Steve and I have been moving very cautiously into having a smart home. We started with a smart smoke detector with the Nest, then a couple of Hue lightbulbs came on the scene. We added a couple of Wemo switches somewhere along the line, and eventually a couple of security cameras, as I’ve told you about before. The one thing that really gave us pause was the idea of a smart door lock.
But then I started talking to that crazy Joe Dugandzic of Smarter Home Life, and he talked about his cool August Smart Lock. I was jealous, but I still didn’t jump. Then I listened to a podcast (and I wish for the life of me I could remember which one) where they talked about someone testing a whole pile of smart locks and determining which had good security models. The August Smart Lock was on the good list. Additionally, the August Smart Lock is HomeKit-compatible. It isn’t the only smart lock that’s HomeKit compatible, but that definitely played into our decision. If you’re a fan of Alexa, she can play with the August devices as well.
All the cool kids are moving to Discord for podcasting and chat, and so is the NosillaCast. We’ll hear a CES interview with August about their smart locks (spoiler, I’ve got one). TJ gives us his review of the HiFi ELITE Super66 headphones. Back to CES with the Velco Connected Handlebars for bicycles, and the new fleet of Jabra wireless headphones. In Security Bits, Bart Busschots brings us up to date on Spectre and Meltdown, along with an interesting lesson about spareness and density of data collection regarding how the exercise app Strava showed military installations.
Allison interviews Lisa Auslen from August about some of their new smart locks. Lisa demonstrates how the August Smart Lock Pro can lock and unlock your door remotely, instantly track who’s coming and going, and inform you if your door is closed and locked. This intelligent lock automatically locks your door when you leave and unlocks when you arrive. It provides keyless entry for family and friends and it works with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Best of all, you can keep your existing deadbolt lock and keys. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://august.com/keyless-entry
Nite Ize Taglit might save my life, CES interviews with Mira ovulation monitoring system, Spartan radiation-blocking boxer shorts, Lynky Smart Home Hub and TRAE lamps made by geeks. I also talk about my disappointment with D-Link security on the Omna Webcam and tell you about an awesome new webcam called WyzeCam that’s only $20.
Allison interviews Joe Dugandzic from Lynky about their new Home Intelligence Hub. Lynky is a new smart home hub with an elegant control panel for your wall or kitchen counter. If provides one simple interface to control your entire home and has a voice-activated smart speaker with Google Assistant. With Lynky, you can command all of your smart devices via touchscreen, voice or mobile app. You can create scenes and automations easily with a drag and drop builder and use the full capabilities of Google Assistant. The setting is Eureka Park at the Sands in Las Vegas. Learn more at http://lynky.com/
Joe Dugandzic of Smarter Home Life has been on the show several times in the past year talking about Home Automation. This time he’s on to talk about how being a Youtuber working on Home Automation landed him a full-time job at a home automation startup company called Lynky. It’s a story of his technical chops, grammar skills, his good sense about marketing, and his deep knowledge of Home Automation that helped him become the marketing and project manager for the Lynky Home Intelligence Hub.
You can find Lynky at lynky.com. Joe also talks about how he found a woman named Heather Mingo, the perfect voiceover artist to redo the Lynky marketing video through upwork.com, . The video for Lynky can be found on YouTube of course!
Possible replacement for Clarify (but maybe we don’t need it), a clean install tip for iOS from Joop Bruggink, a second look at iPhone X after a bit more time, my attempt at Animoji Karaoke, Denise Crown brings us her review of the Hue Motion Sensor. Then we have an installment of Security Bits with Bart Busschots.
In my previous article I tried to give you the flavor of how to install the ecobee3 Smart Thermostat, and now let’s talk about how it actually works. But if after hearing more about it you feel tempted to buy one, don’t do it. My timing couldn’t be worse on this, because I just found out from Mark Pouley that ecobee will be revealing the ecobee4 next week!
From what I’ve been reading, it appears the new version will not just be a thermostat but will also be an Amazon Echo inside. In Mikah Sargent’s article on iMore, he explains that it’s not just going to have Alexa/Echo support, it will be one. Even if having Alexa (or another Alexa) in your house sounds cool, definitely hold off till the official announcement, and even if you don’t want that the price on the ecobee3 has dropped as a result so that’s cool too.
I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the functionality I like about the ecobee3 will be in the ecobee4, so let’s jump in and talk about it. I asked Steven Goetz to collaborate with me on this since he bought one just now too, and he’s done a lot more playing with his than I have.
Allison interviews Armen Gharabegian from Shadecraft about their new autonomous robotic shade called the Sunflower. This novel shade tracks the sun to keep a desired spot shaded throughout the day. The Sunflower connects you to the IoT and the smart home ecosystem from the outdoors. The Sunflower is solar powered and includes an integrated camera for security and image capturing, controlled lighting, speaker system, and charging capability. The setting is the CES Unveiled show floor.