Netgear’s Arlo Smart Cams Adds Google Assistant Support

Arlo Pro 2

Netgear is rolling out a new update to their Arlo smart cam devices that brings support for Google Assistant to them.  Now you will be able to issue commands like, “Hey Google, show me the front door on the living room tv” and you will be able to see that camera’s view on your Chromecast enabled TV.  You can also view the camera feeds remotely on your phone.

If this functionality sounds familiar, it should.  Essentially it is the exact same way that Google’s own Nest products work and interact with Google Assistant.  Now consumers have a choice in products but don’t sacrifice functionality.

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August Smart Locks Expands Google Assistant Support

August Smart Lock

August, the company behind some of the best smart locks on the market, have announced a deeper, more direct integration with Google Assistant.  Now owners of the smart locks will be able to directly interact with them from Assistant.

To be clear, August has worked with Google Assistant for about a year ago and to access your locks, you had to say, “Hey Google, talk to August”.  Now you can simply say, “Hey Google, is the front door locked?” and Assistant will interact with your August lock directly to determine if it is locked or not.

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Amazon Acquires Ring for Approximately $1 Billion

Ring Doorbell Pro

In what is one of the company’s biggest acquisitions ever, Amazon has come to an agreement with Ring to buy the Santa Monica, California based company for a reported $1 Billion.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed but all indications are that Ring, much like other acquisitions Amazon has made, will at its core remain as a separate brand until the corporate umbrella.

Ring is best known for their connected cameras, doorbells and other home automation & security solutions.  The acquisition, from Amazon’s perspective, fits well into their overall home automation strategy as well as integration with their assistant, Alexa.

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Google Assistant Support Coming to Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt Lineup

Schlage Sense Smart

Home deadbolt and locking manufacture Schlage has announced that Google Assistant support will be coming to their range of Sense Smart deadbolts in the coming months.  It will allow owners of the locks to use Assistant via their phone or Google Home devices to lock or unlock the deadbolt on their homes.

The integration with the Schlage locks and Google Assistant will also allow users to check if they locked the deadbolt.  Using voice commands, they can ask Assistant if the deadbolt is locked and, if it is not, will be prompted on if they want to lock it.  This can be done both inside the house as well as outside.  The idea being, if you were in a rush to get to the office in the morning and can’t remember if you locked the front door, you will be able to ask Assistant if you did and lock it remotely.

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Android Things Developer Preview 3 Released

Android Things Logo

Google’s Internet of Things (IoT) version of Android, Android Things, has been updated to Developer Preview 3.  The platform, built on Android but in a much more stripped down version to work with smaller memory and hardware footprints, has been in Preview mode for well over a year now with the latest update bringing some much needed features for the platform.  The idea behind Things is that, if you are a developer on Android today, you can develop on Android Things and create IoT devices.  In other words, you don’t have to learn another coding language.

Perhaps the biggest new feature is support for Android Bluetooth APIs.  Developers can now write to these APIs, both the Bluetooth classic and Bluetooth LE stacks, just as they can in full Android.  Bluetooth is expected to be a critical part of the development of IoT so having this support on board is great to see for developers.

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Google Home Gains Belkin Wemo and Honeywell Smart Device Support

Google Home App

Slow but surely, Google Home is getting smarter.  Today the Home team announced that support for smart home devices from Belkin and Honeywell could now be controlled by the smart speaker-Google Assistant infused device.  Belkin Wemo and Honeywell both make a wide range of smart home accessories that are Wi-Fi enabled such as thermostats, light switches, electrical plugs and webcams.  Now you can add these to you Google Home in the Home Control section of the app and as long as everything is on the same network, you can set it up to be controlled by Google Home.

When Home was launched last year, Google was clear that more partners would be coming to the device and more integrations would be coming.  So far we’ve seen Netflix added from an app perspective as well as a huge number of bots to get information from various resources.  With the addition of Belkin and Honeywell, from a smart home perspective, you are no longer just tied to Nest.

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Google Announces Android Things, A Platform for IoT

Philips Hue IoT Lighting

With the ever increasing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the need for a proper programming platform is becoming ever important.  Google today announced Android Things, a platform that should provide a solid foundation for those who are developing IoT solutions as well as improvements to Google Weave.  Android Things, as the name implies, is based on Android so those who are already developing on the platform can quickly and easily pick up the coding skills for IoT.

Now any Android developer can quickly build a smart device using Android APIs and Google services, while staying highly secure with updates direct from Google. We incorporated the feedback from Project Brillo to include familiar tools such as Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services, and Google Cloud Platform. And in the coming months, we will provide Developer Preview updates to bring you the infrastructure for securely pushing regular OS patches, security fixes, and your own updates, as well as built-in Weave connectivity and more.

This should lower the bar for many developers to get into the IoT development game as they don’t have to learn a new code structure.  If you know Android, you inherently know Android Things.

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Google Home Devices Starting to Ship

It appears that shipments for the new Google Home device have started for readers.  Multiple readers have either emailed or commented on Google+ of receiving shipment notifications of the $129 Google Assistant-powered device.  I too have received a shipment notification with it expected to arrive at the end of the week.

Aimed at competing with the Amazon Echo, Google Home brings the power of Google Artificial Intelligence to give you detailed information about your day, upcoming events, search information, travel information and the like.   While it is for everyone in the family, it tied to a single primary Google account.  Like Google OnHub, Home is aimed at sitting out in the open and doesn’t look like a piece of techno-kit sitting on a shelf.

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