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Main article: Smart home

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Topics from 1 to 10 | in all: 168

The robot homecoming is upon us

17:45 | 14 January

Robots were everywhere at CES, as has been the case for at least a decade. But there’s a different tenor to the robots shown off at the recent annual consumer tech event: they’re designed for home use, and they’re shipping products, not just concepts intended strictly for trade show glam.

Home robots have already had a few false starts, including some high-profile flare-outs like Anki and previous CES darling Kuri (despite the backing of global technology giant Bosch) . But other robots, including autonomous vacuums, have already carved out niches for themselves within the domestic milieu. Between slow-burn but now mature categories and the sheer volume of newer products jumping in to establish new beachheads, it now seems certain we’re on a path at the end of which lie hybrid companion and functional robots that will become common household items.

Industrial to residential

One of the biggest signs that home robotics is gaining credibility as a market is the fact that companies which have found success in industrial technology are branching out. At CES, I spoke to Elephant Robotics founder and CEO Joey Song, who was at the show demonstrating MarsCat, a fully developed robotic cat designed to be a companion pet with full autonomous interactivity, similar to Sony’s Aibo.

 


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Gift Guide: 10 gadgets for a smarter Smart Home

01:00 | 19 December

Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We’re here to help! We’ll be rolling out gift guides from now through the end of December. You can find our other guides right here.

When it comes to smart home stuff, once you start, it’s hard to stop. As soon as you’ve got one light that you can turn on and off from your phone, you’ll want five.

As such, smart home gear can make great gifts for anyone who’s already started making their way down that rabbit hole.

Alas, there’s a lot of bad smart home hardware out there — mystery devices from brands no one has heard of, with apps that hardly work out of the box and will probably just silently stop working altogether the next time there’s a big iOS or Android update.

Looking to help someone make their already smart home a little smarter? Here’s some of the stuff we liked this year:

This article contains links to affiliate partners where available. When you buy through these links, TechCrunch may earn an affiliate commission.

TP-Link Kasa Plug

Smart plugs are a great way to introduce a person to the connected home. The TP-Link Kasa plugs are inexpensive but work with every popular voice assistant and smart phone. Smart plugs let you turn a basic lamp or coffee maker into a smart device without replacing the things they already own.

Price: $28 for a two-pack on Amazon

Wyze Cam Pan

The Wyze Cam Pan packs a lot of features for the price. At $35 the small 1080p camera pans, tilts, and zooms, and sports a low-light mode. Best of all, the Wyze cam works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for things like “Alexa, show me a view of the living room on my office TV”. It’s by far the best smart home camera for the price.

(If you don’t need it to tilt/pan/etc on command, there’s also a $25 version without all that.)

Price: $35 on Amazon

Echo Dot with Clock

The Echo Dot with Clock is part of the Amazon Alexa family. It’s slightly more expensive than the ubiquitous Echo Dot… but it has a built-in clock! The clock makes this thing way more useful when you’re not actually talking to it — and, fortunately, unlike the Echo Spot, there’s no built-in camera to make it extra weird to put on your bedside table. One catch: these keep going in and out of stock, so they might be a pain to get this late in the game.

Price: $35 on Amazon

Nanoleaf Canvas

The Nanoleaf Canvas is a new type of wall art. It’s an interactive, fun way to splash a wall with light and design. The panels snap together allowing the owner to create and recreate designs to fit their life and space.

Price: $180 for a starter kit of 9 tiles

Ember

The Ember is a smart coffee mug. No, really. The Ember uses an internal heater to keep the drink at an ideal temperature as set by the user via a companion app. If the coffee drinker in your life is more of an all-day coffee sipper, the Ember should bring joy to their life.

Price: $100 on Amazon

Dewplanter

Some people love plants but hate watering. That’s where the Dewplanter comes in by capturing and filter water in the air. It works as dehumidifier — but instead of dumping excess water into a bin, it waters a plant. A control panel allows the owner to set the desired water amount. Set it and forget it and get a green thumb without any skill. Low maintenance plants like evergreens, ferns, violets and aloe plants work best.

Price: $50 

Furbo

It’d be nice if we could all be home with our dogs 100% of the time — but for most people, that’s just not the case. Furbo is part web cam and part treat dispenser. Using a smartphone app, dog owners can monitor and interact with their pets, remotely tossing out treats when your pup does something good. Dog-friendly color signals and sounds are designed to get attention, while real-time updates and a camera let owners gain insight in their pet’s life from afar. Need to know when Mr. Boots starts barking so the neighbors don’t complain? Furbo can listen for barking and send you notifications accordingly.

Price: $134

iGrill

The Weber iGrill is a fantastic thermometer designed for grilling. Wireless connectivity brings the grill into the modern era, allowing the user to check the meat’s temperature from a smartphone and without opening the grill. A magnetic base sticks the control unit to the side of the grill and the probes are designed to withstand searing heat.

The iGrill Mini is around $50 and includes Bluetooth connectivity. The slightly more expensive iGrill 2 adds a LED display to the base unit and an extra probe, while the priciest model, iGrill 3, has more battery life and the extra probe but is only designed to be permanently mounted directly on the side of specific Weber grills.

Price: iGrill Mini, $45 on Amazon | iGrill 2, $65 on Amazon | iGrill 3, $80 on Amazon

Casper Glow Light

The Casper Glow Light makes going to bed and waking up a bit easier. The light is warm, and gradually dims to assist in falling asleep. Likewise, there’s an alarm function that slowly turns on to help knock the sleeper out of a deep slumber. The $129 Casper stands apart from other light alarm clocks in several ways. One, it works as a lantern, allowing the owner to carry it throughout the home and recharges using a bed-side dock. The Glow Light’s design is simple and durable; it can likely survive a fall off a table. Most importantly, the clock is managed with a smartphone app eliminating the need to use clunky, on-device controls.

Price: $129 

Sonos Move

Sonos Move 11

For the Sonos lover in your life, the Move speaker fills a massive hole that existed in Sonos’ lineup for far too long: portable speakers. The Move brings all of Sonos’ features to a speaker designed to move around the owner’s house. And it sounds great, too, with full, expansive sound able to fill any room. At $399 the Move is more expensive than competitors, but for someone who has already embraced the Sonos concept, the connectivity and ecosystem is worth the price of admission.

Price: $399 on Amazon

 


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Amazon, Apple, Google and Zigbee join forces for an open smart home standard

18:11 | 18 December

The biggest names in the connected home category are reaching across the aisle to create an open source standard. Marquee names Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are leading the charge here.

There are a number of key partners on the board, as well, including IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (nee Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy and Wulian.

The goals certainly seem solid from the outset. The Connected Home over IP project seeks to create a connectivity standard designed the increase compatibility across companies and devices. The landscape is pretty scattered at the moment, with each player digging pretty heavily into their own standard and forcing many smaller third-party players to pick sides.

There will no doubt continue to be a degree of that, but more devices can speak to one another, that would certainly appear to be a net positive for the consumer. The aim is to make it easier for hardware makers to build devices that work with Alexa, Assistant, Siri and the like.

“The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use,” according to the joint release. “By building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification.”

Security and privacy ought to be pretty high up on the list, as well. These topics are of utmost and increasing concern as we surrender more of our square footage to connected products.

 


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The iRobot Roomba s9+ and Braava m6 are the robots you should trust to clean your house well

17:29 | 19 November

This holiday season, we’re going to be looking back at some of the best tech of the past year, and providing fresh reviews in a sort of ‘greatest hits’ across a range of categories. First up: iRobot’s top-end home cleaning robots, the Roomba s9+ robot vacuum, and the Braava m6 robot mop and floor sweeper. Both of these represent the current peak of iRobot’s technology, and while that shows up in the price tag, it also shows up in performance.

iRobot Roomba S9+

The iRobot Roomba S9+ is actually two things: The Roomba S9, which is available separately, and the Clean Base that enables the vacuum to empty itself after a run, giving you many cleanings before it needs you to actually open up a bin or replace a bag. Both the vacuum and its base are WiFi-connected, and controllable via iRobot’s app, as well as Google Assistant and Alexa. Combined, it’s the most advanced autonomous home vacuum you can get, and it manages to outperform a lot of older or less sophisticated robot vacuums even in situations that have historically been hard for this kind of tech to handle.

Like the Roomba S7 before it (which is still available and still also a great vacuum, for a bit less money), the S9 uses what’s called SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), and a specific variant of that called vSLAM (the stands for ‘visual’). This technology means that as it works, it’s generating and adapting a map of your home to ensure that it can clean more effectively and efficiently.

After either a few dedicated training runs (which you can opt to send the vacuum on when it’s learning a new space) or a few more active vacuum runs, the Roomba S9 will remember your home’s layout, and provide a map that you can customize with room dividers and labels. This then turns on the vacuum’s real smart superpowers, which include being able to vacuum just specific rooms on command, as well as features like letting it easily pick up where it left off if it needs to return to its charging station mid-run. With the S9 and its large battery, the vacuum can do an entire run of my large two-bedroom condo on a single charge (the i7 I used previously needed two charges to finish up).

The S9’s vSLAM and navigation systems seem incredibly well-developed in my use: I’ve never once had the vacuum become stuck, or confused by changes in floor colouring, even going from a very light to a very dark floor (this is something that past vacuums have had difficulty with). It infallibly finds its way back to the Clean Base, and also never seems to be flummoxed by even drastic changes in lighting over the course of the day.

So it’s smart, but does it suck? Yes, it does – in the best possible way. Just like it doesn’t require stops to charge up, it also manages to clean my entire space with just one bin. There’s a lot more room in here thanks to the new design, and it handles even my dog’s hair with ease (my dog sheds a lot, and it’s very obvious light hair against dark wood floors). The new angled design on the front of the vacuum means it does a better job with getting in corners than previous fully round designs, and that shows, because corners are were clumps of hair go to gather in a dog-friendly household.

The ‘+’ in the S9+ is that Clean Base as I mentioned – think of it like the tower of lazy cleanliness. The base has a port that sucks dirt from the S9 when it’s done a run, shooting it into a bag in the top of the tower that can hold up to 30 full bins of dirt. That ends up being a lot in practice – it should last you months, depending on house size. Replacement bags cost $20 for three, which is probably what you’ll go through in a year, so it’s really a negligible cost for the convenience you’re getting.

Braava m6

The Roomba S9’s best friend, if you will, is the Braava m6. This is iRobot’s latest and greatest smart mop, which is exactly what it sounds like: Whereas Roomba vacuums, the Braava uses either single use disposable, or microfibre washable/reusable pads, as well as iRobot’s own cleaning fluid, to clean hardwood, tile, vinyl, cork and other hard surface floors once the vacuuming is done. It can also just run a dry sweep, which is useful for picking up dust and pet hair, as a finishing touch on the vacuum’s run.

iRobot has used its unique position in offering both of these types of smart devices to have them work together – if you have both the S9 and the Braava m6 added to your iRobot Home app, you’ll get an option to mop the floors right after the vacuum job is complete. It’s an amazing convenience feature, and one that works fairly well – but there are some differences in the smarts powering the Braava m6 and the Roomba s9 that lead to some occasional challenges.

The Braava m6 doesn’t seem to be quite as capable when it comes to mapping and navigating its surroundings. My condo layout is relatively simple, all one level with no drops or gaps. But the m6 has encountered some scenarios where it doesn’t seem to be able to cross a threshold or make sense of all floor types. Based on error messages, it seems like it’s identifying some surfaces as ‘cliffs’ or steep drops when transitioning back from lighter floors to darker ones.

What this means in practice is that a couple of times per run, I have to reposition the Braava manually. There are ways to solve for this, however, built into the software: Thanks to the smart mapping feature, I can just direct the Braava to focus only on the rooms with dark hardwood, or I can just adjust it when I get an alert that it’s having difficulty. It’s still massively more convenient than mopping by hand, and typically the m6 does about 90 percent of the apartment before it runs into difficult in one of these few small trouble areas.

If you’ve read online customer reviews fo the m6, you may also have seen complaints that it can leave tire marks on dark floors. I found that to be true – but with a few caveats. They definitely aren’t as pronounced as I expected based on some of the negative reviews out there, and I have very dark floors. They also only are really visible in direct sunlight, and then only faintly. They also fade pretty quickly, which means you won’t notice them most of the time if you’re mopping only once ever few vacuum runs. In the end, it’s something to be aware of, but for me it’s not a dealbreaker – far from it. The m6 still does a fantastic job overall of mopping and sweeping, and saves me a ton of labor on what is normally a pretty back-hostile manual task.

Bottom line

These iRobot home cleaning gadgets are definitely high-end, with the s9 starting at $1,099.99 ($1,399.99 with the cleaning base) and the m6 staring at $499.99. You can get a bundle with both staring at $1439.98, but even that is still a lot for cleaning appliances. This is definitely a case where the ‘you get what you pay for’ maxim proves true, however. Either rate s9+ alone, or the combo of the vacuum and mop represent a huge convenience, especially when used on a daily or similar regular schedule, vs. doing the same thing manually. The s9 also frankly does a better job than I ever could wth my own manual vacuum, since it’s much better at getting into corners, under couches, and cleaning along and under trip thanks to its spinning brush. And asking Alexa to have Roomba start a cleaning run feels like living in the future in the best possible way.

 


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Amazon Ring doorbells exposed home Wi-Fi passwords to hackers

17:43 | 7 November

Security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in Ring doorbells that exposed the password for the Wi-Fi network it was connected to.

Bitdefender said the Amazon-owned doorbell was sending its owner’s Wi-Fi password in cleartext over the internet, allowing for nearby hackers to intercept the Wi-Fi password and gain access to the network to launch larger attacks or conduct surveillance.

Amazon fixed the vulnerability in all Ring devices in September, but the vulnerability was only disclosed today.

It’s another example of smart home technology suffering from security issues. As much as smart home devices are designed to make our lives easier and homes more secure, researchers keep finding vulnerabilities that allow them to get access to the very thing they’re trying to protect.

Earlier this year, flaws in a popular smart home hub allowed researchers to break into a person’s home by triggering a smart lock to unbolt the door.

Amazon has faced intense scrutiny in recent months for Ring’s work with law enforcement. Several news outlets, including Gizmodo, have detailed the close relationship Ring has with police departments, including their Ring-related messaging.

It was reported this week that Ring had bragged on Instagram about tracking millions of trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

 


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Google makes moving music and videos between speakers and screens easier

20:04 | 8 October

Google today announced a small but nifty feature for the Google Assistant and its smart home devices that makes it easier for you to take your music and videos with you as you wander about the different rooms in your home.

‘Stream transfer’ as Google prosaically calls it, allows you to simply ask the Assistant to move your music to a different speaker, or — if you have the right speaker group set up — to all speakers and TVs in your home. All you have to say is “Hey Google, move the music to the bedroom speaker,” for example. In addition to your voice, you can also use the Google Home app or the touchscreen on your Google Nest Home Hub.

This will work with any source that can play to your Chromecast-enabled speakers and displays.

It’s all pretty straightforward — to the point where I’m surprised it took so long for Google to enable a feature like this. But maybe it just needed to have enough devices in peoples’ homes to make it worthwhile. “Now that millions of users have multiple TVs, smart speakers and smart displays (some in every room!) we wanted to make it easy for people to control their media as they moved from room to room,” Google itself explains in today’s announcement.

 


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Amazon makes it easier for smart home devices to alert customers to low supply levels

17:38 | 26 September

Alongside all the new Alexa-powered consumer devices Amazon introduced yesterday, the company also unveiled a new set of tools for the makers of smart home device skills that will allow them to tap into Alexa to re-order their supplies. Think — things like printer ink, air filters for smart thermostats, detergent for washing machines, or anything else that has replaceable parts.

This is an area Amazon has focused on before, by way of the Dash Replenishment Service, or DRS. Devices that use the service’s APIs can automatically re-order their supplies, after a customer sets up their account and selects the product they’ll want to be shipped when they run low.

The new set of tools is an extension to that earlier service, as it will allow the device makers to alert their customers they’re low on necessary supplies by way of Alexa’s skills.

This will work by way of a new set of inventory sensors, due to launch soon, in Amazon’s Smart Home Skill API. There are three different types of sensors to choose from, depending on the device’s needs.

DARTpic.png. CB452512254

The first to arrive sometime later this year is the Alexa.InventoryLevelSensor. This will address the needs of devices where the consumable product is stored internally — like the batteries in smart cameras or printer ink, for example.

Next year, two other sensors will launch. The Alexa.InventoryUsageSensor will work when the product is not stored internally, but the device can determine when a certain amount of consumable inventory is used. In this case, good examples would include a smart coffee pot, washing machine, or dishwasher.

The third, Alexa.InventoryLevelUsageSensor, can be used when the consumable product is stored internally, and the device can report on its usage rather than its current state. For example, a smart thermostat could report the fan time to let customers know it’s time to change the air filter. Or a vacuum cleaner could alert customers to replace a dust bag.

By using these APIs, Alexa can help the customers manage their household supplies, by letting them know they’re low or helping them to set up automatic re-orders in the Alexa app. If the customer chooses to set up smart re-ordering, that’s when the Dash Replenishment Service will kick in. Unlike Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” shopping feature, these smart home supply re-orders will only be placed when the consumable item is running low.

The benefit of this design is that it can help nudge smart home device users to place orders — from Amazon, the company hopes, just by having Alexa remind them. And it can also work even if the customer doesn’t want to set up automatic re-ordering for some reason — perhaps because they shop for supplies locally or want to comparison shop online.

Amazon says August, Blink, Ring, Schlage, and Yale are already working on including inventory sensors to report battery levels from their skills, and Coway is working to report the usage of air filters.

In addition to helping their customers manage their household, the new feature will also enable smart home kill developers to establish recurring revenue streams associated with their devices. When a customer signs up for Dash Replenishment, Amazon pays out a one-time referral fee. And then as the re-orders come in, developers will earn a revenue share on all the orders placed — even if ordered manually following an Alexa notification. Of course, if the device maker is selling its own manufactured products, they’ll earn even more.

Amazon says all U.S. developers will be able to use the new inventory sensors soon.

 


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Google Assistant, navigation and apps coming to GM vehicles starting in 2021

17:22 | 5 September

GM is turning to Google to provide in-vehicle voice, navigation and other apps in its Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles starting in 2021.

GM began shipping vehicles with Google Android Automotive OS in 2017, starting with the Cadillac CTS and expanding to other brands. Android Automotive OS shouldn’t be confused with Android Auto, which is a secondary interface that lies on top of an operating system. Android Automotive OS is modeled after its open-source mobile operating system that runs on Linux. But instead of running smartphones and tablets, Google modified it so it could be used in cars.

Now, GM is taking the additional step of embedding the Google services that so many people already use through their phones and smart speakers. GM was convinced by its own customer research to bring Google into its cars, Santiago Chamorro, GM’s vice president for global connected customer experience, told TechCrunch.

Google voice, navigation and apps found in the Google Play Store will be in compatible GM brands starting in 2021. Broad deployment across all GM brands is expected to occur in the years following.

Future GM infotainments, powered by Android, will have a built-in Google Assistant that drivers can use to make calls, text, play a radio station, change the climate in the car or close the garage door, if they have rhe requisite connected smart home device. The Google Assistant integration will continue to evolve over time, so that drivers in the future will be able to simply use their voice to engage with their vehicle, which could include renewing their
OnStar or Connected Services plans, checking on their tire pressure, scheduling service, according to GM and Google.

Google Maps will also be embedded in the vehicle to help drivers navigate with real-time traffic information, automatic re-routing and lane guidance. Google Assistant is tied into maps, allowing drivers to use voice to
navigate home, share their ETA or find the nearest gas station and EV charging stations.

The infotainment system will include in-vehicle apps from the Google Pay store.

GM isn’t ditching all of its own features for Google, Chamorro said, adding that the automaker will continue to offer its own infotainment features such as service recommendations, vehicle health status, in-vehicle commerce and more, with the Google applications and services complementing our offerings.

In May, Google announced that it was opening its Android  Automotive operating system up to third-party developers to bring music and other entertainment apps into vehicle infotainment systems. Media app developers are now able to create new entertainment experiences for Android Automotive OS.

Google has been pushing its way into the automotive world, first through Android Auto and then with its operating system, for several years now.

In 2017, Volvo announced plans to incorporate a version of its Android  operating system into its car infotainment systems. A year later, the company said it would embed voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google  Play Store, Google Maps and other Google services into its next-generation Sensus infotainment system.

Polestar  2, an all-electric vehicle developed by Volvo’s standalone electric performance brand, also has the Android OS. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance anf Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have also announced plans for Android Automotive OS.

“Cars are quickly transforming and opening up a lot of opportunity,” Patrick Brady, vice president of engineering at Google, said in a recent interview. “Its the beautiful thing about having a platform like this. There are services that we might not be thinking about today and that be here tomorrow.”

 


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Google falls to third place in worldwide smart speaker market

19:02 | 26 August

The global smart speaker market grew 55.4% in the second quarter to reach 26.1 million shipments, according to a new report from Canalys. Amazon continued to lead the race, accounting for 6.6 million units shipped in the quarter. Google, however, fell to the third spot as China’s Baidu surged ahead. Baidu in Q2 grew a sizable 3,700% to reach 4.5 million units, overtaking Google’s 4.3 million units shipped.

China’s market overall doubled its quarterly shipments to 12.6 million units, or more than twice the U.S.’s 6.1 million total. The latter represents a slight (2.4%) decline since the prior quarter.

Baidu’s growth in the quarter was attributed to aggressive marketing and go-to-market campaigns. It was particularly successful in terms of smart displays, which accounted for 45% of the products it shipped.

“Local network operator’s interests on the [smart display] device category soared recently. This bodes well for Baidu as it faces little competition in the smart display category, allowing the company to dominate in the operator channel,” noted Canalys Research Analyst Cynthia Chen.

Meanwhile, Google was challenged by the Nest rebranding in Q2, the analyst firm said.

The report also suggested that Google should to introduce a revamped smart speaker portfolio to rekindle consumer interest. The Google Home device hasn’t been updated since launch — still sporting the air freshener-style looks it had back in 2016. And the Google Home mini hasn’t received much more than a color change.

Instead, Google’s attention as of late has been on making it easier for device manufacturers to integrate with Google Assistant technology, in addition to its increased focus on smart displays.

Amazon, by comparison, has updated its Echo line of speakers several times while expanding Alexa to devices with screens like the Echo Spot and Show, and to those without like the Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Auto, and others — even clocks and microwaves, as sort of public experiments in voice computing.

That said, both Amazon and Google turned their attention to non-U.S. markets in Q2, the report found. 50% of Amazon’s smart speaker shipments were outside the U.S. in Q2, up from 32% in Q2 last year. And 55% of Google’s shipments were outside the U.S., up from 42% in Q2 2018.

table ifnal final

Beyond the top 3 — Amazon, Baidu and now No. 3 Google — the remaining top 5 included Alibaba and Xiaomi, with 4.1 million and 2.8 million units shipped in Q2, respectively.

The rest of the market, which would also include Apple’s HomePod, totaled 3.7 million units.

 

 

 


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Google’s Nest adds to its partnerships focused on the power grid with new Leap agreement

00:10 | 24 July

Google’s smart home device business, Nest, is increasing its ties to the utility industry by adding another partner to bring its smart thermostats into homes to reduce energy consumption and provide that unused power back to utilities in times of peak power demand.

Last year the company inked an agreement with OhmConnect and it has now signed another deal with the startup Leap. While the OhmConnect deal helped Nest manage end customer sign-ups, in its deal with Leap, sign-ups are handled through Nest’s Rush Hour Rewards program and Leap provides the exchange through which reduced power is provided to the utility.

The agreement will be another way for Leap to provide power to Pacific Gas & Electric under its existing 45 megawatt contract with the utility.

“Google Nest is an excellent partner to have as we continue our efforts to deliver much-needed flexible capacity in California – their decision to join the Leap Exchange is a wonderful example of using today’s increasingly smart and responsive appliances as assets that benefit the grid as a whole,” said Thomas Folker, CEO of Leap, in a statement.

According to Folker every consumer has about one kilowatt of load they can reduce over the course of a year. It’s about a $50 value per year and Folker’s Leap is installing the Nest home hub for free (a $120 value), Folker said.

It’s a way for consumers to get the Nest Hub (listening device, smart thermostat and internet of things control device) into their homes for free, while Leap handles selling the load onto the grid.

The company has about 2,500 Nest devices already enrolled in the program for about 2.5 megawatts of the 45 megawatts the company has promised to PG&E.

Ultimately, Leap thinks it can take this partnership on the road to other areas where the company’s operating including Texas and Southern California.

Nest has also done work directly with consumers in Southern California including projects with Southern California Edison, SDG&E’s programs and a load reduction deal for 50 megawatts with Southern California Edison.

 


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U.K. Push For Better Broadband For Startups
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There has to an email option icon to send to the clowns in MTNL ... the govt of India's service pro…
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CrunchWeek: Apple Makes Music, Oculus Aims For Mainstream, Twitter CEO Shakeup
Peter Short
Noted Google maybe grooming Twitter as a partner in Social Media but with whistle blowing coming to…
Peter Short

CrunchWeek: Apple Makes Music, Oculus Aims For Mainstream, Twitter CEO Shakeup
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Noted Google maybe grooming Twitter as a partner in Social Media but with whistle blowing coming to…
Peter Short