Big Day for HomeAV Stuff — Did You Even Notice?

biscotti-lead-1112There are two stories that caught my eye today, and both have implications in the HomeAV market.

The first: Biscotti 2.0

Biscotti Inc., the company that created the Biscotti TV Camera, released new MyBiscotti Cloud Services, making the product much more than just a home-based videoconferencing system.

Biscotti’s MyBiscotti Cloud Service is aimed at extending the smart TV cam experience, transforming how video can be used in the home, office and enterprise environments. And, you get it FREE with their 2.0 software update.

  • New features of the MyBiscotti Cloud Services software update include:
  • Live Image Viewing: Want to easily see live images from all Biscotti TV Cams at once? Whether the devices are in use at the home, the office or both, use MyBiscotti to get live images anytime, anywhere.
  • Time-Lapse Videos: Want a quick look at what’s happened all day? With Time-Lapse Videos, Biscotti users can view a whole day in just minutes. Use this new feature for special events, holiday celebrations, business applications, security, monitoring and more.
  • Status Info: Monitor Biscotti’s status from remote locations. Make sure all Biscotti HD TV camera devices are online and ready to use and check Wi-Fi signal strength.

So, that home videoconferencing system just became a home security system and live baby-cam, all in one.

The second: Twine

Twine is a wireless sensor block tightly integrated with a cloud-based service. The durable, rubbery block has Wi-Fi, on-board temperature and orientation sensors, and an expansion connector for other sensors. Power is supplied by micro USB or two AAA batteries (and Twine will email you when you need to change the batteries).

The Twine web app makes it simple to set up and monitor your Twines from a browser anywhere. You set rules to trigger messages — no programming needed. The rules are put together with a palette of available conditions and actions, and read like English: WHEN moisture sensor gets wet THEN text, “The basement is flooding!” We’ll get you started with a bunch of rule sets, and you can share rules you create with other Twine owners.

And, because the hardware and software are made for each other, setup is easy. There’s nothing to install — just point Twine to yourWi-Fi network. Sensors are immediately recognized by the web app when you plug them in, and it reflects what the sensors see in real time, which makes understanding and testing your rules easy.

And, to program it, you use IF-THEN statements! No custom protocols!

At first glance, these may not even register as two products you should care about. But you should.

Both are do-it-yourself products and one makes videoconferencing in the home simple, making it nearly impossible for an AV integrator to charge thousands of dollars to do now. Biscotti’s only $199 and Twine is $99. Twine, although limited in functionality, is part of a new generation of Wi-Fi based control products that will eventually – collectively – make it so you can buy Crestron-like control systems at Home Depot.

No, seriously.

Sure, they’re no where near what Crestron, AMX, Extron and Control4 can do, but at what point will they be?