Smart Home Week in Review #2 (Aug 30, 2014) with Richard Gunther

#29: Simplicam, a new Wi-Fi video camera with facial detection

Today Arcsoft introduced a new Wi-Fi camera called Simplicam (powered by Closeli). The device is looking to take on Dropcam with a differentiator of facial detection and lower pricing for its cloud recording service.

We caught up with Arcsoft's VP of Marketing and Product Caroline Tien-Spalding to hear more about Simplicam and why Arcsoft decided to go into hardware.

You can find out more about Simplicam at

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Smart Home Week In Review for August 23rd: pēq, Wink, Thread, Savant, Apple TV

The first Smart Home Week in Review edition of the Smart Home Show!

Mike breaks it down with his all-time favorite home automation journalist Julie Jacobson of, and Electronic House technology editor Grant Clauser!

Go to for full show notes with links to stories as well as subscribe options.

Check out and as well!

Topics/Show Notes:

-The new pēq smart home hub, how it compares, what Best Buy will do with it (link)  
-Wink got put under review by Amazon (but later taken off review) (link
-What's the word on the street around Thread? (link)
-Let's speculate about Apple TV becoming a smart home hub, shall we? (link)
-Is Savant going to IPO? (link)

Lots of other great stuff. Listen!

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SHS #28 - Talking smart lighting with Emberlight's Atif Noori

Guest: Atif Noori of Emberlight

Emberlight created a smart lighting adapter that turns any light socket into a smart light socket. I thought the use of an adapter was a smart idea, so I thought I'd catch up with Atif to to get the story behind Emberlight.

You can find out more about Emberlight at

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SHS #27: A conversation with Wink's Chaz Flexman

Guest: Chaz Flexman, GM of Wink

Wink came out nowhere this summer, and surprised a lot of people as the new spinout from Quirky announced its new hub and nationwide distribution partnership with Home Depot.

I caught up with Chaz Flexman, the guy running the show over at Wink, to hear how the rollout is going, what the thinking was in creating a new dedicated smart home company and where he sees things going.

You can find out more about Wink at

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SHS#26: A Talk With Lowe's Smart Home GM Kevin Meagher

Guest: Kevin Meagher, GM and VP of Smart Home at Lowe's

This week I caught up with Kevin Meagher, who heads up the smart home effort at Lowe's. Lowe's was the first national home improvement retailer to make a big move into the smart home and consumer IoT, and so I wanted to hear what Meagher and the Lowe's team had learned over the past few years.

We talk about how to sell smart home at retail, the overall market and the Lowe's looks to make the confusing mess of standards around the smart home make sense for the consumer.

You can find out more about Lowe's Iris at:

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SHS #25: No more dumb sprinklers! Talking smart irrigation with Rachio's Chris Klein

Guest:'s Chris Klein

Is your sprinkler system dumb? Maybe it's time to make it smart. Rachio builds a Wi-Fi connected sprinkler/irrigation controller and we talk to Chris Klein about the product, what this means and get a little of the story behind this Colorado based startup.

You can find out more about Rachio at

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SHS #24: Talking Z-Wave and Smart Home with Mark Walters

Guest: Mark Walters, Chairman of the Z-Wave Alliance

A whole lots been going on in the smart home world lately, including a whole bunch of new tech standards and protocols. One that's been around for a while, Z-Wave, is in millions of homes today and is the key networking tech for many smart home systems.

We catch up with Mark to talk about the state of Z-Wave, talk about some of the new standards and where he sees Z-Wave going in the future.

You can find out more about Z-Wave at

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SHS #23: Talking About Thread With Chris Boross

Guest: Chris Boross, President of the Thread Group

Last week, Nest, Samsung and five other companies announced Thread, a new wireless networking protocol aimed at the Internet of Things and the smart home.

I talked to Chris about how Thread differs from what is out there, some of the technology decisions they made and what we can expect over the next 12 months with Thread.

You can find out more about Thread at

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SHS #22: Zach Supalla Of

Guest: Zach Supalla of

This week had a few pieces of big news. First, they announced a new $4.9 million funding round, and then followed that up with the introduction of Spark OS, their attempt to create an open source operating system for the Internet of Things.

Mike catches up with Zach to learn a little more about and to find out exactly what Spark OS is and how it differs from what is out there.

You can find out about at

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SHS#21: Dropcam's Elizabeth Hamren

Guest: Elizabeth Hamren, VP of Marketing at Dropcam.

Mike talks to Elizabeth about how Dropcam became the leading Wi-Fi camera company. Elizabeth shares some data about Dropcam's users and they talk about how the company fits into the smart home and security space.

The Smart Home Show is brought to you by NextMarket Insights. You can learn more about NextMarket at

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SHS #20: Talking Google, Quirky, HomeKit and (of course) Greenwave with Nate Williams

Guest: Nate Williams of Greenwave Systems.

I was going to talk to Nate about Greenwave today, but given the huge amount of news the last few days (Google buying Dropcam, Quirky's Wink spinout), I also figured I'd tap into Nate's smart home brain to talk shop.

We talk about Nate's background in connected home, what exactly Greenwave does, and then we dive into the news of Google's acquisition of Dropcam, Quirky's Wink launch and their partnership with Home Depot, and we also talk about what Nate thinks of HomeKit.

You can find out more about Greenwave at

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Smart Home Show #19: Lew Brown of Vera/MiOS

Guest: Lew Brown, President of Vera/MiOS.

Lew's been in the smart home space for a long time, and his most recent venture is as President of Vera/MiOS.

We talk about the company, the two sides to the business - the consumer brand Vera (formerly Mi Casa Verde) and MiOS, the software platform - as well as the broader smart home market.

If you want to know more about Lew and Vera, check out

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Smart Home Show #18: Autonomic's Michael de Nigris

Guest: Michael de Nigris, CEO of Autonomic Controls.

Autonomic makes media servers and connected music systems for the custom installer channel. We talk to Michael about the space, the evolution of Autonomic from a company that developed Windows Media Center software to a full-fledged media server and connected hardware company.

You can find out about Autonomic at:

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Smart Home Show#17: Control4's Paul Williams

Guest: Paul Williams, VP of Security & Communications Products, Control4

Control4 helped change the face of home automation over the past decade, helping to bring a modern software-centric approach to the custom installer channel.

Mike catches up with Paul to talk about Control4's business, how it's evolved, and where it's going.

You can find out more about Control4 at

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SHS#15: INSTEON talks about Microsoft deal

Today INSTEON and Microsoft announced a strategic relationship where Microsoft will carry INSTEON products in the Microsoft stores and online and have co-developed a Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 app for INSTEON smart home systems.

I caught up with Isaac Sanz and Carlos Anchia from INSTEON, who pre-briefed me about the news. Here is that conversation.

You can find out more here:

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SHS#14: Smart Home Therapy Session #2

This is the second session of Smart Home Show's smart home therapy. Back on the couch is Aaron Cohen, and this time Mike has brought reinforcements in the person of Seth Johnson, who in addition to being a really nice guy, hosts his own podcast at

Seth and Mike listen to Aaron and try to solve his smart home issues, this time focusing specifically on audio and video. We talk Sonos, Control4, the home system integrator process, multiple screens/multi-room TV, etc etc.

It's a great show, so take a listen!

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