In an effort to help educate our members on what’s happening in the smart home/Internet of things space, we bring you a new series called ‘Things Thursday’. This will be like our Five for Wednesday on Bits & Bytes, but focused on what’s happening in the Internet of Things and smart home space. We’ll show you products that are on the market, talk about issues around this space and offer educational materials. So, without any further ado, let’s get started:


  1. A Beginner’s Guide to the Internet of Things (via SmartThings)
    For our inaugural post, I thought it would be good to give a background piece about what the internet of things are and how they will impact your life. This is a few years old and we did link to it on our CRT Bits & Bytes blog a while ago, but I think it does a great job of getting the information about the internet of things in a fun and engaging way.
  2. See How Clean (Or Toxic) Your Home’s Air Is With Dyson’s New App-Connected Purifier (via FastCompany)
    I’m very very interested in this product. Dyson has built some great products over the years, including air purifiers. What I like about this one is as it filters the air, it also monitors air quality.

    From the article:

    Inside the app, users can keep track of in-home pollution remotely and see how air quality changes over time with their own activities, like cooking or painting. In this way, the app does more than just educate; it can encourage healthier behavior.

    As the article states, the EPA says air quality in the home is 5x worse than air quality outdoors! This could be a step to improving that. I’m really curious to see the exact metrics it’s monitoring.

  3. August’s Doorbell Cam and Smart Keypad are Just What the ‘Smart Lock’ Needed (via The Verge)
    August Home is a graduate of our NAR REach Accelerator and is now expanding its product line from just their smart lock. The Verge likes the two new offerings from them (a doorbell cam and keypad for their smart lock), but there are some things they’re looking for in future updates. For example, the Doorbell Cam doesn’t detect motion yet, but will with software updates. Also, there’s no night vision option. It’s great to see August expanding into other avenues of home access. Their version 2 of their lock is expected to be ready at the end of April.

  4. Report: Google Is Secretly Working on an Amazon Echo Competitor (via Gizmodo)
    This could make things interesting. If you’re not familiar with the Amazon Echo, it is an $180 device from Amazon that allows you to do things like control your smart devices or do simple queries with your voice. You can play music and check the weather, do conversions, etc. just by talking to it.

    So, the fact that Google might enter this market is huge. Voice will be the interface of the future for the home and the work that Google’s done over the past few years with their Google Now service only puts them strongly in contention with Amazon. The article makes it clear that there is no name for this project or that the product may never come to market, but I am pretty sure it will, in some iteration. Amazon has a strong lead, and with the release of the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, they seem determined to keep it.


  1. Don’t forget to download the Smart Home Checklist we did with the Online Trust Alliance. It’s perfect at closing time or listing time when trying to remember what needs to happen in a connected smart home. Ex. – Did you reset the Nest Thermostat?
  2. And speaking of thermostats…We are releasing product guides for smart devices. Here is our first one covering smart thermostats. You can take this link and put it in your newsletters to your clients or send the link in an email.

That’s it for this week. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What would you like us to cover in Things Thursday? Are there products you’d like to hear more about? Issues/concerns?

Thanks! Stay smart.