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Verizon GreenWave FCC documentation

Verizon hasn’t been out of the home automation business for long, but it looks like the telco giant is already preparing to jump back in. According to FCC documents uncovered by Steve Donahue of FierceCable, Verizon appears to be preparing to launch a new FiOS gateway with an associated Zigbee home automation module. The FiOS Quantum Gateway goes by model number FiOS-G1100 and supports the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard along with the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. The module, meanwhile, is produced by GreenWave Reality, a California-based company that most recently made noise back at CES. GreenWave’s platform includes applications for energy management, connected lighting, and home monitoring, but CMO Nate Williams told me in January that it can support far more.

Williams has a history with Verizon, as he was previously CMO and head of business development for 4Home, the company that was acquired by Motorola, and that provided the technology basis for Verizon’s now-defunct Verizon Home Monitoring and Control service. Despite 4Home’s successful exit, the company’s platform did not survive the move first to Motorola, then Google, then Arris. GreenWave’s Home2Cloud platform appears to be doing better so far. The company is already profitable from an operational standpoint and has a major public customer in E.ON, one of Europe’s largest utility companies. Williams told me that GreenWave also has two US service provider customers, at least one of which is a cable, telco, or satellite operator. Verizon certainly fits that description. Continue Reading…

As the story goes, D-Link demonstrated a variety of home automation products under NDA at CES. While we weren’t privy to those talks, all sorts of goodies have starting springing up on government and publisher product databases as the company attempts to one up Belkin’s WeMo line. And next in line for its close up is the diminutive WiFi Motion Sensor (SDH-S150) shown above. The 802.11b/g/n device works in conjunction with the upcoming D-Link Smart Plug and is controlled via smartphone app – also revealed a bit prematurely. The idea is motion detection would be linked to whatever lamp, fan, or other gadget is drawing power from D-Link’s smart plug, or simply fire off motion push notification to one’s mobile. However, we’re currently evaluating the agnostic Staples Connect home automation hub, and are hopeful an inexpensive D-Link motion sensor could be leveraged to trigger say my new collection of Philips Hue lighting.

ceiva-homeview

Remember Ceiva? One of the original digital photo frames… that incorporated Internet connectivity (!) to receive pushed pics from remote family as we did about 10 years ago for Mom. Apparently the company is still alive and kicking, having just pushed the Ceiva HomeView widget station thru the FCC.

While the Ceiva HomeView (SHR558) is capable of displaying photo slideshows, its primary selling point is a window into your home, via partnerships with energy companies and new wireless capabilities.

Homeview’s hi-res display ensures your personal photographs are always beautifully presented. Our clever use of ZigBee technology means you’ll also have access to your home’s energy use in real-time. CEIVA Homeview gets instant updates directly from your electricity smart meter through a wireless connection. Of course our whole system, from photo sharing to thermostat adjustments, is available remotely through our free Homeview and photo apps.

xfinity-securityFrom a well-placed friend in retail and possibly corroborated via a Starbucks conversation, we’ve learned that Best Buy intends to double down on the home automation market. Best Buy devotes significant space to this burgeoning category, but will up the ante very soon with an expanded two-tier approach. First, stores will offer what we believe to be a DIY white label hub and associated apps, similar in concept to Staples Connect and Lowes Iris. We’re told the BBY solution will primarily communicate with Zigbee devices, although eventual Nest integration is confirmed. Second, in Comcast markets, a higher tier of monitored services and security will be offered, similar to Best Buy’s current broadband and satellite television sales – with those beefy commissions. All we need now is a name, some pricing intel, and why we’d choose Best Buy’s implementation given the interesting competition.

As our homes acquire sentience, a few are attempting to traverse the technological silos… in an approachable way, suitable for civilians and geeks alike. While companies like Zonoff, Revolv, and Smarthings each strive to take home automation mainstream with somewhat differing technological and marketing approaches, they share a vendor- and network-neutral approach as they aim to provide an alternative to the security and telecom firms that are likewise pushing into this realm. And, as you might guess from the tweets and pics, I came away from CES quite enamored with Zonoff. Continue Reading…