Episode 63 - If This Then What?

In this episode we sat down to discuss a number of news stories from this week in the smart home. We start of the show with a couple of follow up points related the Apple Watch. Specifically we mention the release of the SmartThings app, which made its debut the day after we recorded last week's episode in which we commented on its conspicuous absence. Also in Apple news we discuss rumors of a completely redesigned AppleTV remote, supposedly being developed as part of the forthcoming product release expected this June. 

Following our Apple discussion we dive into the announcement that Amazon's Echo now has an IFTTT channel. Support for this rules engine is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the smart home. We make it a special point in this show to pause and ask "so now what?". While compelling use-cases do exist, many of the examples cited around this release seem well, a bit useless. Case in point the ability to post to-do items to Twitter, a feature that Josh Lowensohn of The Verge calls "a great example of something that really should not exist." As part of the discussion we encourage listeners to let us know what you're using IFTTT for. Have any thoughts? Hit us up on our feedback page and let us know.

We follow up our IFTTT discussion with what seems to be another recurring theme on the show: more Lutron news. The lighting control company behind QS, Ra2, and Casetta seems to be everywhere lately. This week Lutron is mentioned in the context of a larger story involving Comcast's Xfinity Home service. Comcast recently announced a slew of new partners that will integrated into its platform including not only Lutron but other recognizable names such as August smart locks, the SkyBell smart doorbell, Rachio's smart irrigation controller, and more. We offer our take on this story and discuss its implications to the so-called SHaaS market. 

We round out the show talking about Control4's stock hitting an all time low since it's IPO back in August of 2013. The knee-jerk reaction of many analysts is that this news speaks to the death of the custom install channel. However many, including of course Control4's CEO, would beg to differ. We take some time on this episode to offer our opinion as to what this story means, as well as what it doesn't.

Whether you're a custom integrator, smart home enthusiast, or end user, we'd love to hear your opinion on any of the stories in this week's news. Please take a moment to let us know on our feedback page or shoot us a line on Twitter

As always, thanks for listening and have a great week!