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In: Home IoT

The issue with the Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home is that they’re not even remotely connected. At least not seamlessly. Thanks to competing communication protocols and manufacturers building closed ecosystems, you need a new app every time you add something “connected” to your house. But developer Alticast has proposed another solution. One that uses something that many already in the home: your cable box.

If I knew this was up for debate, I would have proposed it a year ago! Of course, the other option is to include it in the separate Wi-Fi router many people use. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of the cable or satellite company for software updates.

A small, separate, low-cost box is looking better and better…

MediaTek’s new CrossMount standard lets devices share their hardware and software when they’re on the same WiFi network, letting you use whichever components make sense in a given situation. You can use your phone’s mic to dictate voice commands to your TV, for example, or use your phone’s webcam for a video chat on your tablet. CrossMount is an open standard based on the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) standard you probably have in some of your existing gear, so it might be easy to implement when it’s available in the third quarter of the year.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled the second version of its single-board computer for hardware hobbyists. The Raspberry Pi 2 will have six times the processing power of the original and twice the amount of main memory, but it will still cost just $35 and come in the same credit-card size electronic board. At the heart of the device is a new system-on-a-chip, the BCM2836 from Broadcom.

Microsoft has also announced that a free version of Windows 10 will be available for Raspberry Pi devices.

U.S. homeowners would prefer a smartphone-enabled, do-it-yourself open platform with a focus on security and no monthly fees.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is what happens when there is a power or Internet outage? When the power goes out, goodbye Internet and Wi-Fi. Home Internet access problems also happen quite often, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to 1-2 days (I lost mine for 1 day just last week).