The device pictured at the top of this post might look like a cute little android straight out of a science fiction movie, but looks can be deceiving. The CUJO Smart Internet Security Firewall is all business, and it has just one single mission: protect your home network and smart home devices from hackers, viruses, malware and any other potential cyber threats. In a day and age where our computers store more and more sensitive data, devices like Cujo are absolutely crucial. It takes just 3 minutes to set up and it could save you months of headaches that you would have to deal with if you ever got hacked.
Smart homes, an aspect of the Internet of Things, offer the promise of improved energy efficiency and control over home security. Integrating various devices together can offer users easy programming of many devices around the home, including appliances, cameras and alarm sensors. Several systems can handle this type of task, such as Samsung SmartThings, Google Brillo/Weave, Apple HomeKit, Allseen Alljoyn and Amazon Alexa.But there are also security risks. Smart home systems can leave owners vulnerable to serious threats, such as arson, blackmail, theft and extortion. Current security research has focused on individual devices, and how they communicate with each other. For example, the MyQ garage system can be turned into a surveillance tool, alerting would-be thieves when a garage door opened and then closed, and allowing them to remotely open it again after the residents had left. The popular ZigBee communication protocol can allow attackers to join the secure home network.
Silicon valley start-up Dojo Labs has created a device aiming to make the Internet of Things in homes around the world more secure.A team of security experts and hackers are the creative minds behind the Palo Alto-based company’s pebble-shaped device, designed to protect a smart home’s connected devices against ‘malware, viruses and cyber attack’.Connecting to the home network, the Dojo acts as a security layer between all computers, mobile and Internet of Things-devices – from baby monitors to smart locks and home automation systems – and external threats, ensuring the user’s security and privacy at all times.
A smart home hub is a hardware device that connects the devices on a home automation network and controls communications among them.The devices on a home automation or smart home network might include — among many other possibilities — thermostats, light bulbs, wall outlets and switches, door locks, energy monitors, window coverings, appliances, motion sensors, leak sensors and wireless cameras. These non-computing devices usually include smart sensors to enable control and communications.
Not every home-automation device, sexed up, looks as desirable as a smart thermostat. A Wi-Fi-connected water sensor, however it’s dressed, is still a lowly water sensor serving daily sentry over a washing machine, water heater or flood-prone basement.It’s not glamorous work, but an efficient water sensor can save thousands in potential damages. D-Link’s Wi-Fi Water Sensor (Model DCH-S160, $59.99), a new addition to the mydlink smart-home lineup, is a basic monitor that, connected to a home network, sends a smartphone alert when it detects water.
WeMo is the brand that Belkin has created for a series of products that aim to aid in the automation of a home’s electrical appliances and lighting. This automation occurs through a series of switches that can communicate with your home network, into which an electrical appliance can be plugged in, allowing them to be controlled by a simple mobile app.
Using a WeMo switch, a plugged in appliance can be switched on and off, set on a timer, or it can even give a read-out of its electrical consumption and running cost (using the WeMo Insight switch). Furthermore, WeMo can allow those appliances to be controlled through the Internet, meaning you can monitor the state of your appliances remotely.
The message from the yearly CES consumer electronics extravaganza was clear: the list of gadgets that can be connected to the “internet of things” is growing rapidly. These smart-home technologies have the potential to save homeowners energy – but that may not be the primary feature attracting consumers.
Smart home gadgets include gadgets connected to the home network, such as thermostats and smart meters. By connecting with the electric grid, smart meters act upon real-time pricing to change home energy usage patterns, such as adjusting the air conditioner during times of high prices. By knowing and managing when electricity is being consumed, grid operators can maintain stability and lower energy usage during peak periods.
THE technology to connect everything in the home to the internet is here: you can control light bulbs, door locks, thermostats, coffee machines, power plugs, speakers and cameras as part of your home network.
It is dubbed “the internet of things”, a fully internet-connected home and it was on display at CES 2015 — the world’s biggest consumer electronics show held last week in Las Vegas.
The future is now: your coffee machine from UK firm Smarter starts brewing as soon as a sensor registers you walking through the front door, your Big Ass Wi-Fi ceiling fan automatically switches to night mode when it senses you are asleep (thanks to the Jawbone Up health tracker on your wrist), while the next morning your Kevo front door deadlock tells your Google Nest thermostat that you have left home and please switch off the airconditioner.
U-Snap Alliance members promote smart grid for home nets by aiming to roll out the first products in Q3 based on its specifications for carrying smart grid data over home networks. It is one of a handful of new efforts seeking ways to unite today’s fragmented wired and wireless technologies for emerging energy applications.
So-called demand response applications are expected to be big drivers of the move to a smart electric grid. That’s because they will appeal to consumer’s wallets, letting them monitor and adjust their energy use during peak and off-peak hours to lower their utility bills.