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The Weekly Roundup 7.3 Edition

by Cassie July 3, 2015

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Cloud Computing Set to Transform Home Security

With the growing array of functions smartphones can perform, it’s no surprise that these devices can now be used to enhance personal safety. More and more, home automation is becoming the cornerstone of home security. Manufacturers are adding innovative home automation functionality to their security panels to coincide with demand. Some developers have gone as far as adding cloud-computing capabilities to their products and equipment, giving homeowners complete control over all aspects of their home security systems. This trend will no doubt continue to evolve as more consumers seek to adopt services that bring home safety solutions to their mobile devices.

For the original article on Sourceable.net, click here

 

Robots Could One Day Give Factory Workers Super Strength

Teams of engineers from European universities and research facilities have discovered the key to super strength! Their solution, however, is not based on comic bookish physical mutations, but rather, relies on complex machinery. Introducing, Robo-Mate, a robotic exoskeleton designed to help factory workers lift heavy equipment and become up to 10 times stronger. This new technology has the potential to revolutionize job capabilities for factory workers and limit the physical strains they incur every day. While we are still a ways off from mass manufacturing Robo-Mate, the new product should be available for public purchase in just over a year.

For the original article in Mashable.com, click here

 

Millennials Are Key to Home Automation Growth

Millennials are the most tech savvy of generations; thus, it is no surprise they have spurred the growth of the home automation market. One quarter of millennials have already installed at least one product in their residences, and another 40 percent have expressed their desire to purchase smart-home products. As a group, they are twice as likely to have a smart home product compared to the general population. With more security companies adding home automation solutions, millennials will be at the forefront of early technology adoption, and instrumental in educating the broader consumer market.

For the original article in Mediapost.com, click here

 

Alarm.com Files to Raise $75 Million Through Initial Public Offering

Alarm.com, a leading security and home automation company, has filed to raise up to $75 million through an initial public offering. The company, founded in 2000, is positioning to be a top player in the industry by aligning with service providers to offer products that allow users to control their locks and appliances remotely. Alarm.com now claims 2.3 million subscribers compared to rival Xfinity Home, with 500,000 customers. The move to file publicly means that Alarm.com has beaten other industry power players to market. Still, with new security products from Apple and Google looming on the horizon, it is too early to tell how Alarm.com will fare in the in the future.

For the original article on Fortune.com, click here

 

 

The Weekly Roundup 6.26 Edition

by Cassie June 26, 2015

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Samsung Attaches Screen to Semi-Truck to Show the Road Ahead

In the coming weeks, Samsung is expected to launch the Safety Truck, a semi-truck with the goal to reduce head-on collisions. By installing a front-mounted camera on the front of each truck, Samsung’s vehicles will give drivers behind the truck a clear view of the road ahead. Additionally, to make passing safer, drivers will be able to see any obstacles that could impede their progress. This will reduce the need for emergency braking and give drivers more time to react. With back-up cameras already standard in most new vehicles, this innovation by Samsung may signal an up-and-coming technology trend in the trucking industry.

For the original article on Mashable.com, click here

 

Home Security Steps Help Ensure Happy Endings to Vacations

According to Modesto police, the most impenetrable layer of security is a strong network of neighbors. Officers suggest joining a Neighborhood Watch or downloading a private social network such as Nextdoor, to help make your home more secure. In addition to having a community of vigilant neighbors, police also suggest the following safety tips:

  • Secure side doors and garages
  • Keep curtains open at all times to give the illusion you are home
  • Install an alarm even if you can’t afford the monitoring; the noise will most likely scare off any intruder
  • Add screw-on stoppers to all windows and replace any aluminum frames

For the original article in Modbee.com, click here

 

Just in Time for Summer, N.J. Police Provide Home Safety Tips

Whether you are leaving Philadelphia for a day at the beach, or a lengthy vacation, below are some tips from the New Jersey State Police to help make your summer as safe as possible.

  • Always lock windows and doors, set the alarm, and place security signs in plain sight.
  • If you have an extra vehicle, park it in front of your house to make it look like someone is home.
  • Take photos of valuables and record serial numbers of firearms, and keep them locked in a safe place.
  • Secure outdoor property such as lawn chairs, equipment and bikes.
  • Have a neighbor watch over your home while you are out of town.

For the original article in NJ.com, click here

 

Security Checklist for Your Employees

When it comes to enforcing data security in the workplace, employees are often the worst offenders. For businesses, this can have significant economic implications. Early establishment of best practices and tips can help an employer protect a company’s digital property from employee slip-ups.

Authentication:

  • Use a password manager like 1Password and make sure all passwords are secured and backed up.

Software:

  • Install an ad block on all browsers, make plug-ins click-to-play and use HTTPS at all times.

Antivirus:

  • Turn your firewalls on, turn off sharing & Bluetooth and avoid using public or free WiFi.

Mobile Phone:

  • Always use a passcode, turn off Bluetooth, turn off WiFi and make sure to download a Find My Phone application.

For the original article on Business2community.com, click here

 

 

 

The Weekly Roundup 5.19 Edition

by Cassie June 19, 2015

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Ultimate Assisted-Driving Machine: BMW Unveils Gesture-Recognizing, Self-Driving 2016 7 Series

BMW is taking technology to a new level with their latest smart car. The German-based luxury car company has employed new technology to enhance the driving experience and ensure superior vehicle quality. Car enthusiasts can look forward to the following features in BMW’s upcoming smart car release:

  • Total control – iDrive, touchscreen, gesture recognition, touchpad, voice input, and navigation routes
  • Active driving assistance
  • Self parking from outside the car
  • A lightweight body and “carbon core”
  • Bells and whistles – touch sensitive control, a wireless charging module, 8 fragrance injectors, updated traffic control, an auto opening trunk and a panoramic moonroof.

For the original article in ExtremeTech.com, click here

 

Keeping Lights On is Only Part of the Home Security Equation

There may not be one definitive answer to the question; does turning on your porch light really keep criminals at bay? However, it certainly does not hurt. Rob Weinhold, security expert with the Fallston Group, provides some additional advice:

  • Put indoor lights on timers to give the appearance someone is always home
  • Light all four corners of your home by investing in motion detecting sensors
  • Keep your garage doors closed and secured
  • Don’t be predictable with your schedule; switch up your routine
  • Trim your hedges so you can see out and criminals can’t hide in the bushes
  • Always lock your windows and doors, especially on the first floor

 

When a Tree Falls: IoT, Smart Homes and Sound Sensors

If your home security alarm goes off and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes, but it may do little more than startle an intruder. By investing in a sound sensor or monitored security system, you can be sure that when your alarm goes off, specific actions are taken to prevent further intrusion. With the technology available today, you can receive alerts on your smart devices notifying you when something goes wrong in your home. Alarms are great resources to help protect your home from intrusion, fires and floods, but to optimize your system, it is important to have a sound sensor or monitored security system, ready to respond with more than a noise.

For the original article in IPTV-news.com, click here

The Weekly Roundup 6.5 Edition

by Cassie June 5, 2015

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From the Big House to Your House: Burglars Share Home Security Tips

The Columbus Police Department’s crime prevention unit asked three convicted burglars to share some insights into their trade. With an interesting twist, here’s what these criminals said people DON’T do, to make their crimes easier (until they got caught, of course):

  • Don’t close the curtains on window or doors, and leave your valuables out in the open so they can be spotted easily
  • Don’t lock second story windows because burglars only break in on ground floors
  • Don’t replace outside lighting
  • Don’t bother to lock your door if you’re only running out for a minute or two
  • Don’t change up your routine; do the same thing at the same time, every day

For the original article in the Pix11.com, click here

 

Home Security Checklist

June is National Safety Month – a good time to put into practice these home security basics, if you aren’t doing so already:

  • Make sure to keep your yard well maintained
  • If you go out of town, ask a neighbor to grab your mail
  • Install a home security system or place a security sign outside your home
  • Get creative with hiding a spare key outside; but never hide a key under your doormat
  • Don’t let flyers or newspapers or mail pile up on your lawn while you are away
  • Consider purchasing a TV Light Simulator to make it look like your home,even when you’re not

For the original article in Sabre, click here

 

Is Technology Getting Ahead of Itself?

Six years ago, Google began testing self-driving cars, with the goals of lowering accidents and improving safety to lower the number of accidents. Since their initial launch, Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin revealed that there have been a total of 12 vehicle accidents. Several states have passed laws in favor of self-driving car testing on their public roads. Along with the optimism and open-mindedness, there is also a very large concern regarding safety. Safety is extremely important to most people and is often a major selling point for products. It’s too early to say if Google’s smart vehicles will become successful or not, but for now one thing is certain—technology is advancing at a rapid pace—and we consumers need to keep up with it.

For the original article in Telegraph, click here

 

Share the Brilliance, Skip the Hassle

We’ve all been in situations like the one that follows. You’re in a meeting and everything is going exactly to plan—until it’s time to pull up the presentation on your computer screen. Right on cue, you get an error message instead. Now, with the real-time collaboration solution from Intel, that’s all in the past. The new product, called Unite, decreases the risk of computer error when sharing presentations. Meeting attendees need to simply download and install a small software application or “lightweight client” on their Mac or Windows® machine. Once installed, everyone in the meeting can share the content on their desktops, annotate shared presentations and even view up to four people’s screens at once. This new technology enables co-workers to work together on a single presentation, reduces a common technological headache, and facilitates faster meetings—and who wouldn’t want that?

For the original article in Intel, click here

 

The Weekly Roundup 5.29 Edition

by Cassie May 29, 2015

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Home Automation: Understanding a Resident Device VS Automation Hub

Home automation relies heavily on two controlling devices—a “resident device” and an “automation hub.” It is important that you research and understand the differences between the two when making decisions on the best way to make your home a smarter and safer place.

Resident Device: a device that always lives on your network and listens for any requests you send over your IP. It is also accessible from outside your network.

Automation Hub:considered the “brains” of your smart home, a hub device allows automation and enables smartphone access.

For the original article in the Mac Observer, click here

 

Safety for Older Americans

In a study by the CDC, a leading cause of injuries among the elderly is falls – at the rate of millions each year – which can cause severe hip, joint and head injuries. Here are some good personal safety tips and injury prevention advice seniors should heed:

  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Discuss medications and potential side effects with your doctor
  • Get regular health checkups and eye exams
  • Reduce hazards in your home to avoid trips or falls
  • Install grab bars wherever possible

For the original article in Sabre, click here

 

We’ve Got the Answers, You Have the Home Security Questions

Having a safe home is important, but not everyone has a top-of-the-line home security system. How then are homeowners supposed to protect their homes? While there is no single answer to this question, some good advice to consider is, think like a thief! Here are some clever tips that can help you outwit even the smartest of thieves:

  • Hire a locksmith and switch out the locks of your new home to ensure you are the sole key holder
  • Hide a spare key in a unique place – even inside your dog’s collar!
  • Keep your plants and bushes well maintained to reduce hiding spots for burglars
  • Change up your routine and always lock your door, even while on a short outing
  • Keep your home’s exterior well illuminated, especially if your neighbors live far away
  • Hide valuables in places other than your safe – try inside a wall or behind a false switch plate

The Weekly Roundup 5.22 Edition

by Cassie May 22, 2015

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Protect Yourself: Low Cost, High-Tech Home Security Options

On a budget? High-tech options aren’t the only way to secure your home. Here’s some advice on how to keep your home safe without breaking the bank:

  1. Your neighborhood: get to know your neighbors; talk to them about starting a Neighborhood Watch Program.
  2. House exterior: be mindful about outdoor lighting, unsecured objects, visibility of your house numbers and yard maintenance.
  3. Garage: keep your garage door locked and closed when not in use and remove all keys from motor vehicles.
  4. Locks: check the state of your locks and determine if they need to be replaced.
  5. Windows: consider using security bars, remove crank handles from casement windows and pin double hung windows.
  6. Vacation checklist: avoid social media posts, notify neighbors and cancel home deliveries or arrangements while you are out of town.

For the original article 9News, click here

 

Three Scenarios for Home Automation

You may be asking, is home automation really necessary for my home? Although there isn’t a yes or no answer to this question, the following scenarios may settle the debate:

  1. Fumbling in the dark. With a smart motion sensor, you can walk inside your home and have the lights come on just in time.
  2. Wasting electricity. Eliminate the guilt caused by thermostats or fans that run all day. Invest in a smart motion and heat sensor.
  3. Humidity in the bathroom. A humidity sensor can automatically detect moisture levels and turn on the fan for you.

For the original article in The Mac Observer, click here

 

6 Inexpensive Ways to Have Home Automation

Money doesn’t have to be an obstacle if you’re planning a smart home. Skip the latest and greatest in cutting edge technology and determine what your home really needs. Here’s a look at a few affordable options:

  • Smart Outlets/Plugs can be plugged into an outlet and will provide you with better control over your connected devices.
  • Smart Lights not only provide light when you need it, but they can also significantly reduce your energy bills.
  • Smart Sensors can offer multiple solutions for your home such as motion, temperature, lighting, and humidity.
  • Smart Surveillance will allow you to monitor your home from anywhere using a tablet or smart phone.

For the original article in Makeuseof.com, click here

 

The History of Home Security Systems

People have historically been protective of their “stuff.” Alarm systems, no matter how crude, have been around a very long time. Here’s a look at how security systems came to be:

  1. Circuits: Created in the 1970’s, a circuit was wired to a door or window, and an alarm was designed to sound if opened.
  2. Local Alarms: When first introduced, a triggered local alarm released a noise loud enough to notify bystanders within ear-shot, and scare off the thief.
  3. Monitoring: Developed in the late 1800s, monitoring increased response time to an alarm, and is still being used today.
  4. Digital Alarms: Today’s digital technology provides more options than ever before. Homeowners can take solace knowing their “stuff” is in good hands.

For the original article in Ehow.com, click here

 

 

 

The Weekly Roundup 4.24 Edition

by Cassie April 24, 2015

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Seed Labs Launches New Product to Make Your Lightbulbs Smart

Next month, Seed Labs will introduce their new home automation device, Silvair Control, at TechCrunch Disrupt. The new device combines blue tooth technology with an open interface to create a removable, portable button/dial which consumers can carry from room to room to manage their home lighting and appliances. Activation is literally at their fingertips – by simply tapping, spinning or sliding the device. Expect to see Silvair Control in retail stores in the not-so-distant future.

For the original article in TechCrunch, click here

 

The Benefits of a Dedicated Touch Screen

With the growing popularity of home automation smart phone apps, it’s easy to forget the benefits of the traditional touch screen. Touch screens are fast, responsive and interactive user faces that get the job done – in half the time – without the need to boot up or load. And unlike smart phones, touch screens are hard to lose, and are always powered up to output commands. You may have an appetite for the latest app, but when you’re ready to add or upgrade a home automation system, don’t overlook the proven benefits of a touch screen.

For a relevant article in AboutTech, click here

 

Home Automation Systems – A Consumer Checklist

As home automation advances, some people find themselves behind, scratching their heads and wondering how to proceed. “Which product is right for me?” “How do I choose?” With so many products on the market, consumers should ask the following questions before committing to purchase:

  1. Is the device a standalone product or a member of an ecosystem of products? What are the pricing aspects?
  2. Does the product require an always-on Internet connection?
  3. How is the “command center” implemented? Does the installation require new hubs or wires?
  4. What are the power requirements?
  5. Will a third party control the unit without compromising my security?

For a relevant article in HomeAdvisor, click here

 

Home Automation Market to Top $6 Billion By 2020

According to a recent report by Futuresource Consulting, the market for home automation packages and individual smart devices is estimated to increase by 30-35% over the next 5 years, reaching nearly $6-7 billion worldwide by 2020. The report also predicts dramatic growth in niche market DIY home automation products, fueled primarily by online distribution and growing popularity as a lower cost alternative to professionally installed systems. As overall demand continues to grow, more and more companies will compete for market share by offering consumer’s even more options and products.

For the original article in IPTV-News, click here

The Weekly Roundup 4.17 Edition

by Cassie April 17, 2015

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Smart Home & Neighborhood Watch: A New Security Model?

Central monitoring services are quick to react when an alarm is triggered, but often times, first responders arrive too late on the scene to catch intruders. Michael Wolf, founder of NextMarket Insights, offers an idea that, if adopted, could easily supplement monitoring efficiency. Wolf’s idea stems from a hybrid of neighborhood watch and home automation. If suspicious activity is reported, alerts would be sent to participating neighbors, providing them the opportunity to be “eyes and ears on the scene” in those critical first moments. Wolf expands on the concept by suggesting the formation of a “neighborhood network,” where all residences on the block or street would be notified, and know exactly which house the alert came from and what to watch out for.

For the original article in Forbes, click here

 

A First Look At Home Automation On The Apple Watch

Earlier this year, the home automation company, PEQ, released a “Lego-like” control interface in the form of an iOS app. The app allows users to add functions by stacking blocks. For example, a user can easily turn a kitchen light on and off by tapping a block. One of PEQ’s designers and founder Mark Rolston, explains that there are two main benefits of using a home automation app on the Apple Watch; looking at a watch on your wrist requires less time and friction than pulling a phone from your pocket. The second, receiving notifications on your wrist minimizes interruption and increases reaction time.

For the original article in Fastcodesign, click here

 

Telguard’s HomeControl Flex Offers IFTTT Integration for Security, Home Automation

Telular, maker of cellular radios for security systems, will introduce Telguard HomeControl Flex at ISC West 2015 in Las Vegas. Flex allows alarm and home automation systems to integrate more than 170 smart home devices via IFTTT, an online if/then engine for cloud-enabled products and services. Thanks to participating security brands, IFTTT’s Flex is expected to be a major powerhouse. Consumers are advised to be on the lookout when the app is released this May.

For the original article in CEPro, click here

 

Let the Apple Watch Home Automation Games Begin

With the recent launch of Apple Watch, developers are rushing to be the first to create buzzworthy, watch-friendly apps that are first in category. Below are three notable brands that are expected to compete in the marketplace this spring:

  1. Lutronis watch-enabling its Caseta wireless lighting control for the Apple Watch. Users will control lighting anywhere in their home with the touch of their wrist.
  2. Honeywell’s new Lyric is a cloud-enabled, Wi-Fi connected, smart thermostat.
  3. Alarm.com will release an app providing homeowners the ability to monitor and control directly through their smartphone.

For the original article in CEpro, click here

The Weekly Roundup 4.3 Edition

by Cassie April 3, 2015

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Trends: Home Lighting & Automation

With new technology being created specifically for home design, often it makes sense for home automation to be included. Homeowners are beginning to see a trend in newer, energy efficient homes, with automation systems that expand beyond security. Home automation technology usually starts with something as simple as turning on a light bulb and over time provides more advanced solutions. As the market increases, so does the number of controllable devices available for purchase. It just goes to show, keeping up to date with what’s new can pay off in more ways than one – especially in home protection. For the original article in News-Press, click here

 

‘Home of Things’: It’s More Than Sensing [IoT]

Technology is rapidly changing and improving. Consumers are starting to see big changes in home automation and security. The article, ‘Home of Things’: It’s More Than Sensing [IoT], informs consumers that their options are limitless. Originally, a home’s lights, garage door opener, sprinkler and even coffee maker were considered disparate technologies. Now, thanks to new home automation systems, it’s possible to have all of these items seamlessly interconnected. Homeowners can buy a system, download the app and within seconds have complete and total smart control over their home. For the original article in NextBigWhat.com, click here

 

Seattle Car Thefts Down Following Years of Increases

Based on a recent statistic by The Seattle Police Department, an average of 11 cars are stolen each night off the streets of Seattle. With so many break-ins, residents are fearful for their vehicles and personal safety. Fortunately for Seattle residents, crime rates started to drop in January 2015. Seattle’s police Sergeant, Sean Whitcomb, would like to remind residents to practice vehicle safety in the city. Residents can avoid becoming a target by never leaving their car unlocked, keys in the ignition or valuables in the car. Staying aware and alert provides a powerful defense against criminals. For the original article in the King 5 News, click here

 

Smart Homes Are Secure Homes

In the article, Smart Homes are Secure Homes, consumers reported wanting fewer bells and whistles and more safety when it comes to home protection. Recent findings from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), show that more than 62% of online consumers want to learn more about home automation, with security being a main motivation. Most of these individuals want smart home technology that will allow them to monitor and control their home security system/s. These individuals also prefer to have professional installation. The CEA urges homeowners who do not want a home security system to at least practice the less-tech method of home protection – not tipping off burglars via social media. For the original article in HGTV, click here

The Weekly Roundup 3.27 Edition

by Cassie March 27, 2015

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5 New Smart Home Products You Should Know About

According to Digital Landing, smart home systems are “all the rage these days.” With such in demand technology, the popular tech website lists their 5 favorite smart home products.

  1. Tapt is a touch operated light switch that syncs to your home lighting system
  2. The Tripper Switch, commonly used to monitor windows and doors, sets off an alarm when triggered
  3. The Mongoose Bluetooth Garage Door Opener is a box which will turn your i-Device into a garage door remote
  4. The smart shower head, Eva, monitors water consumption and temperature
  5. Lilypad is a pool app that monitors water temp and sun intensity

For the original article in Digital Landing, click here

 

 Going on Spring Break? Take Care to Keep Your Home Secure

The main reason people fail to take security precautions is because they already feel safe and do not follow a safety routine. Director of Public Safety, Mark Herald, listed 5 of the most popular safety tips for people leaving their home to travel.

  1. Keep the blinds down and lock all windows
  2. Set up timed lights around your house for the morning and the evening (you can even place a timer on your TV)
  3. Have a neighbor watch your house and bring in all mail
  4. Turn your home phone ringer off or lower the volume
  5. Don’t announce your upcoming vacation on social media

For the original article in WZZM13, click here

 

Child Safety App Spots Dangers in Your Home

Lara McKenzie has been an injury prevention researcher for more than a decade. When McKenzie gave birth to her third child she assumed that child safety would come naturally. Out of concern for her children, McKenzie and fellow researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital developed the Make Safe Happen app. The app helps to prevent childhood injury, allowing parents to select an age range for their children, choose a room, and even pinpoint areas in the home that can be made safer.

For the original article in the News4Jax, click here

 

Top Home Automation Project Ideas: Picture, Options & Tips

There are several steps you can take to improve the overall efficiency of your home and cut expenses in the process. If you’re new to home automation and are considering a new project, look into these categories: lighting, security, HVAC and outdoor sprinkler systems. When thinking about any of these systems, know that you may be able to cut costs in half by customizing your home automation and opting for stand-alone models instead of fully-integrated control.

For the original article in HGTV, click here

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