Archives For Smart Home
As expected, Sonos is out with app and firmware updates this week that do away with the Bridge requirement. Now smaller scale Sonos deployments in homes with solid WiFi can more simply network their speakers without physically connecting hardware to one’s router. Having said that, Sonos does suggest that folks with a Bridge already in play leave well enough alone and take advantage of the existing mesh network (despite the clutter). Not to mention folks with more than three rooms or running 3.1/5.1 theater sound still require a Bridge intermediary. And, perhaps ironically, as the Bridge is decommissioned (for some), a higher powered replacement in the Boost is announced.
Available later this year for $99, the BOOST applies over a decade of learning about the varying needs of our customers and offers enterprise-grade wireless capabilities to serve even the most challenging home WiFi environments. Look for the BOOST’s official launch in the coming months.
Speaking of new fall hardware… we’re still wondering what the Sonos Playbase is all about.
Back in March, we learned Verizon was prepping a home automation-centric router. And, based on their FCC confidentiality request, it appeared they’d been targeting a summer release. While we’re not quite there, the unannounced Greenwave G1100 has popped up in one pal’s online account as the FiOS Quantum Gateway. Based on its presentation, we assume the G1100 replaces Verizon’s existing Actiontec hardware and handles both television and Internet duties… in addition to potentially bringing Zigbee home automation, via a HAN expansion port and as indicated by the emblazoned label previously submitted to the FCC. Of course, we don’t know if this is a simple extension of Verizon’s existing home suite… or some sort of new collaboration. Given home automation’s current retail struggles, acquiring this functionality via a provider like Verizon could very well remain the preferred sales channel.
While Home Depot’s sell date may be 9/1, wireless Wink LED bulbs have started popping up on store shelves. And, along with them, is some very interesting box art… including the yet-to-be announced Wink Relay Controller. By way of Amazon and a Google cache, we learn the incoming device features:
- 4.3″ multi-touch screen allows access to all your smart products via the Wink app
- 2x smart light switches can be customized to turn lights, scenes, or other smart products on/off
- Temperature, humidity, and proximity sensors put even more data at your fingertips
- Microphone and speaker for intercom functionality (coming soon)
- Replaces most single or double light switches
After noticing that a few of my local Home Depot stores had the $15 Wink compatible GE Link LEDs in stock (60w variety), I decided to stop by during lunch to see if they were actually there. Lo and behold, I was able to find some for sale and brought them home!
The GE Links come in a simple box that gives the normal specs for an LED light bulb. A nice little graphic indicates that the bulb is compatible with the Wink Hub. On the back of the box are additional features of the bulb which include
- Remote operation
- Sync with other Wink products
- Automated lighting / Scheduled lighting
- Dimming ability
- Usage of up to 22.8 years
From a source comes the screengrab above, which is the first reference I’ve seen to a Sonos Boost. While it could be an entirely new device, I wonder if might simply be a rebrand of the Connect products (used to network existing speakers) or even the Bridge itself given its Settings positioning. The only reference we’ve been able to dig up is this 2013 trademark filing. Which in turn…
…revealed the Sonos Playbase. Like the Boost, I can only guess what it might be (or when it will hit). Could this be an all-in-one speaker TV stand like the Bose Solo or Zvox line? Or some sort of dock for the portable, rechargeable Sonos speaker I want so badly?
Meanwhile, I’ve seen a few existing Sonos models take a second trip through the FCC – suggesting upcoming inline upgrades to bring beefed up wireless capabilities.