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The crazy things you do when you put your kids first


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Nuimo is a universal interface for the IoT

Here’s to a unifying interface for the anti-Homekit crowd!

Atmel | Bits & Pieces


Nuimo is an intuitive and natural way to control your smart lights, locks, thermostats and other apps.

With the number of connected gizmos and gadgets entering the market on the rise, there will undoubtedly be a need for a universal smart controller that commands them all from one place. And while the smartphone may be the go-to remote at the moment, Nuimo is looking to introduce a much more intuitive, user-friendly interface that doesn’t necessarily have to be joined to the hip of a person.

3046143-slide-s-1-a-universal-dial-for-the-internet-of-things

The brainchild of Berlin-based startup Senic, Nuimo is an entirely programmable, wireless controller that can be used anywhere on just about any IoT object. The puck-like device offers a sleek, natural interface and four basic ways of interaction — click its disc, turn its dial, swipe its surface and gesture above it. Currently available in both black or white, it will be a welcomed addition to any smart home.

Beyond its aesthetics, Nuimo integrates with a wide range of…

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Final thoughts on the Internet of Things

I don’t think a couple hundred bucks is out of reach for most people. If you can spend that much on cell phones and rims then it’s just a matter of priorities. I think that’s the underlying issue. People just don’t see how it makes like easier yet.

The Internet of Things

After looking at a variety of products throughout this blog, we can identify some common trends among the Internet of Things products.

1) Many do not fill a need

Just because it’s cool, doesn’t mean it’s necessary. For a product to be necessary, the market has to have a need for it; meaning there is a problem with no other solution. If an Internet of Things product can be that solution, can fill that need, it creates a demand. This is great, but doesn’t seem common within the current market. Most non smart appliances work just fine. The majority of us don’t have the need or desire to research, purchase, install, and learn how to use one of these new devices.

2) Still only for the upper class

Very few of these devices are affordable for the lower, working, or middle class family. The companies making these products may profit from sales…

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Watching TV Is Dangerous

Bummer, smart home fail

elkemental Force

I am not talking about humans.

But TV-sets might threaten other devices in the smart home; this was a recent puzzle submitted by a blog reader.

Two unrelated devices / services met on the user’s local computer network:

  • IP-TV provided by a large German telco.
  • a data logger for monitoring the heating system.

This user had one of the solutions in place that I mentioned in my previous post on data logging: The logger BL-NET connects to the controller UVR1611 via CAN bus, and to the computer network via ethernet, and it acts as a ‘CAN-ethernet gateway’ to allow for logging data to database server on the network, hosting the application UVR Data Logger Pro.

Data Logger BL-NET, with ethernet, CAN, and USB interfaces (My attempt at 'organic tech product photography.) Data Logger BL-NET, with ethernet, field bus, and USB interfaces (My attempt at ‘organic tech product photography’.)

The issue: Every time the user turned on the TV, BL-NET suddenly refused to work – communicating…

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Fail: Ninja Blocks

I know it’s geeky, but I’m into home automation stuff.  I loved the Jetsons, and it’s stuck with me since then.

Which leads me to a sad announcement:

Ninja Blocks is closing up shop according to nextweb.com

The company was burning money and couldn’t line up new funding after a successful Kickstarter campaign, so they’re doing their best to wind down gracefully.

For the uninitiated, Ninja Blocks was to be an open home automation hub.  As it turns out, they’re still releasing the software to the public in case anyone wants to pick up the torch and continue their initial work.  And, they’re still going to send completed Spheres out to as many people as they can.  But, I’m not sure how much consolation it is to own a home automation hub with no ongoing development or leveraging the potential of the hardware.

I especially like the idea of gesture support to do things, much easier than pulling out your phone and unlocking it:

Phones are fun, but you shouldn’t need to find it to pause the movie and turn the lights up. A bright, beautiful LED display and air gestures give you the control without needing to unlock your phone and find the right apps.

https://youtu.be/Z6bZ5S9Q-yI

After all, the promise of home automation is having really great software to make you not realize that the hardware is there, working for you.

Fortunately though, there are a lot of other great home automation hubs out there that support any protocol you choose to go with,Z-wave, Zigbee, or Insteon.  I was browsing the current offerings and found a nice composite review page that lists all of the good sources that are out there for the current home automation systems.

Personally, the Staples Connect system looks good.  Here’s a detailed review.  It has all of the protocol support you would love to have and some other like Bluetooth LE that not many devices even support yet.

What do you think?  Am I the only person out there that thinks this stuff is neat?