Photo of a silhouette of a man walking in front of a multitude of colorful lights


Well, CES is underway and some of the fun and crazy stuff is trickling out. Smart hairbrushes and smart spoons to name a couple of curious items. Today, we’ll look at some of the good and some of the challenging products being announced this week.

  1. Kwikset goes keyless with its ‘Obsidian’ smart lock (via Engadget)
    This one in particular has me perplexed. What if the power source for the lock goes out? What if you lose connectivity??? I don’t agree with this lock, BUT I’ve yet to work with it. We will probably get one and test so you don’t have to. The Obsidian will go for $230.
  2. Netatmo takes on Nest (again) with smart smoke alarm (via Wareable)
    We’ve had Netatmo products in the lab since we opened our doors. They make a really great air quality sensor and indoor camera. It doesn’t look like this smoke detector does CO, like the nest Protect.No word on pricing yet.
  3. ZigBee’s Dotdot language is the latest bid for IoT harmony (via ITWorld)
    One of the internet of things’ greatest challenges is interoperability. Who owns the connection between the things? Zigbee is one of the several protocols out there for IoT and now, the Zigbee Alliance is trying to create a universal language for IoT. From the article:

    It defines things like how devices tell each other what they are and what they can do, which is important for making different objects around a home do things together…For example, if you install a new connected light fixture in the living room and want it to turn on whenever the front door is opened, the connected lock or sensor in the door will need to know that such a light is out there and be able to send commands to it.

    Who knows if this will be the new standard that rules, but it’s great to see the effort come forth.

  4. FTC sets $25,000 price for automatic IoT patching (via ComputerWorld)
    Very excited to see this initiative from FTC. The challenges of patching of IoT products has been something we’ve talked about internally and because of the amount and scale of devices being released, this isn’t going to be easy. Submissions are being taken between March and May. The winners will be announced in July.

That’s all for Things Thursday this week. Have questions? Want us to cover something? Let us know. You can follow us on Twitter @crtlabs or Facebook.