The week in smart home: Amazon is making homes smarter

A look back on the past seven days in the world of the smart home

Amazon making homes smarter
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After the mayhem of Amazon's mega Alexa launch event last week, things slowed back to a more normal pace in the smart home world over the past seven days.

To catch up on all the headlines check out our dedicated smart home news hub.

And read on for a bunch of other stories you might have missed...

The week in smart home: Amazon is making homes smarter

Amazon making smarter homes

Amazon has big plans to make homes smarter. No, we're not stating the obvious - we mean literally. The Amazon Fund is investing in Plant Prefab - a start-up company that builds prefabricated homes.

"We aspire to make the process of building a home far easier, faster, and less expensive in major cities," says Steve Glenn, Plant Prefab's CEO. "And part of this effort involves making sure our homes meet our clients' lifestyle needs, and having greater and more effective smart home technology and integration is part of that. Amazon is certainly a leader in this domain and we hope and expect to learn much from them."

You can read more about the venture here.

The week in smart home: Amazon is making homes smarter

Smart speakers on the rise

Parks Associates have stated 28%, of US broadband households own a smart speaker and, what's more, that's fuelling a smart home boom.

"Many smart speaker owners already have smart home devices. For example, 38% of consumers who own a smart speaker with voice assistant also have a smart thermostat," said Elizabeth Parks, senior VP, Parks Associates. "Consumers are starting to explore the potential of voice to control their smart home products. Though previous research indicates that voice control of smart products is not a dominate use case, it is a steadily growing trend."

The week in smart home: Amazon is making homes smarter

Your smart TV is making a killing in crypto, probably

A paper by the Cyber Threat Alliance has stated that rates of cryptojacking — secretly installing malware to steal computing power to mine cryptocurrency — have risen by 459% since 2017.

"As a part of this continued expansion, malicious actors are increasingly targeting IoT devices, in addition to standard personal computers," reads the paper. "Fortinet notes that media devices, such as smart TVs, cable boxes, and DVRs, are an increasing target of illicit mining power."

The week in smart home: Amazon is making homes smarter

Xiaomi's budget-friendly smart TVs start at just $205

Xiaomi has unleashed its latest cheap-as-chips smart TVs - although Netflix is the glaring omission. You can't even install it from the Play Store. (A streaming stick is your friend here)

The new lineup, all Android TV models, also have PatchWall installed; an app with more than 700,000 hours of local streaming content.

The $205 price is for a 32-inch 720p model. There's also a 49-inch 1080p set for around $410 and then the big-daddy, a 4K HDR 55-incher, that will cost less than $700. They go on sale in October.

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