internet of things

Do I have to pay a monthly fee to use a NEST Thermostat?

Episode 1643

Jerry from Hatfield, Pennsylvania

Joe was thinking of getting a NEST thermostat, but he doesn't want to pay a fee. Rich says the only fee you pay is for buying the device. NEST uses WiFi to connect to the internet, where you can control it using your mobile device. But you don't have to pay a subscription fee to use it. Can you control it using your computer? Rich says you should. But the NEST doesn't have to be programmed since it uses machine learning to learn how you want it to operate. Also check with your energy company. NEST also offers a $50 rebate.

Can I Run an Open Source Home Automation Hub With Google Assistant?

 Google Voice Assistant

Episode 1612

Dan from Hallifax, NS CAN

Dan is running home automation in his home with plenty of products. He wants to run ZWave and needs to know which hub to get? Leo says it's usually best to keep within the set ecosystem. They don't like to play cross-platform.  Check out Stacy Higginbotham's Stacy on IoT podcast. She also uses WinkHub, which allows her to use ZWave. 

Can I call Google Assistant anything?

Google Assistant

Episode 1591

Richard from California

Richard wishes he could name his Google Assistant something else so it wouldn't go off when he doesn't want it to. Leo says that the Hey Google in the mobile phones can. So why can't the assistant? It may be that it just doesn't have a powerful enough processor, and as such, it couldn't read it fast enough. It's likely comparing waveforms with what it has on the device, and then, activates. Then again, it may just be marketing. 

NEST Goes all Google ... rebrands

Google Nest Hub

Episode 1591

NEST has officially become Google NEST, and will solely become a Google Product. Leo says that while Google has owned NEST for a while now, it had kept it largely autonomous, including the data it collected. No longer. No Google owns all the data it collects and will use it. Even worse, Leo says that Google is already phasing out support for other IoT devices and will solely be supported by Google Assistant.  Leo says it's annoying when a company encourages you to deep dive into a product's ecosystem and then changes it so that it can't be used with other products.

How Can I Move With my IOT Devices?

Internet of Things

Episode 1585

Doctor Mom from New York, NY

Doctor Mom is moving and she has run into an issue with all of her internet of things devices. She has to officially deactivate every device, especially those that are built in. She can't just unplug them and bring them along, or leave her smart hub lights behind.  Leo says this is a whole new problem that nobody has ever thought of before. Doctor Mom wishes she could just deactivate the hub and leave it behind for the next owner. But it doesn't work that way.

Is there a secure way to remotely lock or unlock my door?

Episode 1560

Sam from Torrance, CA

Sam is thinking of getting an Alexa or Google Assistant to control his door locks and is worried about security and privacy. Leo says that all assistants are roughly the same. They listen for a keyword. And there's no evidence that either Amazon or Google are spying on you. Schlage makes one that is dedicated and doesn't need the assistant, so it has a directly line which can be more secure. But any iOT device can get hacked. Bottom line is, that no door lock is perfect. It's a deterrent, a suggestion. But if the bad guy wants to get in, he can.