New Entrant in the IoT Marketplace, Braumm Unveils Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch and Smart Wi-Fi Plug

Low-cost wall switch and outlet accessories tap into the nuts and bolts practicality of creating smart home functionality in every room

Ever leave a desk lamp on or the flat panel blaring away when you’re distracted by something that takes you out of the room? Or realized while working at the office that the ceiling fan is wasting electricity with no one home? Now, you can address these matters immediately from just about anywhere using an app on your smartphone or voice command function of Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

Introduced this month by Braumm, a Minnesota, Minn.-based  developer of IoT gadgets, the firm’s debut products, the Smart Switch S111 and Smart Plug P11, are affordably priced, uber-practical accessories for  today’s voice command speaker/virtual assistant consumer. Designed to upgrade any light or ceiling fan into a “smart device” for $43.99 per wall switch, Braumm’s Smart Switch S111 is positioned to replace old-style light timers by including a programmable functionality and app or voice command through an existing 2.4G Wi-Fi signal. Scheduling is handled through the smartphone app which allows the user to “name” the switch and set up an unlimited number of at home or away on vacation schedules.

With the promise that anything you can plug into a wall socket can be made part of your smart home landscape for just $27.99, the Smart Plug P11 provides scheduling and control via voice command and the Braumm app much like its wall switch sister. Monitoring lighting and appliances is a snap from home, or anywhere with the app. Or by telling Alexa to turn on the music system or patio lights as you walk through the door. Designed with an overcurrent feature which interrupts the circuit if the outlet is overloaded, Smart Plug P11 can avoid the risk of fire or damage to the devices plugged into the outlet.

Both products have sprung from the 15 years of experience selling audio/video, gaming, smartphone, and home automation products through parent company Fosmon. Under the newly launched Braumm division, the company intends to develop innovative products leveraging DIY home security and popular smart home products. Braumm products are available at www.braumm.com and through Amazon.

Babysitting Kitty and Following Fido: Xfinity Debuts AI Feature for Tracking Pet Activity

Now, animal lovers can check up on their pets with a video system that can zoom in on pet movement and activity.

Although home security is predominantly focused on preventing intruders from breaching doors and windows to gain entry, homeowners are discovering video monitoring offers a variety of other peace-of-mind benefits. One application gaining traction is pet monitoring.

As the cost of lightweight wi-fi video cameras continues to fall, DIYers are increasingly tempted to install enough devices for coverage of every nook and cranny of their homes, including surrounding yard spaces. In doing so, they’re prompting device manufacturers and security monitoring services to offer new alerts and activity tracking options. The latest to emerge is pet tracking from Xfinity Home. After all, who goes into more nooks and crannies than your cat? And what is that neighbor’s dog doing in the backyard anyway?

Now with the Xfinity’s pet movement detection, homeowners can track their four-legged friends with live or archived video. Using newly released Artificial Intelligence (AI) functionality, Xfinity’s Smart WiFi-enabled cameras now provides remote access via smart phones, tablets and computers to view live streaming images. The system’s AI algorithm “filters” information to identify pet movement and can be set to automatically to zoom in on pet activity. Once the animal is detected, a “smart thumbnail image” is generated, making it easy to find and review clips just by activating the filter.  

A typical scenario would be a chewed shoe episode or accident in the laundry room which wasn’t noticed immediately. To see what happened, Xfinity Home subscribers could review up to ten days of video to pinpoint the time of the event and the culprit.  

These new services are invaluable for making pet owners more aware of what their pets are up to when left alone, says video blogger and pet products reviewers Kristen Levine, owner of the Pet Living channel on YouTube. In her evaluation of home security pet tracking, she believes they both serve to keep pets safe and reinforce the emotional bond.

“What’s driving all this technology is our overall passion for our animals,” Ms. Levine states. “We get such great benefits from pet companionship – unconditional love, reduced stress, and a companion that’s always there and never judges us. These days where technology keeps us so busy…we need that tangible connection and technology makes it possible for us to spend more time enjoying one another.”

She cites high-value common uses as detecting destructive behavior, enabling a worried owner to keep a close eye on an unwell pet, and making it possible to turn on lights to prevent fear, and changing room temperature for comfort.

Several years ago Alarm.com partnered with Tagg GPS (now rebranded as Whistle) to offer pet owners the Smart Pet Tracking service. Powered by the Alarm.com platform, the lightweight, waterproof, on-collar GPS tracking device provides activity monitoring and temperature sensing. Recently an animal alert feature was added to the Arlo Ultra video camera, and Nest Aware’s Nest Cam IQ can be set to provide alerts specific to animal behavior, such detecting whether sounds are someone talking, a car driving by, or a dog barking.

Industry analysts say there is an increasing crossover of smart home technology with home security devices, especially in the DIY category. The industry’s behemoths, Amazon and Google, clearly understand that their Alexa and Home smart speakers and personal assistants are creating a central command center and data sharing hub for the connected home of the 21st century. By adding AI capabilities for highly specific tasks such as keeping tabs on tabby and spotlighting spot’s whereabouts, home security will become more personalized. Being that research shows that home security is a growing consumer priority, the connected devices coming online to manage all aspects of the home environment provide the ideal platform to maximize the safety and security of humans and pets alike.