The IoT Roundup: What’s been happening this week? (26th November 2017)

This week has been a slightly quieter week in the world of IoT, but we do have news of a new smart home starter kit, a new vision of beacons, and some deals to look out for over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.  Here, is your IoT roundup!

Aussie energy company to bring IoT to the masses

Origin Energy, an Australian energy provider has announced plans to enter the smart home market with Home HQ, an amazingly priced bundle of smart home gadgets.  For $199 you get a gateway, smart plug,  two entry sensors, a humidity sensor, temperature sensor, motion sensor, and a smart lightbulb. That’s a vast amount of tech for such a small price.  Currently only available to Victorian customers, Home HQ is expected to roll out to other states and territories in 2018, and is yet another example of energy providers using their brand to help push smart devices into the homes of those who may be a little nervous about dipping a toe in the water.  At $199, this sounds like a pretty decent option for those who are on the fence.  More on this story over at Tech Radar.

Google Home becomes even more useful

Google Home owners rejoice, as more functionality has been added to the smart home hub. The ability to ‘control scenes’ is basically a way of setting lighting levels according to a preset colour and brightness. In addition to this, Google Assistant is also adding native support for devices other than lights and plugs, such as dishwashers, washing machines, and tumble dryers. While specific apps have had the ability to do this for a while, having native control within the Google Home app is always going to make things simpler.  More on this over at 9 to 5 Google.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday – What to look out for

For the IoT and smart home fans out there, this weekend (and early into next week) is a great time to expand your smart home with those devices you have been talking yourself out of buying all year.  The third Google Home for the bedroom, the Amazon Show in the office, or the Sonos Speakers for the living room, all of these can be bought at significantly less than their RRP.  Google Home Mini is a particularly enticing device at the moment, coming in at $29 right now.  Sonos have deals on their Playbar and Playbase directly on their website, and Amazon are selling their Echo Dots at $29 in an attempt to do battle with Google at the same price point as the Home Mini.  Head over to Amazon to check out this deal, along with slightly smaller ones on their bigger speakers.

Wiliot to launch battery-free Bluetooth tech in 2019

Aiming their shot directly at RFID, Israeli company Wiliot are looking to make Bluetooth the ‘go to’ communication platform for small devices that are difficult to power in conventional ways.  Wiliot are looking to manufacture fingernail-sized devices that lost less than $1, that could be the answer to things such as rain sensors in the garden, or motion detectors on your front gate, both of which may be placed in areas that you don’t wish to run a power supply to.  More on this story over at Spectrum.


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