Episode 159: The Nest doorbell is a great video doorbell

Microsoft plans to spend $5 billion on the internet of things, and it’s more than the usual shell game that big firms play with these sorts of announcements. We discuss its plans on this week’s podcast. We also talk about Qualcomm’s new vision chips for edge devices, what it means that apps are disappearing from the Apple Watch and Kevin’s thoughts on getting Alexa or Google to talk to you. Comcast shared its vision and new features for Stringify, August is working with SimpliSafe, there’s an old UPnP exploit hitting the IoT and I dumped a gadget for poor performance. I review the Nest doorbell before we answer a question on Z-wave and ZigBee for a listener.

My Nest Hello fresh out of the box.

This week’s guest is Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories, who came on the show as part of an IEEE event at SXSW last month. We talk about where hearables are today, what’s changing and some of the cool things we can look forward to. I suggest a mute button for people you dislike, which Crum admits is possible. We also dig into the things that kill your hearing, and how we perceive sound. You may never take an aspirin again. Listen and learn, y’all.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories
Sponsors: Yonomi and Forgerock

  • Why every chip company has a chip for computer vision at the edge
  • This is a great podcast on Amazon Alexa
  • Goodbye Ikea lights and hello Nest video doorbell
  • Every ear is different and so is its perception of sound
  • You can jam a lot of sensors into a hearable

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.

6 thoughts on “Episode 159: The Nest doorbell is a great video doorbell”

  1. Hi Stacy and Kevin, love the podcast. I have a little IoT story. Not related to this episode.
    In January, I had my Christmas lights and banister rope lights hooked up to smart plugs. We had recently shut off our LAN line.
    My mom was watching our 2 daughters. She has a cell phone but has it turn completely off unless she needs it.
    On our family friend passed away and my dad couldn’t get a hold of her so he called me. So I hopped into my Wink hub app and started flashing the rope light on and off for a couple minutes. My mom finally called me. “I don’t know What’s going on but your lights are going crazy!”
    Kind of a crazy way to use IoT but it worked.

  2. Super awesome episode Stacey and Kevin.
    So, I know now why sometimes I get a Twizzler package that is all clumped up.
    Microsoft spending $1Bil in IoT makes a lot of sense. They ported a version of Windows 10 to the Raspberry Pi which was a big step. However, it does look like Windows IoT is just a rename and focus of Windows Embedded to make it look more IoT friendly. They have run their Windows CE operating system on many non PC systems such as Test and Measurement for many years so it is certainly nothing new for them. Actually, the evolution of their Windows IoT seems to go:
    Windows CE->Windows Embedded CE->Windows Embedded Compact->Windows IoT. Whatever sells I guess.

    With regards to Hearables, this is great for those who have perhaps lost some level of their hearing; I have a father in law that could use something like this. I’m curious what sort of technology is be developed for those who have no hearing? Touch and light type sensors would certainly be areas that could help these folks.

    Oh, regarding your IKEA TRÅDFRI lights, OpenHAB has a binding to control many of the IKEA IoT products.
    Then again, it does require having an OpenHAB environment setup though.



  3. I love the idea of doing automations people have happening.

    I have a bunch of interesting ones myself I could write a post on the many ways to reuse a door sensor for multiple other purposes.

    I have three automations which are my favourite

    1) Motion sensor in the bedroom with the bottom of the sensor covered so from 10pm to 7am if motion is detected turn the hall, bathroom and toilet light on at 20% for 10 minutes. The tape on the bottom of the sensor makes sure the only motion picked up is if someone gets up out of bed no motion in the bed is seen it works great.

    2) Modified door sensor to take pressure mat as input and when I or my wife sit on the couch the TV and accessories will turn on automatically and display the chromecast screensaver which is great as if we are sitting down to read it’s nice to see news highlights otherwise we cast a show.

    3) Movie viewing automations I have are I have a bunch of DVD’s on the shelf mostly me and the wifes favourite movies and a tap on the shelf starts the movie playing and turns off the lights in that area of the room. If the movie is paused the lights come back on to allow you to go tot he kitchen for a snack etc then turn off when playing. This is done through NFC and XBMC/Kodi

    I have many more but these are the most interesting I think 🙂

    I Love the show and always listen on my way to and from work it’s always great hearing about the HA world in general.

  4. Hey Stacy/Matt,
    Love the show. I’ve been listening faithfully for months. I have both a question and suggestion for you.

    First the question. I recently purchased a nest hello doorbell (so far so good) to replace my August doorbell (total crap) and I’d like to purchase a subscription for the service. Do you have a promotional code I could use? I’d love to give you credit since your review was a big part of my decision to buy.

    Now the suggestion. Frequently I hear about products on your show that sound interesting, but aren’t currently on my shopping list. Eventually, when the time is right, I’ll go back and try to find episodes with your thoughts/comments. It would be so great if there was a section on your site with the cliffs notes review of a product for quick reference and comparison with similar products. For example, I’m considering buying my first set of smart lights. Is the Phillips hue the obvious choice or was there something else you recommended that should be considered. A place on your site that gets the Stacy seal of approval would be fantastic.

    Thanks for everything and keep up the great work.

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