YOU ARE AT:DevicesCES 2014: Bringing smart home apps under one roof

CES 2014: Bringing smart home apps under one roof

Smartphones connect us to one another through voice, text and video, and soon they will be connecting us to our home appliances as well. As connectivity chipsets find their way into everything from televisions to ovens, smartphones are set to become remote control devices for the home. Making that a positive experience for the user is a challenge that several hardware and software companies are ready to address.

Samsung is uniquely positioned to control the smart home since it dominates that smartphone business and also makes TVs, microwaves, washing machines and several other home appliances. The company launched a Smart Home app at CES that it says will allow users to control home appliances from their smartphones or Samsung Smart TVs. The service will start with Samsung appliances, with plans to expand to other brands. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch is also part of its Smart Home solution, with the ability to send basic on/off commands to appliances.

Consumers who want to be early adopters of home automation are already getting started, and many of them are focused on thermostats, lights and locks. The ability to lock a door or turn off the lights remotely appeals to many homeowners, and companies like Nest (which Google is buying) and Sonos are responding with connected home solutions controlled by smartphone apps. At CES, a startup called Revolv demonstrated a small device called a home automation hub to unify the apps that control smart appliances. Revolv’s hub uses a Wi-Fi connection and an Apple iOS app to integrate the other apps that support products made by Nest, Sonos and Philips Hue.

Cloud-based software that is device agnostic is another approach to unifying home automation. CES exhibitor Arrayent is touting this approach; its platform uses Wi-Fi or Zigbee to control appliances made by Maytag, Whirlpool and Mattel.

“Arrayent puts a little bit of connection software inside the products themselves and then we operate all the cloud services,” said Arrayent CEO Shane Dyer. Dyer told RCR Wireless News that one of his highest profile clients has been Chamberlain, which makes a connectivity solution for garage door openers that is now sold by Apple.

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Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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