Some Recent Home Automation News

Philipp Schuster
30th January 2014 in Know How

There have been a few recent events that have hit the news and caused a bit of a stir about Smart Homes and Home Automation in general. Here’s a rundown of the two biggest bits of Home Automation news in recent weeks: 

1. GOOGLE BUYS NEST

Google Nest

Earlier this month, internet behemoth Google surprised the technology world by buying American smart thermostat manufacturer, Nest. Well placed in the world of specialised smart heating, Nest was – until very recently – owned by two former Apple executives. Two former Apple executives who are now very rich men indeed, because Nest went for a staggering $3.2bn!

Now you don’t need telling that $3.2bn (around £2bn) is a tremendous amount of money. So why would Google lay out such a huge sum for a company that just really makes clever little thermostats? Well, it’s because they understand what a sleeping giant the Smart Home industry is. Home technology is going to go stratospheric very soon and with giants like Google involved – who can argue that it won’t?

We were fascinated to hear about the deal and thrilled when we considered what it means for the industry. Google has recognised that the Smart Home market is the future and have made a huge statement here. The deal has and will continue to attract a lot of attention to the idea of ‘The Smart Home’. And that only be good for us all. So… here’s to Google!

2. SMART HOMES DOMINATE ‘CES’

CES 2014

Las Vegas’ annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show – the biggest in the world. The great and the good in the world of technology flock to Sin City to discuss home tech every year and in 2014, Smart Homes were the talk (and toast) of the town…

‘THE FUTURE’?

Here at Loxone we’re obviously glad that Home Automation is finally getting the recognition and belief that it deserves. But a couple of things did irk us slightly about the hubbub at CES… Automation keep being referred to as ‘the future of home technology’. We can’t really understand that. Smart living is already very much an accessible and affordable reality. We’ve proved that over the past few years (take a look at some of our Case Studies).

We also disagree somewhat on the general consensus at CES that the future of Smart Homes revolves around the smartphone. Of course, Androids, iPhones and their peers are a very useful addition to an automated home, but they’re not the be all and end all for operating aspects of the home. There are switches and buttons (clever or traditional), tablets, web browsers, all sorts…

GIMMICKS & ISLAND SOLUTIONS

Another frustrating thing to see from our perspective is gimmicky technology. Smart fridges that text you when you’ve run out of butter? Ovens that can text you? A toothbrush that beeps when you should stop brushing? Daft.

Not only that, but even appliances that make sense are often individual and isolated, meaning that if you installed them all, you’d have a hundred different apps and bits of kits to install, set up, understand, monitor and maintain.

Doesn’t it make more sense to let one overall ‘brain’ take care of it all? Well, yes. Which is why we set up Loxone and invented the Miniserver in the first place!

Still, that’s just us being a little pedantic. Overall, we’re just glad to see the thing we love get in the news and set tongues wagging. Here’s to more of it in the rest of 2014 and a Smart future!