Episode 96: Okay Computer and Stacey begins with HomeKit

Talking to the Amazon Echo just got easier, after Amazon adds “Computer” as a wake word, while I test out the use of Google Home’s new partner WeMo (Honeywell also made a connection with Google Home). Ring managed to raise $109 million this week, and we put that in context with the state of the smart home market. We also put Jawbone’s lack of customer support in similar context. I also started my Apple HomeKit review starting with set up, and pledged to try the latest version of the OpenHAB open source smart home hub software.

The Ring floodlight cam is just one of a few new Ring products out in the last year.

In the guest portion of the show, we spoke with Susan Norris who is at PG&E about how connected devices are both a boon and a burden for energy conservation. In addition to fun facts about how solar power is changing the demand for electric power, she shared information on what she wants smart home device companies to think about when trying to work with utilities. It’s a fun show.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guests: Susan Norris, senior manager for energy efficiency products at PG&E
Sponsor: June

  • Differences in Google Home and the Amazon Echo
  • Stacey makes a solemn pledge
  • What can we expect on regulating the internet of things?
  • How to get your product in front of millions of normal consumers
  • Why PG&E views IoT with hope and worry

Published by

Stacey Higginbotham

I am a journalist who has covered technology for over a decade at publications such as Fortune, PCMag, Gigaom, The Deal and BusinessWeek.

4 thoughts on “Episode 96: Okay Computer and Stacey begins with HomeKit”

  1. Stacey,

    The interview with Susan was so interesting and relevant: I used to work in Energy efficiency consulting in the past, and the topic remains near and dear to heart…. everything that Susan talked about- monitoring, energy costs, integration with home automation…was great to hear. Thanks for this interview.

    Love the podcast, it is one of the few shows I look forward to every week.

    1. Thank you. Energy efficiency is one of the areas where IoT holds so much promise, but it feels like without solid infrastructure, validation and patience we’ll never get there. Susan is awesome and is really thinking hard about a lot of things that will make my hoped-for future happen.

  2. Hello Stacey! Catching up on old episodes. I too was intimidated by OpenHab despite really wanting to look at it. I even have more experience with setting up Raspberry pis, having setup a Smart Mirror, a retro pi, a plex server… but OpenHab seemed like more than I can handle. I found an alternative I think you might want to check out. It’s called Home Assistant Io. I don’t know if you allow links, it’s at home-assistant dot io (or do a google for Home Assistant IO). This was much much easier to setup. They have very good walkthroughs, vidoes, and preconfigurations. They even link into Wink Hubs (although it’s a pain to setup, thanks to Wink). Just something to consider!

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