• A Smart Car for Your Smarthome

    (Courtesy of SlashGear) In the wake of Tesla’s announcement that all of its cars going forward will be pre-wired for stage 5 autonomous driving, it occurred to me that smart cars were not a topic that I had covered in this blog.  But instead of focusing on how smart the car is on the road …

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  • Google Home in the House

    It’s been a week or two since Google announced their new products on 10/4.  Most of the time was spent on their new Pixel phone, which has some incredible features if you’re into that kind of thing (the one that catches the Eye O’ Schmoid the most is that it will be receiving new Android …

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  • Should Integrators Embrace Consumer IoT? (Part 2)

    This post first appeared on Residential Systems on 27/9/16. In a previous blog post I wrote about how I personally lived through changes in the home technology market and how the DIY/consumer smart home market has evolved over the years. In this post I will list as many thoughts as I am aware of on the …

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  • Micro Location Fencing

    One of the dreams of the smarthome is automated customization: walking from room to room and having the lights, the climate, the music and the art all change just because of your location in the home.  Add time of day and maybe something from your fitness band and now your house responds to not only …

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  • A Dashboard for Your Smarthome

    After setting up your initial smarthome system, something beyond a thermostat or a couple of switches, one of the drives is to know what is going on with the system.  While all of the information can be found in the various apps and websites set up by the device manufactures, it is not all in …

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  • Connected Beer

    A month or so ago, my colleague here at Qioto, Nicos, published a post on how the Internet of Things is affecting how we drink our favorite alcoholic libations.  It’s a good overview on the state of devices that will help you get a better glass of beer or mix up a better cocktail.  I want …

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  • The Five Stages of SmartHome

    Last week, I ran into a couple of posts over in the Home Automation Subreddit (1 and 2) that were ‘discussing’ (Reddit comments are either all in agreement or angry tirades, there is no middle ground) the difference between true home automation and a home that is merely controlled remotely.  These threads got me thinking, not …

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  • Wearable Fitness Band

    The Internet of Sleep

    One of the smart home concepts that crosses my consciousness on a regular basis is that of sleep.  It is often combined with wearables and other wrist augmentation devices as part of the fitness push within the smart phone and smart home communities.  And that is because sleep is part of fitness.  Not getting enough sleep …

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  • This week on Qioto – Smart Buttons

    From our weekly newsletter. Hello friends! This week we are presenting smart buttons. We simply love tactile buttons! I cannot stress that enough. Stick it where you need it, then just reach out and press it. No getting your phone out, unlocking, looking for the app, waiting for the app to load etc etc. (did …

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  • There Will Be Buttons

    Recently, I posted about Logitech and their Pop Switch connected button implementation.  I want to walk that back just a little.  My complaint had to do with the required hub, not for the ‘button-ness’ of the product.  Buttons I like a lot and I think that they are one of the best things about having a …

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  • Minimize Your Hubs

    This last week, Logitech released their Pop smart home switch.  It is a product that fits a growing need within the smart home: control where you want it instead of where the wires happen to be run.  Unfortunately, I do not think that it fits that need very well.  I dislike Logitech’s solution so much …

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  • This week on Qioto – Smart Appliances

    From our weekly newsletter. Hello friends! First we have the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator. It’s equipped with a Wifi enabled touchscreen that lets you manage your groceries, connect with your family and entertain like never before. A lot of people have been imagining fridges with interactive touchscreens for years now, and its finally a reality. You …

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  • Qioto featured on Residential Systems!

    Last week, I had a great conversation with Jeremy Glowacki, who then wrote a piece on us on Residential Systems. We will also be included in print on their next issue. We are very excited to be featured on one of the top websites for professional integrators. But we are also thrilled to have reached an agreement to …

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  • Smart Irrigation Control

    Smart Irrigation is NOT an Option If you have a home irrigation system, then you need a Smart Irrigation Controller.  There is no argument.  If you have ever had the ‘pleasure’ of chasing down leaks in your system and found yourself walking back and forth from the controller box, turning it on to test, then …

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  • This week on Qioto – Alcoholic drinks

    From our weekly newsletter. Yes you read that right! This week on Qioto we are presenting smart devices…which produce alcoholic drinks! We are presenting two beer brewing appliances, and an appliance which automatically makes cocktails. This is a glimpse into the future, as none of these devices are available for sale right now, but only …

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  • Smart Locks: Install, Convenience and Security

    Lock, Schlock I do not own a smart door lock.  It’s not that I don’t think that they are a good product, but they do not fit my needs.  Living in suburban ‘Merica, I never use the front door (What never?  Hardly Ever!)  Instead, I enter through the garage because I drive everywhere because ‘Merica. …

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  • Smarthome Security Cameras

    Recently here at Qioto, Nicos wrote a review of the Nest Camera.  After reading it, I feel compelled to add my opinion. I got into wireless IP cams around 2012 when something was digging up my backyard.  I’d go out to mow and there would be these small, two-inch holes in the sod.  In an …

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  • Smart Home Operating Systems and Backbones

    Today I’m going to wrap up my four-part series on the different methods of communication available to budding smarthome enthusiasts.  If you’ve been following along, then you know that we’ve covered Wi-Fi, Mesh Networks and Bluetooth.  What’s left is the programming and operating system tech that allows developers (and the more savvy amateurs) to get …

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  • This week on Qioto – two very different speakers

    From our weekly newsletter. This week on Qioto we are presenting two completely different smart speakers, each one amazing in its own way. First we have the Soundwall, which is a wall painting that is also an amazing connected speaker. Streaming music coming out of amazing artwork which not only makes a room look great, …

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  • Bluetooth 5 is coming to the IoT

    Re-pairing I’ve talked about the existing mesh network protocols in an earlier post.  However, there is a new one looming: Bluetooth.  “But wait,” I hear you say (because my hearing is internet good).  I’ve had Bluetooth in my phone and my ear and my car and my home for years.  What’s new about that?”  The …

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  • This week on Qioto – Nest Cam Outdoor

    From our weekly newsletter. This week on Qioto we are presenting the new Nest Cam Outdoor that has just been presented by the Google (Alphabet) company. We really like the 24/7 recording feature, and the image recognition function which can tell a person from an object. We especially like that it Works with Nest, which …

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  • Communing with Your Home – Mesh Networks

    Reconnecting This continues an off hand and far from complete overview of some of the existing ways to build a smart home network.  In a previous post, I discussed staid old Wi-fi as one way to internet your things.  In this one, I’m going to tackle the newer mesh connectivity systems: Z-Wave, Zigbee and Insteon …

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  • Communing with Your Home – Wifi

    Initial Handshake This post starts a four part series (though it may end up being more as I get farther along) on the different communication protocols that are available to you, the intrepid smart home explorer.  In an ideal world, all of the back end communication would be invisible to the you and, once it …

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  • Naming Conventions

    Name That MAC Address One of the things that I discovered as I dove into automating my home is that everything needs a name.  Every switch, sensor, bulb and hub has to be uniquely identified.  And this is a good thing as you do not want the system flipping the wrong switch at the wrong …

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  • Smart Home Security (continued)

    (part 2) In a previous post, I discussed some of the different approaches to security that are offered by smart home systems.  Here, I want to discuss securing the system itself.  Breaking-and-entering are no longer the most profitable ways for people to use your home against you.  In many ways, your personal information and access …

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  • Smart Home Security

    (Part 1) Security (however you choose to define it) is one of the biggest reasons that people invest in a smart home system.  Whether you are interested in environmental security like smoke and gas detectors or are more concerned with securing against intrusion, having a sensor tell you that something is going on that should …

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  • If This, Then What?

    One of the most useful tools that exists in the DIY smart home space is a website called IFTTT.com which stands for “If This, Then That.”  It is one of the measures of whether a new smart home product has made it that is starts to include IFTTT integration.  And it can be a great …

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  • Hello, Qioto people. I’m Schmoid.

    I’ll be writing a blog here on this site and, for the first installment, I’d like to spend a moment or two (or three) introducing myself and my connection to the Internet of Things and smart homes. I’ve spent the last twenty or so years in consumer electronics.  The first part of that was in …

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  • What is the new mix tape?

    Ethical sustainable chillwave. Gentrify semiotics cold pressed, narwhal hashtag cardigan artisan swag raw denim wolf tilde.

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