Flow Of Home-Automation Products Continues

New products arriving from iLuv, Nest, Belkin, Osram
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New products arriving from iLuv, Nest, Belkin, Osram

New York – New do-it-yourself home-automation products continued to flow unabated into the market in recent days as iLuv expanded its selection, Google’s Nest unveiled a new Nest Protect and Nest Cam, and Belkin and Osram teamed up to offer product bundles.

Separately, Icontrol Networks announced that more companies are participating in its OpenHome Labs certification program to certify that the companies’ products interoperate with Icontrol-powered home-automation systems. Icontrol systems include systems offered by cable companies as well as the company’s own Piper-brand systems.

In the latest round of announcements, iLuv launched its first Wi-Fi security camera to complement its first home-automation product, a $39.99-suggested Bluetooth-controlled multicolor LED light bulb. The camera is the $149.99-suggested mySight, which is available at Amazon and other retailers.

mySight uses bank-level encryption for streaming and cloud recording, streams live 720p HD video, and features 120-degree field of view, 4x digital zoom, infrared night vision, and motion and sound detection. A customizable detection area ensures that motion only in specific areas of its field of view will trigger an alert. It also features two-way audio.

Here are key announcements from other select companies:

Belkin, Osram:  The two companies teamed to offer three starter sets consisting of Belkin’s WeMo Link ZigBee-to-Wi-Fi bridge and these Osram Lightify LED lighting products. The three new starter sets are available online and in stores, including Amazon.com, Best Buy stores, Best Buy.com, and Belkin.com.

The Gardenspot Mini Starter Set retails for a suggested $129.99, while the Tunable White Starter Set is $99.99 and the Flex RGBW Starter Set costs $119.99.

The Gardenspot Mini RBG Starter Set includes one 14-foot string of nine Gardenspot Mini LED lights, which stake into the ground or in flower pots. The kit also features WeMo Link, a power supply, and a Lightify controller to choose thousands of color options.

The Tunable White Starter Set features two tunable, 60-watt equivalent LED bulbs to select the desired shade of white light with a temperature range of 2,700 to 6,500 Kelvin. The bulbs are fully dimmable and install in any standard light fixture. The set includes two tunable white A19 LED bulbs and a WeMo Link. 

The Flex RGBW Starter Set includes a strip of color-changing LEDs installed via self-adhesive backing to highlight an architectural detail, provide under-cabinet lighting, and the like. The fully dimmable lights are tunable from 2,700 to 6,500 Kelvin. The set includes three flexible two-foot- long LED strips, a WeMo Link, a power supply, and a Lightify controller.

Nest: The new Nest Protect smoke/CO2 detector will be available next month at $99 on nest.com, and the new Nest Cam is available on the site at $199.

The new smoke detector is said to last 10 years, up from seven, and it adds a commercial–grade photoelectric sensor, called a split-spectrum sensor, to use two wavelengths of light to spot different kinds of smoke and thus quickly differentiate between  fast- and slow-burning fires, the company said.

Because all photoelectric smoke alarms are susceptible to bugs and any tiny particles that can get into the smoke sensor over time, the second-generation Nest Protect offers a stainless steel screen with tiny hexagonal holes to let smoke in and keep everything else out, the company said.

Also new is a brighter light to light the way through darkened halls. Like before,

it sends a signal to a Nest Learning Thermostat to turn off the thermostat. A humidity sensor helps differentiate between steam and smoke.

The new Nest Cam, which replaces the Drop Cam, features a redesigned stand with magnetic base to stick to metal, but it can also be mounted to the wall or screwed onto a universal tripod. It twists around and bends.

In another upgrade, it offers 1080p HD recording, 8x digital zoom, and eight new high-powered infrared LEDs and new algorithms to improve night vision and motion detection.

Whereas Dropcam offered seven-day Cloud recording, Nest Cam ups that to 10 days of continuous footage. Users can also sign up for a 30-day video history. The service filters out times when no motion or sound has been detected.

New algorithms are also said to make alerts on Nest Cam more accurate, eliminating alerts arising from such events as passing cars or shadows on walls, the company said.

Icontrol Networks: The company’s OpenHome Labs certification program certified the Zen Thermostat as compatible with Icontrol-powered automation systems. Meantime, other companies have submitted products for certification. They are Halo SmartLabs, which developed the Halo smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detector, which also warns of hazards outside the home, including tornadoes. Another company is Jalousier, which offers the Comfee device, which enables blinds to automatically adjust themselves based on lighting and temperature changes. Nanoleaf is the third new company, which offers the Nanoleaf One and Nanoleaf Bloom LED bulbs. It is developing the Nanoleaf Ivy connected bulb, due later this year.


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