Amazon Key seems like a crazy idea: You provide select permission to delivery people and service workers to enter your home while you're away. We found, however, that the security camera part of that system--the Amazon Cloud Cam--is really good even if you don't want to let people enter your place. Today, you can get the security camera at its first deal price. Amazon is selling two of the Cloud Cam devices for $200, or a $40 discount on the usual $240 list price. Anyone who wants to go crazy can even get three of the devices for $290, or about $70 off.
Keeping multiple voice assistants in your home can lead to the occasional misfire, causing a far-flung device in the bedroom to react while you're attempting to extract the weather forecast from the one in your living room. Amazon addressed this quirk with its own Echo devices in 2016 and now it's bringing that improved listening functionality to all third-party devices. Every Alexa-enabled gadget should finally be on the same page when you ask a question in your assistant-laden home of the future. Amazon's discretionary listening feature, Echo Spatial Perception (ESP), enables Echo devices to determine which device is closest to the user when multiple speakers hear the same voice command. Amazon has made the feature available to third-party devices in the past, although those participating devices required additional software, making it a toss-up whether that non-Echo device you just bought supported the feature.
Sling TV's cloud DVR service is now available for iPhone and iPad. The streaming service's DVR "First Look" option costs an additional $5 per month and gives you 50 hours of DVR storage. The iOS devices now join the growing list of DVR-supported systems, which includes AirTV players, Amazon Fire TVs and tablets, Android TVs and mobile devices, Apple TVs, Roku streaming players and TVs, Xbox consoles and Windows 10 devices. Sling TV began beta testing its cloud DVR option last year and started rolling it out to users in April. This month, the feature got an upgrade with an added option to protect recorded shows from being deleted.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about unlocking business value that is locked up in data generated by "things". Consider a smart industrial pump that is used in an oil refinery. The pump generates useful data regarding speed, volume of fluid passing through as well as vibration and noise level of the pump itself. If this data is collected from the pump and sent to an application for analysis, it will be possible to gain insight into data patterns that show the behavior of the pump. Certain anomalies, for example, a high degree of vibration and noise with normal fluid speed and volume, may suggest that the pump needs to be serviced. If not serviced quickly, it will lead to a disruptive failure. A single averted disruption can save millions of dollars. Because of IoT related technologies such as networking, cloud technology, data storage and analytics, it is now possible to collect and analyze device data at a large scale and generate significant business value.