Huawei Reveals Info on Harmony, Its Alternative to Android

Huawei Technologies released details on HarmonyOS, its new operating system to replace Google’s Android on its smartphones and other devices. The Chinese company created its own OS in anticipation of the U.S. government’s expanded technology blacklist. Huawei consumer device business chief Richard Yu said the company would prefer to run Android but is ready to switch its phones to HarmonyOS “in just one or two days” if necessary. According to Yu, the open-source HarmonyOS will also work on smartwatches and other connected home devices. Continue reading Huawei Reveals Info on Harmony, Its Alternative to Android

Amazon Says It Will Support But Stop Selling Dash Buttons

Amazon announced that it would stop selling its Dash buttons, small devices for the connected home that were designed to help consumers easily update orders of needed household items. Usefulness and interest in the Dash buttons has slowed, so the company has decided to halt global sales. However, Amazon explained that it plans to continue support for new orders through existing Dash buttons as long as consumers use them. The company claims that more options in the connected home helped to cause the device’s demise. Continue reading Amazon Says It Will Support But Stop Selling Dash Buttons

Amazon Lowers Echo Prices to Gain Foothold in Smart Home

It’s a great time to buy a smart speaker, due to Amazon lowering prices of its six Echo devices on Black Friday. Over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, the entry-level Dot — whose price plummeted from $50 to $30 — became the No. 1 seller on Amazon’s website. Amazon, Apple and Google share the same strategy for smart speakers and their virtual assistants: as an entry point to the connected home. But because home speakers’ functionality is limited, consumers don’t see them as necessary and aren’t willing to pay a high price. Continue reading Amazon Lowers Echo Prices to Gain Foothold in Smart Home

Apple Updates How Home App Controls Smart Home Devices

Apple has launched a new website for its HomeKit software and Home App, which are used to control connected appliances and other devices in a user’s house. The site displays the compatible devices from 50 different brands and allows users to group them so that multiple actions can be triggered with a single tap or voice command. Apple has recently faced more competition in the smart home space because of Amazon’s Echo, which can also operate home devices via voice commands. Continue reading Apple Updates How Home App Controls Smart Home Devices

Cloud and Artificial Intelligence Become Alphabet’s Best Bets

In its Q3 results, Alphabet revealed that, of its Other Bets initiatives, two Google projects — the cloud and artificial intelligence — have proven to be the most successful; both are on track to expand in the next year. Amazon is still the leader in cloud services, with a 55 percent gain representing $3.2 billion, and Microsoft is another major technology company rivaling Google. But Alphabet has made it clear that it is doubling down on both cloud and AI, even as it retreats from Google Fiber Internet and Nest connected-home tech. Continue reading Cloud and Artificial Intelligence Become Alphabet’s Best Bets

CTA: Tech Spending to Increase This Holiday Shopping Season

About 160 million U.S. adults — or 74 percent of holiday shoppers — plan on purchasing tech gifts this season, according to the Consumer Technology Association’s 22nd Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, which predicts holiday tech spending will reach $34.2 billion this year. Top gifts include smartphones, headphones, tablets and portable Bluetooth speakers, while 12 percent of shoppers indicate they plan to purchase a wearable device. CTA has identified six types of tech shoppers that could help retailers better understand the preferences of today’s consumers. Continue reading CTA: Tech Spending to Increase This Holiday Shopping Season

Flare MeTV: Cox to Roll Out New Streaming Content Service

In an attempt to attract and maintain the youth demographic, Cox Communications plans to debut Flare MeTV, featuring a variety of streaming offerings, by the end of 2015. Similar to Comcast’s “Watchable,” which debuted in September, and Verizon’s go90, Flare MeTV will aggregate online video content and may in the future carry some licensed traditional TV content. Flare MeTV will be introduced as free without ads, but may eventually become ad-supported or subscription-based. The app will initially only be available on the iPad.   Continue reading Flare MeTV: Cox to Roll Out New Streaming Content Service

The Internet of Things May Be the Next Frontier for Amazon

Amazon is throwing its hat into the IoT ring with a new service for developers through its Amazon Web Services division. The beta service, named AWS IoT, was introduced during the company’s annual AWS conference in Las Vegas. It is designed for developers looking to link Internet-connected devices — from smoke alarms and other household appliances to smartwatches and fitness trackers — with other hardware devices and applications housed on remote servers. The idea is that devices would communicate with each other and take commands from computers. Continue reading The Internet of Things May Be the Next Frontier for Amazon

Comcast Planning New Gigabit Pro, Competitor to Google Fiber

Comcast is aiming to deliver fiber Internet connectivity that is twice as fast as Google’s offering. However, providing speeds up to 2 gigabits per second is estimated to run more than four times the $70 monthly cost of Google Fiber in Kansas City, according to a page on the Xfinity website. The page notes that service would be made available within one-third of a mile of the company’s existing fiber network, with plans to expand to a list of cities. Comcast earlier announced that the new service would be available in Atlanta by May, but it has been delayed.

Continue reading Comcast Planning New Gigabit Pro, Competitor to Google Fiber

Internet of Things: Retailers to Promote Smart Home Devices

Retailers are gearing up to support a range of connected home devices for the upcoming holiday season. Best Buy’s new Connected Home department is scheduled to deploy in more than 400 stores by Thanksgiving, featuring more than 100 smart home products. Other big box retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Staples have unveiled new programs and products in their stores designed for the connected home. We can also expect to see specialists and tech support trained in smart home products. Continue reading Internet of Things: Retailers to Promote Smart Home Devices

Google Chromecast Now Most Popular Connected Device App

According to app analytics firm App Annie, Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle is now the most popular connected device in the U.S. Based on analysis of the top apps associated with connected devices across iTunes and Google Play, the Chromecast app experienced the most downloads, followed by Fitbit, DirecTV, HP ePrint, Kodak Kiosk Connect, Square Register, GoPro, AT&T U-verse, DISH Anywhere, and HP All In One Printer Remote. Gartner predicts 26 billion connected devices globally by 2020. Continue reading Google Chromecast Now Most Popular Connected Device App

Internet of Things: Samsung Purchases Startup SmartThings

ETCentric community member Lee Lanselle forwarded us news that Samsung has acquired SmartThings, maker of smart-home controllers, for around $200 million. While SmartThings will continue to operate independently under CEO Alex Hawkinson, its three facilities are expected to move to Palo Alto to become part of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center (run by former Google and AOL exec David Eun). SmartThings, which is owned by Physical Graph Corp., began in 2012 as a Kickstarter project. Continue reading Internet of Things: Samsung Purchases Startup SmartThings

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

IoT: Microsoft Joins the Qualcomm-Backed AllSeen Alliance

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it is joining Qualcomm and 50 other members of the nonprofit AllSeen Alliance to develop standards for an open source Internet of Things and help promote protocols for how smart devices will interact with each other. Meanwhile, competing companies reportedly have plans to unveil a rival standards consortium as early as next week. Current AllSeen Alliance members include major tech players such as Cisco, LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Technicolor. Continue reading IoT: Microsoft Joins the Qualcomm-Backed AllSeen Alliance

Microsoft Releases Operating System For Home Automation

Microsoft researchers have recently released software that will make home automation easier. The company’s Lab of Things will serve as a platform for researchers and developers. Researchers will have a base to study home automation technology, and developers will have an operating system for apps that will control and monitor this technology. Some believe that the Lab of Things may be a starting project for larger and more complex buildings. Continue reading Microsoft Releases Operating System For Home Automation

Page 1 of 212