Since May, we’ve been seeing stories about the Xbox One. I’m not a console gamer so I’m not going to spend much (read that any) time talking about the games, the resolution, or the disk drives for those of you having hardware issues.
The part of this story that interests me most is how the Xbox One is vying for a central role in your home. With the built-in Kinect sensor the Xbox can recognize you when you enter the room and load your preferences.
And then there’s the voice control. Tell the Xbox to turn on the television, to go to a specific channel, to search for channels in a specific area and there you are. Want to search the web while you’re watching TV, no problem; split the screen and browse to your heart’s content. Need to call a friend to arrange a meeting, or highlight a touchdown, you can connect with Skype. Oh yeah, there’s supposed to be a lot of games available too.
This article from GeekWire goes over a number of commands and has a nice video showing the system in operation as well as a few times when the voice control wasn’t quite synching. We’re assured that with the machine learning built into the Xbox, the voice control will improve over time.
Back to home automation, some of you will have seen an earlier post when I discussed the August Smart Lock. With August, you use your smart phone to control who has access to your house. What else will you be able to control by an app on your phone? Turn on home security or climate control with the push of a button?
Or, in the Xbox scenario, what are you going to control by a spoken command? How long will it be before the Microsoft folks also bring the Windows Phone into play to control the house while you’re out?
How are you going to vote, with your voice or your phone?
The lock is a fascinating story. Installing August, you will replace the inside of your current deadbolt with the August. So, your key will always work – you just won’t need it.
You grant, or rescind, access to your home through an app on your smart phone. No more giving keys out, no more needing to be home to let in a contractor, you just grant them access on your home. With the “smart” part of the smart phone, you know when they arrive and you know when they leave.
The funding they received from Maveron allows them to finish work on their lock with release planned for Spring, 2014. This is their first entre to the home automation industry but in a Jestson’s or Star Trek frame of mind you can only imagine where it could go. Will they tie everything to the smart phone? Will they move to a true digital signature like a fingerprint? Or DNA?