches, matching drapes and fresh paint.
These makeovers would include installing solar panels, wind turbines and data-control centers to manage energy use and safety systems.
Englewood-based DaVinci Quest is putting together a global contest to invite teams to design environmentally friendly smart homes — and then renovate 50 houses — for a “significant cash prize.”
And Longmont residents could be the beneficiaries if the company chooses Longmont as the host city.
“It’s kind of like ‘Extreme Home Makeover,’ only with 50 houses,” DaVinci Quest CEO Karl Dakin said. “What may be done to each one may be similar; it may be entirely different.”
The company’s “Greener House Contest” will kick off later this year, Dakin said. He expects DaVinci Quest to choose its host city within the next three months. The company then in early December will put out the call for teams to start designing.
Crews would start renovating and retrofitting houses next summer, likely between June and August, Dakin said.
The goal is that 50 teams will be matched with 50 homeowners who will give over their houses to be renovated to make them more energy efficient, safer and smarter.
If you build a house smart enough to manage energy, Dakin asked, why not build a house smart enough to manage other things as well, such as safety?
That could take many different forms, he said. For example, a system could alert firefighters that no one is inside a burning home or alert residents when the National Weather Service issues a tornado watch.
The contest criteria, so far, are:
Reduce the house’s energy consumption and reduce the waste produced there.
Produce and store energy, as well as store water, at the house.
Enhance communications and telecommuting opportunities.
Link the home with local safety departments.
Operate the house as a system and connect it with available community systems.
Spend no more than $25,000 on the renovation.
Solving problems
DaVinci Quest is a spinoff of the DaVinci Institute, which Thomas Frey launched in 1997 in a small office on Main Street in Longmont. Before launching the DaVinci Institute, Frey spent 15 years as an engineer and designer for IBM, where he received more than 270 awards.
The institute began as “a nonprofit futurist think tank,” according to its Web site, but soon morphed into an organization focused on tangible results: inventions, innovations, business concepts.
The institute began educating aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs to give them the skills to make their projects viable, according the Web site.
That is, in part, how DaVinci Quest came about, Dakin said. The affiliate is a for-profit social enterprise that is taking on global social problems by fostering innovations, he said.
“Problems in the world need to be solved, and we need new innovations to do that,” Dakin said.
DaVinci Quest plans to do that by creating a series of 10 competitions to focus resources — time, money, people, ideas — on issues such as energy consumption, health care, food supply and natural disasters.
And it’s doing it through a relatively new concept called “crowdsourcing,” which Dakin describes as “using the world as our research and development team.”
Instead of handing over a task to a panel of experts, DaVinci Quest puts out an open call for ideas. The Internet allows people from all over the world to “come at a problem in every way,” Dakin said.
“The potential wisdom of the crowd is greater than a bunch of smart people in a room,” he said.
Teams could be university faculty or government agencies — or just a random person who decides to take on the challenge.
“It can be anybody anywhere in the world,” Dakin said. “We want to involve as many people in the world as possible.”
But there has to be an incentive, a push, a reason for those faceless people in the global crowd to focus on one issue. Enter DaVinci Quest and its contests.
DaVinci designs the criteria for a contest and creates measurable objectives and metrics to determine who wins.
And the “Greener House Contest” is its first.
DaVinci Quest is limiting its search for a host city to Boulder County, in large part because of the countywide ClimateSmart program, Dakin said.
ClimateSmart helps residents and businesses invest in energy-efficient improvements by providing loans for more than 40 different energy-efficiency upgrades.
Dakin said DaVinci Quest plans to choose one city — rather than pick 50 homes scattered throughout Boulder County — to cut down on complications that would come with different building codes, plans, permits and programs.
DaVinci Quest is looking for a company to sponsor a “significant cash prize,” though the amount hasn’t been determined. It also is looking for companies to sponsor each of the 50 teams.
A team can be one or more people from any-where in the world. Each team would pay an entry fee, be matched with a homeowner and use local programs to finance renovation costs.
The city would function as the economic development partner to help provide support services and guide everyone through building code issues.
Dakin met with Longmont Area Economic Council president and CEO John Cody last week to discuss the economic development possibilities of having Longmont as host city for such a contest.
By Rachel Carter via TimesCall.com

Fifty Longmont homeowners could get full-house makeovers. But that wouldn’t mean new couches, matching drapes and fresh paint.

These makeovers would include installing solar panels, wind turbines and data-control centers to manage energy use and safety systems.

Englewood-based DaVinci Quest is putting together a global contest to invite teams to design environmentally friendly smart homes — and then renovate 50 houses — for a “significant cash prize.”

Continue reading… “Longmont, CO May Host Global Contest”

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