The Week in Smart Home: Google Stadia controller may not be wireless at launch

Rounding up the key events and lighter stories from the week

The Week in Smart Home
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It's here - it's time for The Week in Smart Home, the place where we look back at the week that was and round up some of the lighter stories you might have missed.

As ever, it's been another mind-melting week in the space, with Google using its New York event to introduce a host of new devices. We were there to cover it all, and we even found time for an exclusive chat with Alexa VP Daniel Rausch about data and the smart home.

They're the big takeaways from this week, which you can find more on below, as well as four stories to catch up on.

Google Stadia controller won't be fully wireless at launch

Google Stadia, which launches on 19 November, will feature a wireless controller that's compatible with both the platform and Chromecast Ultra. However, it may not be as wireless as it first appeared.

First spotted by 9to5Google, the company recently added a disclaimer in a new Stadia explainer video (above) that indicates you'll have to plug in a USB-C cable in order to use it with computers or phones at launch.

This, of course, contrasts with how Stadia was pitched back in March, with suggestions that players could hop from gaming on a TV directly to a phone without having to pair it to each device.

There's currently no word on whether this will be a launch-only issue, or whether the Bluetooth-related mixup will be refined post-launch.

The Week in Smart Home: Google Stadia controller may not be wireless at launch

Sony's 360-degree audio platform arrives this fall

After Amazon teased it through the Echo Studio launch, Sony has now confirmed that its 360 Reality Audio technology will launch across multiple platforms this fall.

Designed to replicate the live music experience and place the sound around the user, Sony has initially partnered with Amazon Music HD, Deezer and Tidal.

It won't be available natively through any speakers besides the Echo Studio, with support mainly coming through headphones for now, unless you also own the 360 Reality Audio decoder along with, as Sony describes, "multiple speaker units and signal processing technology".

However, this is just the start, and it's likely we'll start seeing more high-end speakers over the next couple of launch windows introduce the technology, too. Let's just hope Spotify and Apple Music also get on board.

The Week in Smart Home: Google Stadia controller may not be wireless at launch

Google chief discloses smart devices to guests

The spotlight was firmly on Google this week, with the company revealing new smart home wares and measures to bring the Nest brand into line.

However, when asked by the BBC, Google's senior vice president Rick Osterloh also revealed that he believes owners of smart devices should disclose them to guests before they enter.

"It's quite important for all these technologies to think about all users... we have to consider all stakeholders that might be in proximity," he said.

"Does the owner of a home need to disclose to a guest? I would and do when someone enters into my home, and it's probably something that the products themselves should try to indicate," Osterloh continued.

Naturally, this is Osterloh and Google taking the privacy-first stance on smart devices, but, well, can you imagine doing this every time you had someone over? Like, actually pointing them all out, like a member of a flight's cabin crew. Nice try, Rick.

The Week in Smart Home: Google Stadia controller may not be wireless at launch

Swann launches new security camera range

Swann is back at it again, launching three wallet-friendly smart security cameras, with each device also featuring a name more elongated and unnecessary than the last.

The headline act is the $169.99 Ultra HD Day/Night 4K Spotlight NVR Camera, which comes with sirens and motion sensors that are able to trigger spotlights. Like other camera rivals, it also offers color night vision, two-way audio and 4K streaming from the app.

If you don't need high-tier features, the cheaper Swann Day/Night 5MP Spotlight DVR Camera still manages HD video, spotlights and heat and motion sensors. Cheaper still is the Day/Night 1080p Sensor Warning Light Camera, which can offer HD video with night vision up to 10 feet.

All work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and you can pick them up now from the official Swann website.

TAGGED    smart home

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