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Focalcrest debuts Mixtile Hub to bridge third-party devices to HomeKit

Internet of Things hardware developer Focalcrest Technology has announced Mixtile Hub, a new HomeKit-compatible multi-vendor bridging solution. The Mixtile Hub is designed to allow smart home devices from different brands to access the HomeKit platform, allowing compatible smart home products, surveillance devices, and probe sensors to connect through ZigBee and Z-Wave protocols. Mixtile Hub also acts as a normal smart home hub by itself to link devices from various manufacturers. In addition to remote control and voice control features, it supports auto-alarm and high-decibel warnings and battery backup to allow it to continue working even during a power failure. Pricing and availability have not been announced.

Leviton debuts HomeKit-compatible Decora In-Wall Dimmers and Switches

Leviton has announced a new lineup of HomeKit-compatible Decora Smart lighting control accessories. Two new in-wall dimmers and a new in-wall switch will provide direct HomeKit integration with no additional hubs or bridges required, with support for Apple’s iOS 10 Home app and Siri-based voice control, as well as Leviton’s own Decora Smart Home iOS app. The new products include a 1000W Universal Dimmer, 600W Universal Dimmer and a 15A Universal Rocker Switch, all of which follow Leviton’s well-known Decora brand design motif with true rocker paddles, along with embedded LEDs to display illumination level. Advanced lighting control and customization is also available via the Decora Smart Home app, including bulb type, adjustable fade rate, minimum/maximum brightness levels and more, and the new switches also support multi-way lighting scenarios — such as hallways or staircases — in which one fixture is controlled by two devices. Common color change kits and screwless wall plates are also available for the new smart switches. Leviton Decora Smart HomeKit-enabled lighting control accessories are expected to be available this April. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Carrier adds HomeKit support to Côr Thermostat

Carrier has announced the addition of HomeKit support to its Côr Thermostat, allowing users to control their home comfort system using the iOS 10 Home app or Siri voice commands. Côr will also offer support for HomeKit triggers to provide interaction with other HomeKit-compatible products. Originally announced two years ago at CES 2015, Carrier’s Côr is a smart thermostat that provides advanced home heating and cooling features like smart setback to intelligently adapt the thermostat for greater efficiency and energy savings. The HomeKit-enabled Carrier Côr Thermostat is expected to be available in early 2017. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Honeywell announces Lyric HomeKit-compatible security cameras

Honeywell has announced that it will be bringing HomeKit compatibility to its Lyric Home Security and Control System, as well as adding two new Lyric Camera models to its home security ecosystem. Lyric HomeKit compatibility will be made available to both current and future Lyric Security customers via a software update, and will make Honeywell’s Lyric system one of the first pro-installed and pro-monitored security systems to integrate with HomeKit. The Lyric Security controller will remain the hub for securely arming and disarming the Lyric system — however, users will also be able to use Siri voice controls and the iOS 10 Home app to interact with the Lyric system, and set HomeKit triggers to receive notifications on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. HomeKit compatibility for the Lyric Home Security and Control System is expected to be widely available within the first three months of 2017.

D-Link announces Omna 180 HomeKit-compatible Camera

D-Link has announced its new HomeKit-compatible Omna 180 Cam HD (DSH-C310), representing the company’s first entry in its new Omna family of HomeKit-enabled devices. The Omna 180 features a 180-degree field of view to provide monitoring for an entire room along with full HD 1080p video quality and advanced HomeKit security with end-to-end encryption and authentication between the camera and an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. HomeKit compatibility will also allow users to very quickly set up the 180 Cam HD using the Apple Home app in iOS 10.1, and will let users receive rich lock screen notifications showing a video snapshot of what’s happening whenever motion is detected. The Omna 180 Cam HD also integrates into HomeKit for setting rules and triggers so that it can activate other devices and scenes whenever motion is detected. The Omna 180 provides dynamic bitrate adjustment for optimal video streaming performance, two-way audio with a built-in microphone and speaker, infrared night vision, and local recording of video onto a microSDXC card. The home camera is expected to be available in Q1 2017; pricing has not yet been announced.

August announces Smart Lock Mortise Kit

August has announced the Smart Lock Mortise Kit, a new solution that allows its popular August Smart Lock to be installed in a wider variety of homes and apartments. The new kit is the first of its kind in North America, allowing mortise-style locks — which combine a locking bolt and door handle — into a smart lock using the same August Smart Lock designed for single-cylinder deadbolts. The new kit is in response to what August CEO Jason Johnson says was “significant interest from consumers, home builders and locksmiths” looking to use the August Smart Lock with popular mortise locks commonly found in high-rise buildings and newer homes. In addition to consumers looking to convert their existing locks to smart locks, the new mortise kit allows building managers the ability to more easily install smart locks in multi-unit buildings to control access to the building or individual units within. The August Smart Lock Mortise Kit includes a mounting plate and adapter that allows users to connect the August Smart Lock to a mortise lock. As with single-cylinder deadbolt installations, the August Smart Lock installs only on the inside of the door so that existing exterior door hardware remains the same, and users can continue to use a traditional key as well as smart lock features. The August Smart Lock Mortise Kit is available for certified locksmiths, property developers, and managers for $100 with volume discounts available while the August Smart Lock is available separately for $229.

Nuvyyo unveils Tablo LIVE ‘Antenna Anywhere’ Stick

Nuvyyo has announced Tablo LIVE, a new single-tuner Wi-Fi connected device that allows users to quickly and easily transform any over-the-air television antenna into a smart receiver for watching live TV on the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Apple TV. Building on its popular Tablo TV OTA DVR, Tablo LIVE provides a more cost-effective turnkey solution for users who just want to stream live TV without the need for DVR capabilities. Users can connect Tablo LIVE directly to their OTA antenna without having to worry about where their television is located, and stream over-the-air television via their home Wi-Fi network to the Tablo app on just about any digital media platform, including the Apple TV. Apps for Tablo LIVE will provide a user-friendly interface to browse an on-screen 24 hour grid guide with episode and series details, and launch live broadcast TV streams directly from the guide. Notably, unlike the Tablo DVR, there wil be no monthly fee for TV guide data for Tablo LIVE users. Tablo LIVE is expected to be available later this year for $99. In addition, Nuvyyo is currently developing Tablo CLOUD, a DVR storage solution that can be used with the Tablo LIVE device to provide online recording storage and DVR functionality. Tablo CLOUD will be subscription-based and provide a fixed number of hours of cloud-based DVR storage for a single monthly fee. Pricing, plans, and availability for Tablo CLOUD have not yet been announced.

 

New Griffin Home lineup includes app-enabled Connected Mirror, Coffee Maker, Toaster

Griffin Technology has unveiled Griffin Home, a new lineup of smart, app-powered appliances designed to simplify everyday routines. The new collection includes a Connected Toaster, Connected Coffee Maker, and Connected Mirror, as well as two new charging devices, the PowerBlock Beacon and PowerJolt Beacon. Griffin’s new Connected Toaster ($100) is a Bluetooth-enabled smart toaster that can be controlled by a companion iOS app to allow users to set personalized settings. The two-slot toaster features digital temperature adjustment and settings for bread type, darkness, and even gluten-free breads. The Connected Coffee Maker ($100) is a Bluetooth-enabled 12-cup drip coffee machine that allows users to adjust coffee strength and save their preferences using the companion iOS app. Griffin’s Connected Mirror ($1000) displays time, weather, and status messages from other Griffin Home products, and users can customize the smart mirror with the companion iOS app to choose which information is displayed on the mirror.

Kanex reveals GoPlay Sidekick wireless game controller for iOS devices, Apple TV

Kanex has introduced its new GoPlay Sidekick wireless controller for iOS and Apple TV. The $60 Bluetooth controller is compatible with most controller-supported games on the App Store and claims to provide up to 20 hours of gameplay with its rechargeable battery. The pocket-sized controller’s clamshell case doubles as a stand for your device while playing a game. The controller features a standard four-button layout and includes a D-pad, two analog joysticks and left and right trigger buttons. The controller is specifically designed for Apple devices, even going so far as to use a Lightning cable to charge. The GoPlay Sidekick will be available starting in February.

Incipio’s OX case adds headphone jack to iPhone 7, 7 Plus

Incipio’s new OX case for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus brings back the headphone jack, allowing users to once again listen to music while charging their device. The case features forward-facing speaker vents, while providing both a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Lightning port for charging along the bottom. The $60 OX case will be available in black, green, and purple in the first quarter of this year.

PureGear introduces HomeKit-enabled PureSwitch

PureGear’s new HomeKit-enabled PureSwitch allows users to control a single outlet from anywhere. Each PureSwitch can be used with Apple’s Home app and linked to a scene. PureSwitch can be programmed to work on a particular schedule so that devices like lamps, fans and small space heaters come on whenever you want (provided they’re switched on when they’re plugged in). Unlike some other smart outlets, PureSwitch also includes a USB port that provides power to another device at the same time. PureSwitch costs $40 and will be available for pre-order starting January 16.

ConnectSense expands HomeKit lineup with new Bluetooth Temperature & Humidity, and Water Sensors

ConnectSense is expanding its line of HomeKit-enabled products with a new Bluetooth Extender, Bluetooth Temperature & Humidity Sensor, and Bluetooth Water Sensor. The new Bluetooth Extender allows users to remotely control its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensors and devices when they’re out and about, because otherwise the sensors require a local iPhone or other device to connect to the Internet. True to their names, the Bluetooth Temperature & Humidity Sensor and Bluetooth Water Sensor monitor sensitive areas of the home for the presence of moisture or extreme temperatures. The Bluetooth Temperature & Humidity Sensor can be linked to a HomeKit-enabled thermostat to regulate temperate in areas that are far away from the thermostat’s temperature monitors, and the Bluetooth Water Sensor can detect water leaks in places like the basement or laundry room before they can cause permanent damage. Both sensors use two AAA batteries.

Netatmo unveils Smart Smoke Alarm and Indoor Security Siren

Netatmo has introduced two new smart home products to its home security line, the Smart Smoke Alarm and Indoor Security Siren. The HomeKit-compatible Smart Smoke Alarm sounds an 85 dB alarm to alert anyone inside the home when smoke is detected, and sends a message to a user’s iPhone that specifies which room contained the smoke. There’s no limit on how many Smart Smoke Alarms a user can install, and all can be accessed through Netatmo’s security app or Apple’s Home app and independently named based on their location. For false alarms, the sound can be silence manually or from the app. The device includes a 10-year battery that will last for the life of the detector. The Smart Smoke Alarm runs weekly diagnostics to make sure it’s in working order and delivers those reports to the app.

iDevices unveils Instant Switch wall-mounted controller

The newly announced Instant Switch from iDevices allows users to place a Bluetooth control switch anywhere in their home, instantly pairing with most other iDevices Smart Home products (anything but a thermostat) without a hub. Instant Switch can even be paired with a hard-wired iDevices Wall or Dimmer Switch to instantly create a three-way control configuration. The switch comes with a built-in level and adhesive backing for easy mounting anywhere in the house, but can also be installed into the wall like any two-screw switch. Two small batteries give the Instant Switch enough power to run for two years. Instant Switch comes with a single faceplate, but a double faceplate is also available for those wanting to create a dual switch by mounting two Instant Switches side by side. The Instant Switch will be out in mid-2017 and will cost $50.

CES: CableJive, Macally + Puregear

As the International CES 2016 begins to wind down, we wanted to point out that there won’t be any CES Best of Show Awards given out by iLounge this year. Our on-site staff was limited this year, and we didn’t think it was fair to our readers — or to these companies — for other members of our staff to participate in making such judgments without seeing the products in person. Visit our CES page for the full index of reports from this week, and from past Consumer Electronics Shows. We’ll be back next week with more of our typical content.


CableJive has introduced two new add-ons for its HeroDock for the iPhone — a Landscape Dock that can hold an iPad mini, and the other to dock an Apple Watch. As seen above, the final iPad mini dock will require a Lightning connector in another position for it to work properly. The new attachments are expected to arrive in Q3; pricing has not been announced.

CES: Just Mobile, Parrot, Tylt + Zagg

Just Mobile has introduced a new minimalist dock, the HoverDock, in both iPhone and Apple Watch versions. The HoverDock for iPhone ($35) is a low-profile charging stand encased in a unibody aluminum disc that allows you to pass through your Lightning cable and stand your iPhone upright, and supports most cases.


HoverDock for Apple Watch ($35) follows the same unibody aluminum design as the iPhone version, allowing you to pass through the standard Apple Watch Magnetic Charging cable and keep your Apple Watch propped up for Nightstand Mode.

CES: Edifier, Jaybird, Kanex, Phiaton, Phonesuit + Sphero

Edifier has introduced several new speakers at this year’s CES. The MA5 ($200) desktop audio system is Wi-Fi enabled and provides support for AirPlay and DLNA. It can stream music from app-based online music sources such as Pandora and Spotify. It also features a cloud-based speech recognition system for online music search and can act as a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi hotspot. MA5 should be released in Q2 2016.



The MP700 ($230) portable speaker comes in two versions, with a Bluetooth 4.0 model that features an NFC tag for quick connection with compatible devices, and an Wi-Fi model which features AirPlay and DLNA connectivity, and the same app-based online music source management and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi hotspot features as the MA5. Additionally, the MA215 ($300) is a desktop Wi-Fi speaker set for release in the third quarter of 2016.

Kwikset announces Premis HomeKit-compatible smart lock

Kwikset has expanded the smart lock lineup that began with its popular Kevo last year, debuting its first HomeKit-compatible solution, Premis. The new smart lock will allow users to lock and unlock their door using Siri voice controls and HomeKit-compatible third-party apps, and it includes other advanced security features such as SecureScreen and the latest version of Kwikset SmartKey security. Leveraging the Apple TV as a standard HomeKit hub, HomeKit support will allow users to let others in while away, confirm their door is locked after leaving, and unlock the door when coming home without fumbling for keys. HomeKit compatibility will also provide the ability to create integrated scenes with other HomeKit accessories, including triggers and notifications that can perform actions such as turning on lighting or adjusting heating, simply by unlocking the front door.

First Alert expands Onelink family with HomeKit-enabled Wi-Fi safe, environment monitor + thermostat

First Alert has announced several new HomeKit-enabled products at CES 2016, including a new Wi-Fi safe, environment monitor, and thermostat. The three new products expand the company’s OneLink lineup that first introduced HomeKit integration with its Onelink alarm Smoke and CO detector.

The Onelink by First Alert Wi-Fi Safe secures valuables and provides Wi-Fi connectivity with the Onelink Home App. Users can connect remotely via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE with their iOS devices, and can lock and unlock the safe using a passcode or Touch ID with either the company’s own app or Siri HomeKit commands. Users can also configure the app to send them status alerts and notifications, such as when the safe has been opened or tempered with, and access can be selectively granted to friends and family members. The battery-operated safe also includes a built-in accelerometer to detect attempts to move or open the safe while it’s locked, and LEDs on the front prove a status indicator to show that the safe has been successfully locked.

Braven intros new speakers at CES, including the BRV-XXL and BRV-BLADE LE

Braven has announced several new speakers at this year’s CES, expanding its active and rugged speaker lineup with new options across the board. The new Braven 105 ($60) and Braven 405 ($100) wireless speakers add to the company’s Active Series, and the new BRV-XXL looks like an absolute beast of a speaker. Braven’s parent company, Incipio, also introduced a few new interesting items at the show.


Braven’s massive new BRV-XXL ($350) is designed to bring earth-crushing HD sound to any indoor or outdoor event. It features a tank-like design, titanic surround sound, and more, along with a 14-hour playtime, and a built-in 15600 mAh battery that can charge up iPhones and iPads. It’s built from aircraft grade aluminum and ABS, meaning it can withstand accidental falls, sand, dirt, dust, and rain (it’s IPX5 waterproof rated). NFC provides one-touch connectivity for compatible devices and it includes on-board controls for adjusting bass, treble, volume, and skipping tracks, and a 3.5mm microphone input allows you to use it as a PA system as well. If that weren’t enough, it even sports a built-in bottle opener on the carrying strap.

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