Archinect - News 2017-08-20T09:45:29-04:00 Considering the downsides of Smart Home technologies Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-08-17T14:52:00-04:00 >2017-08-17T14:52:31-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="483" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Essey is an engineer at Uber and an early adopter of the Internet of things. He can control his lights with his Amazon Echo or an array of touchpad sensors he has installed throughout the home. Sensors tell him when there's water in the basement or a leak under the sink. While Essey's setup might sound a little like science fiction, it's a prototype of the future. Some critics are worried these devices won't be secure and that companies will use them to spy on us to make money.</p></em><br /><br /><p>As the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Internet of things</a> becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, some people are turning ordinary homes into&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">smart homes</a>.&nbsp;One way of doing that is by integrating smart appliances (dishwasher, fridges, microwaves, toasters, etc). That strategy, however, can be expensive and not very efficient, since most of the devices are costly and often are not smart enough to communicate with each other, especially if produced by different manufacturers.<br></p> <p>The other way is to get sensors, and put them on everything you want to monitor. "But then those get really unwieldy and you've got all these things sticking around and they look ugly and socially obtrusive," Gierad Laput, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University says. Laput and his team, in fact, built such a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sensor</a>.&nbsp;When plugged into the wall, the 2-inch-square circuit board senses about a dozen different facets of its environment: vibrations, sounds, light color and so on. The sensor communicates wirelessly with a computer, which inte...</p> Roombas have been mapping out our houses, and big tech is eager to buy that data Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-07-25T17:46:00-04:00 >2017-07-26T00:26:19-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Roomba robotic vacuum has been whizzing across floors for years, but its future may lie more in collecting data than dirt. That data is of the spatial variety: the dimensions of a room as well as distances between sofas, tables, lamps and other home furnishings. To a tech industry eager to push &ldquo;smart&rdquo; homes controlled by a variety of Internet-enabled devices, that space is the next frontier.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Most of the available on the market 'smart home' devices, including lighting, thermostats and security cameras are still quite primitive&nbsp;when it comes to understanding their physical environment.&nbsp;<em>All robovacs use short-range infrared or laser sensors to detect and avoid obstacles, but iRobot in 2015 added a camera, new sensors and software to its flagship 900-series Roomba that gave it the ability to build a map while keeping track of their own location within it.</em></p> <p><em>Colin Angle, chief executive of Roomba maker iRobot Corp, said iRobot would not sell data without its customers&rsquo; permission, but he expressed confidence most would give their consent in order to access the smart home functions.</em></p> <p>Apple, Google and Amazon have already heavily invested in iRobot.</p> BIG designs a new "smart lock" Nicholas Korody 2017-05-10T13:13:00-04:00 >2017-05-16T12:55:09-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="355" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>While Rem Koolhaas <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">called</a> smart homes &ldquo;potentially sinister&rdquo;, his former protege Bjarke Ingels seems to have no problem with them. BIG has partnered up with Friday Labs, a smart home product company, to design a smart lock.</p><p>The door lock is connected to your smart phone so you can give access to your house remotely&mdash;say if a friend is visiting from out of town or if you&rsquo;re worried your kids will forget to lock the door on their way out. It&rsquo;s about the size of a coffee cup, the company notes, and its ergonomic, BIG-design is sure to be one of its major selling points. The shell is available in several interchangeable colors.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s hoping hackers can&rsquo;t get access. Or, as Koolhaas warns, that these sleek smart locks don&rsquo;t &ldquo;betray you&rdquo;.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> ALS-stricken landscape architect designs home controlled by his eyes Julia Ingalls 2016-12-22T18:46:00-05:00 >2016-12-28T08:29:44-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="366" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>After being diagnosed with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ALS</a>, a disease of the nervous system that gradually takes away motor control, breathing, and speech, 38-year-old landscape architect Steve Saling decided to invent a home that he could control with eye movements. As <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a> explains:</p><p><em>With a grant of $500,000 from Berman, Saling went to work. He started by designing an electronic automation system called a Promixis Environment Automation Controller, or PEAC. The system uses a wireless signal to allow Saling and other patients to open and close doors, call an elevator, and operate the TV and lights. They carry out these tasks with small movements of their eyes -- or, for some patients, using brain waves.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Saling laid out the facility to maximize social interaction and designed the garden with a reinforced layer so wheelchairs wouldn't damage the lawn. His goal was to create a nursing residence that felt like home.</em></p><p>For the latest on smart-home design:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mark Zuckerberg unveils a home operating AI app called "Jarvis...</a></li></ul> Mark Zuckerberg unveils a home operating AI app called "Jarvis" Julia Ingalls 2016-12-20T14:05:00-05:00 >2016-12-22T23:15:33-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="499" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>At last, somebody understands Mark Zuckerberg, and it's an artificial intelligence app that speaks with the wisdom and patience of Morgan Freeman. Partially an internet of things melded with a changeable, celebrity-cameo Siri (Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a brief aural appearance), <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Zuckerberg's home-running app Jarvis</a> is demonstrated by the inventor himself in the video below.</p><p></p><p>Facebook in the news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook enters the housing market &ndash; and it's probably not a good thing</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Without Uber or Lyft, Austin turns to Facebook for rides</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Silicon Valley campuses at risk as sea levels rise</a></li></ul> What problems are really being solved by today's tech innovations? Nicholas Korody 2016-08-03T12:43:00-04:00 >2016-08-09T01:12:20-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="460" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>We are overloaded daily with new discoveries, patents and inventions all promising a better life, but that better life has not been forthcoming for most. In fact, the bulk of the above list targets a very specific (and tiny!) slice of the population. As one colleague in tech explained it to me recently, for most people working on such projects, the goal is basically to provide for themselves everything that their mothers no longer do.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Last year Allison Arieff served as a juror on our competition, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures</a>. Revisit some of the winners of the competition:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">And the winners of Archinect's Dry Futures competition, "Pragmatic" category, are...</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">And the winners of Archinect's Dry Futures competition, "Speculative" category, are...</a></li></ul><p>And check out an interview with Arieff here:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Meet the jury of Archinect's "Dry Futures" competition: Allison Arieff of SPUR</a></li></ul> Imagining the future cyberattack that could bring down New York City Nicholas Korody 2016-06-21T14:46:00-04:00 >2016-06-29T00:31:18-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="366" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Copycat attacks sprang up around the world: trains going haywire in Japan; smart thermostats freezing pipes in Minneapolis; Chinese hackers noodling around a water utility in San Francisco. Americans suddenly realized that, although they had spent plenty of time anguishing about how to protect the country&rsquo;s physical borders, with every device they bought, they had been letting more and more invaders into their cities, their homes, and their lives.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"They had moved everything they did online, thinking they were moving into the future; they woke up the morning after thinking they&rsquo;d moved into a war zone instead."</em></p><p>This is a great work of speculative fiction that imagines a cyberattack that brings down New York City in the near-future. Self-driving cars smash into the roadside, hospital staff can't access their records, power plants go offline causing mass blackouts.</p><p>The article's subheading reads "A scenario that could happen based on what already has." And, indeed, most of the technology described is already in use.</p><p>The automation of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">cars</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">homes</a>, and entire <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">cities</a> means IRL hacks are a real threat. For more on this, check out Archinect's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">interview</a> with Joseph Grima of Space Caviar about the RAM House, a prototype dwelling equipped with "airplane mode."</p><p>For tips and tricks on how to shore up your cybersecurity, take a look at this handy <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">beginner's&nbsp;guide</a>&nbsp;specifically tailored to architects. And for more content related to changing not...</p> Are we losing the cyberwar? Nicholas Korody 2016-06-16T18:09:00-04:00 >2016-06-20T13:09:22-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>There are simply too many ways for an attacker to get into your computer now. If you log on to the office network with a smartphone, or if you carry a laptop between work and make it very easy for intruders to enter the office network [..] With Wi-Fi hot spots, which can be easy to tap into, popping up everywhere, and with ever more network-enabled devices entering both the office and the home&mdash;smart TVs, smart front-door locks&mdash;intruders have a panoply of ways to break into your life.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"Looming darkly over this almost Mordorian cyber threatscape is the prospect of cyber war&mdash;a future conflict fought with weaponized code that can do physical damage to infrastructure, and potentially kill people."&nbsp;</em></p><p>According to this&nbsp;<em>New Yorker&nbsp;</em>article, cybersecurity experts look back fondly on the days of computer viruses. The real problem now is cybercrime &ndash; and it's increasingly becoming an IRL threat as well, as we make "smart" everything from our houses to our cars to our lightbulbs.</p><p>This month, Archinect's coverage includes a special thematic focus on <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Privacy</a>.&nbsp;</strong>For more on the ways that technology is changing our notions of privacy and security, check out some recent articles:</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">#GetSafe: a beginner's guide to cybersecurity for architects</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">If houses had airplane modes: an interview with Joseph Grima of Space Caviar</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">NSA exploring data collection from Internet of Things, including biomedical devices</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">The rise of the blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies</a></li></ul><p><em>Do you have projects that grapple with cha...</em></p> NSA exploring data collection from Internet of Things, including biomedical devices Nicholas Korody 2016-06-14T18:29:00-04:00 >2016-06-17T23:46:03-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="507" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The National Security Agency is researching opportunities to collect foreign intelligence &mdash; including the possibility of exploiting internet-connected biomedical devices like pacemakers, according to a senior official. [...] When asked if the entire scope of the Internet of Things &mdash; billions of interconnected devices &mdash; would be &ldquo;a security nightmare or a signals intelligence bonanza,&rdquo; [Richard Ledgett, the NSA&rsquo;s deputy director] replied, &ldquo;Both.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>For more on the world of the Internet of Things, check out these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">Don't get smart with me: reassessing the "Internet of Things" in the home</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Enlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic drought</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Map Plots the World's Internet Devices</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Traffic Lights are Easy to Hack</a></li></ul><p><em>This month, Archinect's coverage includes a special thematic focus, <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Privacy</a></strong>. Have projects that grapple with how city data and other new modes of urbanism have changed our notion of privacy? Submit to our <a href="" target="_blank">open call</a> by Sunday, June 19.</em></p> Google to announce a voice-activated, smart home device Nicholas Korody 2016-05-18T13:16:00-04:00 >2016-12-24T07:06:29-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="460" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Google will introduce its much-anticipated entry into the voice-activated home device market on Wednesday, according to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Named Google Home, the device is a virtual agent that answers simple questions and carries out basic tasks. It is to be announced at Google&rsquo;s annual developers&rsquo; conference in Silicon Valley. [...] Questions are already arising about privacy, disclosures and the quality of the information being doled out.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The project will compete against Amazon's Echo.</p><p>For more on new forays into smart home technology, check out these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mark Zuckerberg's resolution for 2016: build an at-home AI "like Jarvis in Iron Man"</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A city for the future but devoid of people</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Samsung Acquires SmartThings, A Fast-Growing Home Automation Startup</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amazon's new Dash button and the value of running out of toilet paper</a></li></ul> Radical (well somewhat but mostly technological) solutions to the housing crisis Nam Henderson 2016-04-13T00:49:00-04:00 >2016-04-14T08:12:45-04:00 <img src="" width="624" height="351" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>We need to think of technology-enabled furniture as a platform for integrating other technology because in a small apartment it is not practical to put in conventional systems...I don't believe in smart homes, I believe in dumb homes that you put smart things into. If smartness is embedded in the walls then your home becomes obsolete in five years time</p></em><br /><br /><p>Jane Wakefield talks with folks behind various efforts to lower the cost of homes including; WikiHouse, CityHome and the Brazilian tiny apartment construction firm, Vitacon.</p> Mark Zuckerberg's resolution for 2016: build an at-home AI "like Jarvis in Iron Man" Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-01-05T15:32:00-05:00 >2016-01-06T20:06:15-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>"I'm very interested in using voice and face recognition to set lights and temperature as well depending on who is in what rooms, etc," he writes. [...] The really interesting part of Zuckerberg's AI plan is when it moves past standard smart home controls and into his work. Describing the "simple AI" that he intends to build, Zuckerberg writes, "On the work side, it'll help me visualize data in VR to help me build better services and lead my organizations more effectively."</p></em><br /><br /><p>You can read Mark Zuckerberg's entire Facebook post on his AI home-plan <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;Referring to already commercially available "smart home" technologies (such as temperature, entertainment, or security controls), Zuckerberg plans to build on existing products to make them more responsive with less input &ndash; to be able to recognize his presence vs. his wife's, for example, without either of them "announcing" themselves to the tech.</p><p>More heavy-hitting forays into the "smart home":</p><ul><li><a title="Don't get smart with me: reassessing the &quot;Internet of Things&quot; in the home" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Don't get smart with me: reassessing the "Internet of Things" in the home</a></li><li><a title="Google announces new forays into smart homes at I/O" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google announces new forays into smart homes at I/O</a></li><li><a title="Apple's HomeKit turns the iPhone into a remote for your smart home" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Apple's HomeKit turns the iPhone into a remote for your smart home</a></li><li><a title="Microsoft Announces A New Smart Home OS" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Microsoft Announces A New Smart Home OS</a></li><li><a title="Openarch, smart home prototype" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Openarch, smart home prototype</a></li></ul> Don't get smart with me: reassessing the "Internet of Things" in the home Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-13T19:30:00-04:00 >2016-12-24T07:07:01-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="490" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>By the end of this year, some 20 million households in the U.S. will have some form of smart-home device, double the number in 2012 [...] But some homeowners find themselves frustrated by the proliferation of smart-home technology. They complain of complex systems for once-simple tasks like turning on the light, &ldquo;learning algorithms&rdquo; that get their preferences wrong and systems that simply go on the fritz too often.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a title="Enlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic drought" href="" target="_blank">Enlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic drought</a></li><li><a title="Hackers Present Threat to Internet of Things" href="" target="_blank">Hackers Present Threat to Internet of Things</a></li><li><a title="When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet" href="" target="_blank">When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet</a></li></ul> Samsung Acquires SmartThings, A Fast-Growing Home Automation Startup Archinect 2014-08-15T12:07:00-04:00 >2014-08-15T12:12:22-04:00 <img src="" width="600" height="352" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Samsung is making a big push into being the center of the smart home today with its acquisition of SmartThings, which allows people to sync up their connected gadgets onto a single smartphone app and hardware hub.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Looks like Samsung is trying to catch up with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Apple's upcoming HomeKit</a>.</p> Google announces new forays into smart homes at I/O Nicholas Korody 2014-06-25T20:36:00-04:00 >2014-07-01T23:10:39-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="357" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Opening the Nest platform to outside developers will allow Google to move into the emerging market for connected, smart home devices. Experts expect that this so-called "Internet of Things" phenomenon will change the way people use technology in much the same way that smartphones have changed life since the introduction of Apple's iPhone seven years ago.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Quirky to Create a Smart-Home Products Company Archinect 2014-06-23T20:46:00-04:00 >2014-06-23T20:47:38-04:00 <img src="" width="600" height="400" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The company will lead an ambitious effort, beginning next month, to accelerate the adoption of smart-home products. It is setting up a separate company, Wink, whose main technology is software intended to be the equivalent of an open operating system, helping to seamlessly connect all kinds of automated home devices.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Apple's HomeKit turns the iPhone into a remote for your smart home Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-06-02T14:53:00-04:00 >2014-06-02T19:56:41-04:00 <img src="" width="640" height="426" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>With a feature called HomeKit that's coming in iOS 8, iPhones will be able to start controlling smart devices, such as garage door openers, lights, and security cameras. It'll all be controllable through Siri too [...] It's only a matter of time before major tech companies begin vying to be the thread that connects appliances and devices throughout your home, and this seems to be Apple's first step in the door.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet Alexander Walter 2013-07-30T13:04:00-04:00 >2013-08-06T17:36:55-04:00 <img src="" width="200" height="282" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;I can see all of the devices in your home and I think I can control them,&rdquo; I said to Thomas Hatley, a complete stranger in Oregon who I had rudely awoken with an early phone call on a Thursday morning. He and his wife were still in bed. Expressing surprise, he asked me to try to turn the master bedroom lights on and off. Sitting in my living room in San Francisco, I flipped the light switch with a click, and resisted the Poltergeist-like temptation to turn the television on as well.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Microsoft Announces A New Smart Home OS Archinect 2013-07-23T20:47:00-04:00 >2013-07-29T20:22:14-04:00 <img src="" width="610" height="353" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Engineers from Microsoft have made a new operating system which could enhance the control of the smart home. The new software will become a platform for making apps for &ldquo;installation&rdquo; to flats and houses which are furnished with different electronics and household appliances.</p></em><br /><br /><p> This software is available at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Openarch, smart home prototype Archinect 2012-02-20T20:46:00-05:00 >2012-02-26T19:26:40-05:00 <img src="" width="625" height="349" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Openarch is a real prototype of a smart home. The first home designed from scratch to incorporate a digital layer connecting the house and its elements to the Internet. Its inhabitants lead a new digital and connected life. It is flexible and thanks to its ability to transform, it can adapt to any condition that the user requires.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html>