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Audio Analytic partners with Angee to bring Artificial Audio Intelligence to the world’s first autonomous Home Security system

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Meet Angee - the world's first fully autonomous Home Security system

Meet Angee – the world’s first fully autonomous Home Security system

** Audio Analytic is leading provider of AI-based sound recognition software to Smart Home OEMs and chip companies **

** Announces partnership with Angee – the automated cloud-based Home Security system slated to launch in early 2017  ** 

5 January 2017, Cambridge, UK – Audio Analytic, the Artificial Intelligence company addressing sound recognition for the Smart Home, today announced a partnership with Angee – the world’s first truly autonomous Home Security system.

Since its highly successful campaign on Kickstarter, Angee has been developing an automated, cloud-based Home Security solution which will be introduced to the US market in early 2017. The innovative system is the first of its kind, providing reliable, automated home security without requiring constant human attention and operation.

Audio Analytic has pioneered the development and commercialisation of intelligent sound recognition using advanced machine learning. Audio Analytic’s ai3™ software can be embedded in Smart Home devices, enabling them to recognise a range of sounds within the home and take automated action. All sound recognition is conducted on device with no requirement to stream audio to the cloud, ensuring user privacy, security and peace of mind.

Thanks to this partnership, Angee will have ai3™ inside, enabling the system to recognise and respond to a range of significant noises in the Smart Home including the sounds of a window breaking and a smoke alarm at the time of the release.  Software updates will enable new ai3™ sound profiles and features to be continually added to Angee after its release.

Angee CEO Tomas Turek said “We’re thrilled to announce this partnership with Audio Analytic. Their Artificial Audio Intelligence will enhance Angee’s already robust monitoring and threat detection capabilities by allowing the system to understand the context of audio events and take the appropriate automated action to protect our customers and their homes.”

Audio Analytic CEO and founder, Chris Mitchell said, “Angee did exceptionally well on Kickstarter because it has a unique customer proposition that resonates with end-users. People are looking for devices that open up compelling new ways to live smarter, but without the need for their constant observation and interaction.  By incorporating our ai3™ platform, Angee is among the first companies to live up to the true promise of the Smart Home – a home where devices understand their environment and take appropriate automated action without the need for continuous human interaction and control.”

Audio Analytic is an official exhibitor at CES 2017 (5-8 January, Las Vegas) and will be demonstrating a range of new ai3™ sound profiles and features to customers and partners at the show. An early demo model of Angee is also available to view. To request a meeting, please email CES-meetings@audioanalytic.com.

About Angee http://www.meetangee.com/

Angee is developing an Automated, cloud-based Home Security solution, which was successfully backed on Kickerstarter. While the rest of the Home Security industry relies on human labor to provide reliable protection, Angee’s Automated Monitoring provides the same reliable protection without requiring constant attention.  Angee can be controlled both by your voice and your mobile devices, and the combination of smart hardware, software, and services deliver a complete, autonomous, and easy-to-use solution for home security and beyond. The company has offices in Palo Alto, California with R&D in Prague, Czech Republic and will introduce its solution to the US market in early 2017.  More about Angee can be found at www.meetangee.com

 

 

Audio Analytic showcases Artificial Audio Intelligence for Smart Home devices at CES 2017

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** Company is leading provider of AI-based sound recognition software to Smart Home OEMs and chip companies **

** Unveils range of new embedded sound recognition capabilities for Smart Home devices at CES 2107 ** 

4 January 2017, Cambridge, UK – Audio Analytic, the Artificial Intelligence company addressing sound recognition for the Smart Home, will be demonstrating a range of new features for its ai3™ platform at CES 2017 (5 – 8 Jan). This news follows the company’s announcement yesterday of a $5.5 million Series A round.

Every sound tells a story – especially in the home. Voice recognition has become a standard user-interface in the Smart Home, opening up new product opportunities and use cases. Sound recognition is a different technical challenge from voice recognition and requires a different approach, but like voice recognition, sound recognition creates compelling new use-cases for smarter living.

Founded in 2008, Audio Analytic has pioneered the development and commercialisation of intelligent sound recognition using advanced machine learning. Audio Analytic’s ai3™ software can be embedded in even low-power Smart Home devices, enabling them to recognise a range of sounds within the home and take automated action. All sound recognition is conducted on device with no requirement to stream audio to the cloud, ensuring user privacy, security and peace of mind.

With ai3™ inside, a Smart Home device can recognise the sound of a window breaking or a smoke alarm while a home’s occupants are out, alerting the owners and emergency services and triggering other devices within the home to take appropriate action. A smart device in a nursery can recognise the sound of a baby crying and play a lullaby, soothing baby back to sleep so parents and baby get a restful night.

At CES, Audio Analytic will for the first time demonstrate a new sound profile being added to the ai3™ platform. The software can now also recognise the sound of a dog barking so absent dog owners can monitor their pet’s wellbeing – and their home’s security – remotely.

The company will also showcase Custom Sound Recognition –  a new feature which enables end-users to program devices to recognise and alert them to specific sounds within the home such as individual doorbells and whitegoods alerts.

In addition, the ai3™ platform is now capable of Audio Anomaly Detection – understanding the normative pattern of sounds within an individual home and sending an alert whenever deviations occur, such as aggressive shouting or slamming doors. This has many potential applications in security and also elderly care.

The ai3™ platform has been adopted by numerous original equipment manufacturers and chip companies, with a range of consumer devices containing ai3TM software already in the market and more slated to launch in 2017. “In the last two years, Smart Home device ownership has more than doubled,” said Stuart Sikes, President of research firm Parks Associates. “We estimate companies will sell almost 55 million smart home devices in 2020.”

Dr. Chris Mitchell, Audio Analytic’s Founder and CEO, said “Sound recognition is the missing link in the AI landscape – enabling devices within the home to automatically understand and respond to contextual events without requiring human instruction or operation. We’re delighted to demonstrate our unique Artificial Audio Intelligence software at CES 2017, working with our partners to develop smarter devices that better protect people and property.”

Audio Analytic is an official exhibitor at CES 2017 (5-8 January, Las Vegas) and will be demonstrating a range of new ai3™ sound profiles and features to customers and partners at the show.  To request a demo, please email CES-meetings@audioanalytic.com.

A demonstration of sound recognition for the Smart Home using Audio Analytic’s ai3™ platform will also be available at the ARM booth (LVCC, South Hall 2 – MP25250) on invitation.

An ARM whitepaper addressing the opportunities for sound recognition on low-power Smart Home devices is available for download at: https://www.community.arm.com/processors/b/documents/posts/machine-learning-in-low-power-devices-brings-sound-recognition-to-the-smart-home-market

AI company Audio Analytic closes $5.5m Series A round to meet Smart Home demand

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** Company is leading provider of Artificial Audio Intelligence software to Smart Home OEMs and chip companies **

** Funding to enable company to meet rapidly growing Smart Home OEM demand and further develop sound recognition platform ** 

3 January 2017, Cambridge, UK Audio Analytic, the Artificial Intelligence company addressing sound recognition, today announced the closing of a $5.5m Series A round. Cambridge Innovation Capital led the round, with IQ Capital, Rockspring, Cambridge Angels and Martlet participating.

The funding will enable the company to scale and meet growing Smart Home OEM demand for its Artificial Audio Intelligence software, ai3™. “In the last two years, Smart Home device ownership has more than doubled,” said Stuart Sikes, President of research firm Parks Associates. “We estimate companies will sell almost 55 million smart home devices in 2020.”

Founded in 2008, Audio Analytic has pioneered the development and commercialisation of intelligent sound recognition using advanced machine learning. Its innovative ai3™ software enables devices to recognise significant sounds and take automated action.

Audio Analytic works with Smart Home original equipment manufacturers and chip companies, with a range of consumer devices containing ai3™ software already in the market and more slated to launch in 2017.

This Series A funding follows previous rounds in 2014 and 2015, bringing the company’s total money raised to $8 million. The new round will enable the company to scale to meet increasing customer demand – doubling its team to 50 employees within the next 12 months –  and introduce new sound profiles and features to the growing ai3™ platform.

Victor Christou, CEO at Cambridge Innovation Capital, said “Audio Analytic’s market traction over the past 18 months has been highly impressive in the rapidly growing smart home market. We’re delighted to lead this series A round and continue our support of one of the world’s most exciting AI companies.”

Dr. Chris Mitchell, Audio Analytic’s Founder and CEO, said “At Audio Analytic, we believe every sound tells a story, especially in the home. This $5.5m Series A round will enable us to meet growing customer demand for our Artificial Audio Intelligence and continue to develop the recognition of new sounds with the ai3™ platform.

“2017 promises to be the year of the Smart Home and AI – we are excited to be working with our customers right at the intersection of these two seismic industries.”

Audio Analytic is an official exhibitor at CES 2017 (5-8 January, Las Vegas) and will be demonstrating a range of new ai3™ sound profiles and features to customers and partners at the show. To request a meeting, email CES-meetings@audioanalytic.com.

A demonstration of sound recognition for the Smart Home using Audio Analytic’s ai3™ platform will also be available at the ARM booth (LVCC, South Hall 2 – MP25250) on invitation. An ARM whitepaper addressing the opportunities for sound recognition on low-power Smart Home devices is available for download at: https://www.community.arm.com/processors/b/documents/posts/machine-learning-in-low-power-devices-brings-sound-recognition-to-the-smart-home-market

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Editors Notes

Audio Analytic http://www.audioanalytic.com/

Audio Analytic is the world’s leading provider of sound recognition software. Our ai3™ software enables device manufacturers, chip companies and service providers to enable products with Artificial Audio Intelligence, recognizing and automatically responding to sounds such as smoke and CO alarms, breaking window glass – even a baby’s cry. Recognizing sound within the Smart Home allows manufacturers and service providers to open up a range of compelling new applications for smarter living.

Audio Analytic Ltd. is a privately held company, founded in 2008 and headquartered in Cambridge, UK with offices in San Jose, CA. For further information, contact Chief Marketing Officer tamara.sword@audioanalytic.com / +44 1223 909305.

Cambridge Investment Capital http://www.cicplc.co.uk/

Cambridge Innovation Capital plc (“CIC”) combines a unique relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links to invest in rapidly growing intellectual property rich companies in the Cambridge Cluster.

CIC has an unrivalled appreciation for the application of world-leading scientific developments given its position within the Cambridge Cluster. The company is committed to building leading businesses from brilliant technologies – with the support of some of the most influential figures in the sector and a patient capital structure.

For further information, including more details of CIC portfolio companies, see www.cicplc.co.uk

 

Google shows Home is where the UI is

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Earlier this month at the #MadebyGoogle event, Google spectacularly made their entry to the hardware game across a swath of consumer electronics, writes Audio Analytic CEO, Chris Mitchell.

Google Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai fronted a team that in one fell swoop launched the brand new smartphone Pixel, a low cost VR headset named Dreamcatcher, a Google WiFi router and last but not least Google Home – an aggressively-priced competitor to Amazon’s successful Smart Home assistant Echo. All that was missing from Google’s launch was a smart kitchen sink.

Sundar pitched the artificial intelligence and knowledge graph behind their voice-activated assistant as the culmination of 18 years of the company’s history. For those wondering what exactly a ‘knowledge graph’ is when it’s at home, it’s the semantic-search information that Google gathers from users across its wider range of platforms and services. And with Google Home now ‘living’ among us, we can expect Google to further improve not only their knowledge graph (and therefore their search experience) but also to train their artificial intelligence – giving us an ever more ‘human’ assistant.

The benefits of an improved assistant won’t be limited to the home – key to Google’s proposition is that this same assistant will mediate our interactions with Google across web, mobile, home and soon (if Google’s self-driving cars are any indication) our cars too.

And yet, there was a sense that the launch of Home was perhaps a little rushed, driven perhaps by the commercial need to release a competitor to Amazon’s increasingly popular Echo. Amazon have stolen a surprisingly rapid lead in the march to conquer the Smart Home market and now Google are, for once perhaps, playing catch up. In Google’s favour is the ability to leverage an enormous developer community and create connected experiences between online, mobile, home and soon, our cars.

In addition to Google’s bold vision for their knowledge graph, a few features clearly differentiate from Amazon’s Echo. One notable difference was the form-factor – smaller and squatter than the Echo – and with a customisable base to suit different home decors. Consumers tend to respond to increasing aesthetic choice – especially when purchasing devices for the home. We can no doubt look forward to a range of different smart assistant design approaches as more companies enter the home assistant market.

Looks aside, perhaps the greatest point of difference for the consumer will be the price point. Google are launching Home at the very aggressive price of $129, which is $50 below Amazon Echo’s tag of $179. Google’s entry into the Smart Home may herald the beginning of a price war, waged between tech giants who can afford to sell devices near to or even below their bill of materials.

The value for these companies is of course not to be measured in device sales, but in the services these devices can provide on top and (certainly in Google’s case) in the additional consumer data they can provide.

But capturing our homes means capturing our hearts. And here, it feels that Google maybe missing a trick. While Amazon Echo is beguilingly activated by calling out “Alexa” – the very human name of their smart assistant – Google Home requires us to call out a more android “OK, Google.” Acceptable perhaps when operating our phones hands-free in the car, but surely a phrase that becomes a little tiresome when used thirty times a day around the home.

The entrance of Google to the Smart Assistant space will no doubt add rocket fuel to the already fast-ascending Smart Home market, creating competition between two of the world’s most innovative and valuable companies as they jostle for a place in our homes.

The world’s largest consumer tech players simply can’t afford not to win a share of the Smart Home ecosystem. Any company that successfully dominates the Smart Home user interface will have a tremendous advantage in other assistant-driven markets as they emerge and coalesce – such as self-driving cars, telemedicine and future mobile.

Those companies that fail to get their foot in the Smart Home door will no doubt lament their failure to move fast enough into the space on future earnings calls – in much the same way as Microsoft, Yahoo and HP all publicly regret not embracing mobile early enough.

It’s unsurprising then that most of the consumer tech giants have Smart Home assistants in rapid development. Samsung are queuing up a Smart Assistant of their own and Apple, as ever fashionably late to the party, is rumoured to be doing the same.

And with every Home Assistant purchased, homeowners will seek out new smart companion devices to add to their home assistant’s ecosystem, driving more innovation in the Smart Home space and ever smarter ways to live.

—-

This post originally appeared in Business Weekly.

Bloomberg TV features Audio Analytic

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Bloomberg TV, an international channel that reaches over 300 million households worldwide, recently visited our offices in Cambridge as part of their mission to discover “the best technology England has to offer”.

In the programme, CEO Chris Mitchell and daughter Daisy demonstrate our technology’s ability to recognise the sound of a baby’s cry to writer, presenter and legendary ‘Valley Hack’ Ashlee Vance.

The programme recognises Audio Analytic as one of the UK’s leading Artificial Intelligence, and features us alongside ARM, Microsoft, Raspberry Pi and Dyson. Watch our segment by clicking here – or check out the entire (informative and surprisingly humorous) programme below.

 

The Sound of the Smart Home revolution

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Chris Mitchell, Audio Analytic‘s CEO, shares his thoughts on Amazon’s European launch of Echo. This post originally appeared in Business Weekly.

Another day, another world-changing technology developed in Cambridge spreads its wings. Or in this case, spreads its wings further. Yesterday, Amazon announced the roll out of its ground breaking Smart Home hub, Echo, beyond the US to the UK and Germany.

The enabling speech recognition and Artificial Intelligence technology behind Echo, known more personably as ‘Alexa’, was largely pioneered and developed in Cambridge by Evi – a Cambridge company acquired by Amazon in 2012 for $26m.

Amazon Echo’s European launch recognises that consumer interest in and awareness of the Smart Home is growing. While the US market remains the primary engine behind the Smart Home market, growth in Europe is steadily increasing and the availability of Amazon’s flagship Smart Home hub, Echo, is bound to further invigorate adoption of Smart Home devices in Europe.

Echo, available for pre-order at £149.99, gives Amazon a reasonably-priced foothold in the home. The companion Echo Dot, a smart speaker with added Alexa, is priced even more affordably at £49.99. The price points for both Echo and Echo Dot are within the budget of most middle-income families – and for some families position it at the level of an impulse buy.

The Echo and Echo Dot are always listening for the trigger word “Alexa”. Once activated, Alexa is capable of recognising your speech and – unlike Siri which will often simply produce web links or open apps in response to queries – Alexa is a true assistant. On command, Alexa can book a takeaway from Just Eat, set the Hive thermostat of your home, play your favourite tracks from Spotify and, of course, order deliveries from Amazon. Once Echo is established in the home, the temptation for any owner is to buy and connect ever more smart devices, broadening the Smart Home experience.

We’ve seen the recent roll out of Amazon Dash – small stick-on buttons that bring the Internet of Things and automatic product ordering to conventional white goods in the home. One of the tantalizing aspects of Echo’s success is the question of what additional technologies Amazon, with its foothold established in the home, will now be able to merge into the Smart Home experience.

But what additional value can Echo deliver when you aren’t home? Without the magic word “Alexa” and the home owners’ verbal instructions, it’s largely useless. Surely the next stage for Smart Home hubs will be to make their AI assistants capable of complex decision making while you – the home owner – are asleep or not at home.

Let’s imagine you are at work. In the morning rush, somebody left the iron on and now the device has overheated and sparked a fire. Your smoke alarm detects the smoke and activates but there is nobody at home to hear it and take action. For Alexa to be truly smart, ‘she’ would need to recognise the sound of a smoke alarm and contact you at work. She would perhaps even alert the emergency services automatically leaving you free to jump in the car to head home.

A gentler use case would be one recognisable to any parent. If a baby wakes in the night and begins to cry, the home assistant would recognise the sound of baby cry and play a gentle lullaby in the hope of soothing baby back to sleep without disturbing mum and dad.

For home assistants like Echo’s Alexa, understanding ambient sounds is an order of magnitude more complex than understanding speech. Speech after all has a limited number of phonemes, dictated by the sounds that the human mouth is capable of making. With every language, the order that these phonemes appear in has a statistical probability. Once all phonemes have been mapped and statistical probabilities are understood, the decoding speech is computationally a relatively straightforward process.

Enabling computers to understand ambient sounds is a much more complex challenge as a particular genus of sound – say dog bark – tends to come in a wide range of varieties. The sound of a window break for example depends on the shape, size and type of window; the implement used to break the window; the acoustics of the room and many other factors.

Teaching computers to recognise sounds requires machine learning of the highest order based on millions of hours of real audio. At Audio Analytic, we’ve pioneered the development and commercialisation of sound recognition. We’ve broken thousands of windows, sounded almost every alarm available on the market and yes, we’ve listened to a lot of babies cry.

As our technology is trained to understand more and more sounds, we are filling the greatest remaining missing link in Artificial Intelligence – the decision-making technology behind assistants such as Amazon Echo’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

Home assistants – and by implication our homes – will only be truly smart when they are capable of not only understanding and responding to direct human speech, but also to the important ambient sounds which the human brain can decode and act upon intuitively. With the roll out of Echo, we’re moving ever closer to the original vision of the Smart Home – and AI assistants that truly “think” like humans.

Audio Analytic and StreamUnlimited bring Smart Home Sound Recognition to Audio Manufacturers

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**Partnership to bring Audio Analytic ai3 sound recognition technology to StreamUnlimited’s Audio OEM customers** 

** Audio Analytic software will be integrated with StreamUnlimited’s StreamSDK, opening up new Smart Home applications and added value for end-users**

Sound recognition software company Audio Analytic today announced a new strategic partnership with audio software and hardware development consultancy StreamUnlimited. Under the terms of the agreement, Audio Analytic’s ai3 sound recognition software will be integrated with StreamUnlimited’s StreamSDK.

StreamUnlimited was spun out of Philips in 2005. It provides software solutions, hardware design and professional services to many of the world’s leading audio Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). In recognition of the tremendous opportunity sound recognition represents in the Smart Home market, StreamUnlimited will provide their customers with an SDK with Audio Analytic’s ai3 technology integrated as standard. The StreamSDK enables audio manufacturers to easily add streaming capability, and now also sound recognition.

Audio Analytic’s technology enables devices in the smart home to recognise generic sounds, opening up a range of new applications for smarter living which can be tailored to the individual audio OEM’s requirements. Use-cases for the technology are varied, including a connected sound system playing pre-recorded audio messages to deter intruders if a window breaks, or playing lullabies whenever a baby cries in the night to help parents get a restful sleep. Software updates to the SDK can enable new use-cases to be addressed with additional generic categories of sound recognition

Chris Mitchell, CEO of Audio Analytic said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with StreamUnlimited to bring our innovative sound recognition software to their audio OEM customers. StreamUnlimited have unrivalled experience in developing and optimising audio devices and the team immediately realised that our ai3 sound recognition technology unlocks significant new product opportunities for their extensive customer base.”

Markus Rutz, CTO of StreamUnlimited said, “We are highly impressed by Audio Analytic’s best-in-class ai3 sound recognition software. It enables a wide range of innovative new applications for audio products in the Smart Home to address. Enabling smarter living is increasingly an important point of product differentiation for the end user. We’re looking forward to helping our OEM customers stand out from the crowd with compelling new use-cases based around Audio Analytic’s generic sound recognition technology.”

Audio Analytic Ltd.

Audio Analytic is the world’s leading provider of sound recognition software for the smart home. Our ai3™ analytics software can classify and recognise generic sounds, or learn the typical audio fingerprint of an individual home so any anomalous events can be detected. Recognising sound within the smart home environment enables automated responses to audio events, better protecting people and property and giving home owners greater peace of mind.

Audio Analytic Ltd. is an award-winning privately held company, founded in 2008 and headquartered in Cambridge, UK. For further information, see www.audioanalytic.com.

For more information, please contact:

 press@audioanalytic.com

D: +44 1223 909 305

StreamUnlimited Engineering GmbH

Founded in 2005, StreamUnlimited originated as a team of 25 engineers and in 11 years has built its’ own IP while tripling its size. Privately-owned StreamUnlimited is now the world’s leading supplier of software solutions and modules for smart audio and smart home products. Partnering with all major semiconductor companies and technology providers in the consumer electronics channel, StreamUnlimited works with high-end audio, CEDIA-channel, premium and mainstream consumer electronics manufacturers located in the USA, Japan, China and Europe. For more details, visit www.StreamUnlimited.com.

For more information, please contact Morgan Roush

StreamUnlimited – Public Relations Manager

morgan@marketingmatters.net

P: (954) 925-1511 ext 1

M: (419) 631-8052

Being smart is better than being connected – as retailers are finding out

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Chris Mitchell, Audio Analytic CEO shares insights from his recent visit to Target’s Open House in San Francisco. This post originally appeared on the Smart Home World blog.

May in San Francisco is a beautiful time of year. The warm weather is beginning to lift everyone’s spirits, and the city’s techies switch their regulation hoodies for standard issue start-up tees. Officially I was in SF for Connections – Park Associates’ connected home event but took an opportunity to duck out of the buzzing conference hall to head out in search of a different but related hive of activity – Target’s new experimental store – the Open House in San Francisco.

Target, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the US retail landscape, is the country’s second biggest discount retailer (just behind Walmart in terms of size, with revenues of more than $70 billion.) What ever your home needs, if you live in the US, Target inevitably is the answer – retailing everything from home electronics to sports equipment, food, furniture and fashion.

Clearly the Smart Home represents a billion-dollar market opportunity for Target. But with over 200 connected home products available from Target in-store and online already, its easy to see how customers could get confused by this new and fast growing market.

Stores in the US and here in the UK tend to present endless isles of connected gadgets, widgets and devices but there’s no “big picture” of smart living presented. A big part of the challenge for retailers today is educating the customer not just what to buy in terms of product but on how to buy joined up solutions. That requires a mind-set change on the retailers’ part, and a move from being in “marketing mode” to a more educational one.

Target’s Open House aims to be “the most connected house on the block” and it certainly delivers on that promise. Rather than just showcasing individual connected home products in isolation as the recent John Lewis’ Smart Home experience on Oxford Street did, Target’s Open House presents a fully connected environment where myriad devices seamlessly communicate around specific real-life scenarios.

A smart home is greater than the sum of its connected products. It takes care of its occupants and itself, perceiving and anticipating the needs of both and taking appropriate action, automated wherever possible. Every false alert or unnecessary action required by the occupant is a smart home fail.

Only by bringing together data from different types of product can smart living be made a reality for consumers. For example, it’s not a smart solution if you need one app to unlock your door when you get home, and two more to switch the lights and heating system on. These are the realities today of the fractured Smart Home space – and unless the industry solves this, it risks undermining consumer confidence in the many benefits the smart home can offer.

If you’re unsure about those benefits, take a look at the Open House’s nursery. Inside the crib is a baby’s cotton sleep suit. A tiny green turtle integrated with the sleep suit gives the game away – this is Mimo, a smart baby monitoring solution and the turtle is of course a sensor. While baby’s sleeping, Mimo tracks baby’s body position, temperature, activity level and ascertains whether they’re asleep. Mimo connects with the Nest Learning Thermostat, automatically adjusting the temperature in the nursery in real time to suit baby’s body temperature and help ensure a restful night for everyone in the house. If baby becomes restless, Mimo can detect the activity and play baby’s favourite nursery music via the Sonos sound system. All without disturbing mum and dad.
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It’s this combination of interconnectivity and Target’s understanding of real life use-cases that elevates the connected home to the truly smart home; where connections between devices are anticipated and actioned without the occupant needing to join the dots themselves. It’s the stuff dream use-cases – and less sleep deprived parents – are made of.

Retailers like Target understand home owners perhaps better than any other market sector, supplying across every need a home owner has. According to Target spokesperson Jenna Reck, Open House is the company’s “first foray” into learning how to merchandise not just connected devices but real smart home solutions. “The next step,” says Jenna, “is to take the dedicated experience at Open House and then figure out how to scale it.”

Retailers like Target are now beginning to switch on to the fact that they can leverage their unique vantage point to help map real users’ smart home journeys and sell that connected benefit – not just San Francisco’s early-tech adopters but beyond to to hundreds of millions regular customers. Getting this right isn’t rocket science, but it is smart.

Listen up! We’re talking about Alexa, sound recognition and the Smart Home with Michael Wolf

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You think Alexa has the market cornered on audio detection in the smart home? Think again.  What Alexa does with speech recognition, Audio Analytic does for sound recognition…

In today’s episode of the Smart Home Show, respected market analyst Michael Wolf talks with our CEO Dr. Chris Mitchell about how Audio Analytic’s software platform can be used in hundreds of ways to power various smart home products and use cases.

Chris talks about how his entrepreneurial journey started with an argument with his professor over the inherent complexities in sound, and led him to invent a new product category, build a strong patent portfolio and commercialise his own technology

We love our episode on Michael’s show, and we hope you do too.  You can find it here on technology.fm.  Happy listening!

And thank you, Michael, for inviting us to chat on your show.  We look forward to staying in touch.

Michael Wolf

About The Smart Home Show

Join host Michael Wolf as he explores the smart home universe. The Smart Home Show features interviews with smart home leaders, analysis of the latest smart home news and the occasional Q&A and product review. All smart home, all the time.

Find more Smart Home Shows at www.thesmarthomeshow.com.

Follow and talk with Mike on Twitter at www.twitter.com/michaelwolf.

Mike’s bio may be found on his company website.

John Lewis invites everyone in to their house of the future, today

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John Lewis – as everyone in the UK knows – is a chain of upmarket department stores. The company is well established and respected, with customers who are perhaps on the more financially secure, conservative and traditional end of the socio-economic spectrum. The store also has a number of fans from outside the UK. While not the first stop for all shoppers, John Lewis is seen by its many admirers as a fundamentally “British” middle class institution, a key part of the fabric of the UK retail ecosystem which also operates in-store, over the phone and online.

John Lewis have this month taken the arguably brave and visionary move of opening a new department dedicated entirely to the Smart Home, and located it on the 5th floor of their flagship London store on Oxford Street. This store is visited daily by tens of thousands of people not only from the UK, but from all over the world. So we decided to take the train down there today to see for ourselves how a prestigious retail brand is diving straight in to the exciting and potentially overwhelming world of smart home tech.

Clearly they are sending a signal to their consumers old and not so old, that technology need not be daunting.

It’s as though John Lewis is saying: Creating your smart home is simple: we are here to help you figure out how to buy and use smart technology in your home – it will ultimately save you time and money, and it can be fun, too. We will provide inspiration, demonstrations and advice. Let your imagination run wild: the trusted folk from whom you might buy the more basic essentials of home life, such as flooring, curtains and furniture, can now be relied upon in the same way to advise you on The Internet of Things.

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The smart home has landed in middle Britain.

John Lewis’ connected hub of appliances, devices and displays covers a range of smart home product brands, in all categories: heating, lighting, home monitoring (safety and security), entertainment, smart appliances and wearable tech. “Must haves” include the inevitable mobiles and tablets. These products are shown in their “natural habitat” so to speak, with real life “use cases” themed by room: the bedroom, kitchen, lounge (which is roughly equivalent to a living room or “den” in the States), front door and garden. All you need is a good broadband connection to get started…

It might be said that the British dwell in some of the smallest living spaces in Europe, so their potential appetite for Smart Home products could prove to be exceedingly large. Like their Far Eastern counterparts, the British want to maximise their use of limited space – and an intelligent, connected home is one way of achieving a better quality of life without adding an extension or buying a holiday home. It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that the UK has the fifth largest number of smart homes in the world, after the US, Japan, Germany and China, and is expected to grow eight-fold by 2020 (Source: Statistica Market Report).

John Lewis has said they will evolve their offering in response to customer interaction and feedback. We welcome and applaud their investment in consumer market research and education, and we look forward to the roll-out of this innovative concept in their other stores.