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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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SHS #12: Ayla Networks CEO Dave Friedman

Guest: Dave Friedman, CEO of Ayla Networks

Ayla Networks is a company that helps companies and service providers build large Internet of Things products with its IoT cloud platform. The company recently raised $14.5 million, so Dave and I talk about what they plan to do with that money, where they fit in the smart home and IoT space, and much more.

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SHS #11: Smart Home Therapy Session #1

This is the first installment in a semi-regular series called Smart Home Therapy.

In smart home therapy, Mike talks to a guest about his smart home needs, what he wants to achieve, and hopefully over time figure out some solutions.

The first patient is Aaron Cohen. Aaron gets credit for the idea for the show, as he wanted to talk about what he should do to get his home "smart" when he moves into it in the coming months.

We'll have another episode (any maybe even more than one) with Aaron, but in this episode we talk about what he wants and decide on at least one vendor.

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SHS #10: Liat Ben-Zur of the AllSeen Alliance

Guest: Liat Ben-Zur

Liat Ben-Zur is the Chairman, Board of Directors, for the AllSeen Alliance. The AllSeen Alliance is a consortium that is developing an open source software framework for the Internet of Things.

We talk to Liat about how AllSeen differs from other organizations building standards and specifications, what it means for a device which utilizes the AllSeen framework, how far along the consortium and its members are in getting its work into the market and much more.

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Smart Home Show #9: Korner, the $99 Home Security System

Guest: Steve Hollis of Korner.

Steve Hollis wants to change the world a little by offering a $99 home security system. We caught up with the Amazon employee/start-up CEO who is currently raising money for his patent pending system on Indiegogo.

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