Telecom companies are striving hard to open up new business opportunities these days by offering all manner of home services on top of phone and internet. In addition to alarm systems, home automation is becoming the big new thing
Comcast appears to be a favorite to include a ZigBee wireless
standard for consumer-electronics control in its upcoming set-top
boxes. Comcast is part of the ZigBee RF4CE steering committee, and
Cees Links, the founder and chief executive of ZigBee chip provider
GreenPeak and marketing chair for ZigBee, said that he was "very
confident" that Comcast would use the technology in upcoming boxes.
Comcast representatives could not be reached for comment or
confirmation. Why should users care? Several reasons, Links said.
First, ZigBee RF4CE taps into ZigBee's ultra-low-power heritage.
And that means remotes with "infinitely" longer battery life,
Cable giant has waffled between several vendors since announcing a home security and automation system, but we believe it has picked the winner. iControl, uControl or some other control?!
Since announcing its new home security and automation system in 2010, Xfinity (formerly Comcast) has said little about its service, including whose products the cable giant would use. That hasn't changed, but at least there there has been some movement from Xfinity
Cisco's Wi-Fi system kept maxing out at Mobile World Congress -- a problem Alcatel-Lucent's "light radio" invention could help solve.
There were dozens of Wi-Fi networks at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. But with more than 60,000 people in attendance, the systems were so overloaded that there may as well have been one landline connection with a 56k modem. Areas marked "free Wi-Fi here" often had no or painfully slow connections. Demonstrations from Microsoft, Google, Intel, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion,
Home energy management is still an early adopter trend for most normal consumers, but as mobile operators and device makers get more involved in selling network access and special energy monitoring devices, the sector may hit the mainstream in a year or two. Several news items out of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), a mobile electronics show being held in Barcelona this week, indicate that 2011 or 2012 may be the tipping point — and the smartphone or tablet may be the controller that allows you to coordinate your thermostat with your life. For example, chip company Texas Instruments
Verizon shows how 4G-enabled automotive systems, surveillance
cameras and tele-health technology offer compelling new
applications for traditional home automation. Imagine integrating
your grandma’s 4G-enabled tele-health station with your own home
control system. View the related slideshow. 4G LTE could be the
biggest thing in home automation since the iPad, ADT and Z-Wave.
The evidence was at the Verizon (VZ) Mobile booth during CES 2011.
There, Verizon demonstrated how its new Home Monitoring and Control
system, powered by Motorola's 4Home platform, might utilize a 4G
backbone and integrate with 4G-embedded devices such as
surveillance systems and home health solutions
Exclusive details of Verizon's home monitoring system, and how it will compete with Comcast, AT&T, ADT and others; 4G LTE ultimately will give Verizon an edge.
Verizon Home Monitoring and Control will roll with a handful of devices including Wi-Fi cameras and Z-Wave switches, thermostats and door locks, as demonstrated at CES 2011. Alas, it lacks integration with security. Will that be a deal breaker?
Verizon (VZ) is getting into the home automation business, challenging Comcast (Xfinity), AT&T, ADT and other mass-market providers in the coming year
With the big box consumer gadget chain's revenues down, it seems shoppers are heading to specialty stores or online to get their goods. Though holiday shopping has been surprisingly healthy so far, particularly online, Best Buy is feeling the pain associated with fickle consumer trends. For its third quarter ending November 27, Best Buy (BBY) reported revenues of $11.89 billion, less than the $12 billion the company pulled in the same time last year, and even less than the $12.45 billion analysts predicted. In a year dominated by new gadgets like the iPhone 4, iPad, and Samsung Galaxy Tab
AT&T has acquired home-automation company Xanboo, part of a spate of activity which could lead to energy management services from broadband providers. Xanboo provides homeowners with a system for managing connected devices, such as security cameras and controllers, from at smart phone, TV, or PC. The deal follows Motorola's that it has bought home-automation company 4Home, in which Verizon also had invested. Earlier this year, iControl and uControl merged their product offerings, which are expected to be used as part of Comcast's Xfinity home security service. Internet broadband providers are pushing into home automation to expand their product offerings
The acquisition follows a flurry of M&A activity in the smart-home industry.
Last week, Motorola announced it would acquire 4Home, presumably to bring energy management, security and other home control capabilities to cable customers by way of modems and settop boxes.