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System Integration for the Connected Home

Home Automation

Somfy Shows Off Motorised Window Solutions

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CEDIA Expo 2017 sees Somy Systems showcase solutions to integrate motorised window coverings-- with a 5m tower allowing installers to discover the Somfy product offering.

Somfy CEDIA Visitors can check how easy it is to add motorised blinds, shades, draperies, awnings, shutters screens and pergolas to their offer, regardless of brand or technology. Flexible control options take advantage of timers, remotes, weather sensors, a companion app and even voice commands to control Somfy-powered applications.

Somfy is also showing several integration solutions, including the Somfy Connect Universal Automation Interface (UAI) Plus and the updated myLink. Such devices make it possible to integrate Somfy motors over IP, whether working with Radio Technology Somfy (RTS) or Somfy Digital Network (SDN) motors.

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Fibaro Updates Entry Sensor

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Fibaro starts shipping the Door/Window Sensor 2-- a Z-Wave Plus-certified smart home device customers can install on any door, window, gate or set of blinds in the home or office.

Fibaro sensorThe Door/Window Sensor 2 connects to either the Fibaro Home Center ecosystem or a Z-Wave hub, and is accessible through companion app on smartphones, tablets or browser. It monitors the status of the door, window, gate or blinds it is connected to, and reports back any change in open/door status, helping avoid theft, break-ins or energy loss if a door is left unintentionally open.

The update also features an internal temperature sensor, allowing it to report abnormal changes in temperature. It also pushes temperature data to the Fibaro energy management dashboard found in the Fibaro desktop app, allowing users to monitor temperature changes, maximise efficiency and reduce energy bills. In addition, a tamper sensor boosts security by alerting the user if someone tries to remove it.

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The HomeKit-Compatible MyQ Home Bridge

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Chamberlain launches the MyQ Home Bridge-- a means to add HomeKit compatibility to any MyQ garage door opener (without built-in wifi) and lighting products.

MyQ HomeBridgeAnnounced back at CES 2017, the MyQ Home Bridge allows customers to control garage doors with Siri, set scenes within the Home app and connect a MyQ garage door opener with other HomeKit-enabled devices. Thus, one can have a smart thermostat or light bulb adjust accordingly whenever the garage door opens or close.

The company also offers a series of MyQ lighting accessories users can connect to HomeKit for control via iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch.

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LightwaveRF Adds HomeKit Compatibility

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British smart home solutions maker LightwaveRF announces it is working on a product range featuring Apple HomeKit compatibility, with offerings including a light dimmer and smart socket.

LightwaveRFThe products in question are the Generation 2 Link Plus smart hub, Smart Dimmers, Smart Sockets and a Smart Radiator Valve. The Link Plus connects to routers and controls the LightwaveRF smart home system for lighting, heating, power and security. The LightwaveRF system also gets new features, such as built-in energy monitoring, colour-changing status LEDs and wire-free two-way switches.

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BuzzFeed Cooks With Smart Hot Plate

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BuzzFeed expands its popular Tasty cooking videos in a perhaps unexpected hardware-based direction-- the Tasty One Top is a smart hot plate customers sync with a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

Tasty one TopThe One Top is a pentagonal device with soft corners. It comes in black or light blue, and features a trio of buttons (two for raising/lowering temperature, one for power) and lights to indicate plate temperature and cooking instructions. To start cooking, customers need to select a recipe from a selection of 1700 found in the companion app, with the One Top chiming and dinging to indicate when to move to the next step.

One can also use the One Top a regular, manual mode to cook whatever they wants, as well as control it remotely via app.

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Cortana Powers Smart Thermostat

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The thermostat is the next device category to receive voice control via Cortana as Johnson Controls reveals GLAS, a slick looking controller featuring the Microsoft smart assistant.

GLAS CortanaThe GLAS offers a translucent touchscreen as well as voice control, and packs sensors allowing it to detect whether people are in the room or not, and if not to turn the HVAC system on or off. It can also check air quality and energy usage. Of course, Cortana allows users to simply speak to the GLAS, and one can also control it by speaking to their phone.

Being a co-development with Microsoft, the GLAS also makes use of the Azure cloud computing solution to provide insights on air quality and more. Meanwhile, behind the actual hardware is is a Windows 10 IoT core.

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Google Home Heads to Germany

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The Google take on the smart speaker expands further into Europe, as Germany is the next country to get Google Home-- marking the third language the speaker can speak and understand.

Google HomeCurrently in Europe the Home is available in the UK and France. Like all other versions, the German-speaking Home can answer general questions, play music, remind about calendar appointments and control smart home devices, all through the power of the spoken word and the "OK Google" command.

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