Big Tech Companies Collaborate on Smart Home Standard

The ordinary home is increasingly connected to the Internet, via cameras, doggy doors, lights, locks, sensors, switches and thermostats. But lack of an industry-wide connectivity standard can make these devices frustrating to use and manage. For that reason, Google joined with Amazon, Apple and other big tech companies to create Connected Home over IP. The independent working group, managed by Zigbee Alliance, aims to create a new, open smart home connectivity standard based on Internet Protocol (IP). Continue reading Big Tech Companies Collaborate on Smart Home Standard

Automotive Tech Innovations More Prevalent in New Vehicles

Auto manufacturers are paying special attention to their vehicles’ technology interfaces, from touchscreens in the dashboard to smartphone apps. App developers are also focusing on cars, using voice recognition to offer music streaming and hands-off text messaging. Not all is smooth sailing, however. Government regulators are concerned that technology might become a distraction, and thieves are learning to hack systems to steal cars. Consumer complaints about in-car technology can also hurt a vehicle’s quality ratings. Continue reading Automotive Tech Innovations More Prevalent in New Vehicles

Nikon Introduces 360-Degree Action Camera, New 4K DSLR

Nikon made two interesting announcements during CES in Las Vegas. First, the company unveiled the D5, its new flagship 4K DSLR, first teased back in November. The $6,500 camera, available in March, includes a new 153-point autofocus system and maximum ISO of 3,280,000. Perhaps a bigger surprise is Nikon’s first action camera, the KeyMission 360, which shoots 360-degree video in 4K. Slightly larger and less of a cube than market leader GoPro Hero, the KeyMission 360 features lenses on front and back, is shockproof to 6.6 feet, waterproof to 100 feet, and touts electronic vibration reduction. Continue reading Nikon Introduces 360-Degree Action Camera, New 4K DSLR

Google Launches Location Tracking Tool to Compete with Apple

Google is launching Eddystone, a new format that uses electronic beacons to track users’ locations and link their smartphones with nearby objects. Its purpose is to provide useful information to users, such as electronic bus tickets when they’re detected near bus stops, or information on paintings when they are touring museums. Google is competing against Apple’s iBeacon technology, which was released in 2013. Eddystone will be open to multiple platforms and will include features that work on both Android phones and iPhones. Continue reading Google Launches Location Tracking Tool to Compete with Apple

Beacon Market Projected to Reach 60 Million Devices by 2019

Beacons, hardware devices that can be detected by mobile apps, have seen interest from fields other than just retail. According to a new report from ABI Research, retail is one of the smallest markets for iBeacon and Bluetooth Low Energy-powered devices. While stores can better communicate with customers via apps — through special offers, alerts and ads — even more interest has developed in asset tracking, personal location, and connected home markets. Continue reading Beacon Market Projected to Reach 60 Million Devices by 2019