Comparing Amazon’s Fire TV with Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku boxes

Comparing Amazon’s Fire TV with Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku boxes

LA Times:

The Amazon Fire TV has a Second Screen feature that lets users “fling” Amazon content onto their TVs from their Kindle Fire HDX tablets. This feature will be made available to the iPhone and iPad later this year. The Amazon Fire TV can also mirror the screen of users’ Amazon tablets.

Similar to Apple’s AirPlay feature, it will be interesting to see if it is as easy and reliable as Apple’s solution.

The Amazon Fire TV stands out from the rest thanks to the extra focus Amazon placed on video gaming. Users can use the device to play thousands of games, many of which are free while the rest will be available for purchase – costing $1.85 each on average. Games from notable studios, including EA and Disney, will be available. Amazon is off to a strong start with the inclusion of popular game “Minecraft-Pocket Edition.”

Users can play games using the included remote, the Fire TV mobile app that will launch later or by buying the Fire TV Game Controller, which looks like a traditional video game controller. It sells seperately for $39.99.

This is where Apple TV lags behind at the moment and although you can AirPlay games from your iOS device to your Apple TV, stand-alone you can’t. Although it might not be for long.

Via The Loop.

SmartThings iPhone-controlled Home

SmartThings Founder Sees a Limitless Internet of Things

Patrick Thibodeau:

SmartThings builds a hub that connects to a home router and to sensors that can detect states like motion, moisture, temperature, or presence, such as the comings and goings of pets. But more important, it’s building an open development platform for independent developers and device makers developing tools for the Internet of Things.

For instance, in SmartThings offices, a Sonos wireless speaker suddenly blares with the sound of a barking dog. It sounds very real. A developer created a connection between a door bell and a virtual guard dog that will bark if no one is home.

Why stop at a barking dog?

The wireless speaker can be linked to network enabled smoke detector, which can be used to help spread the alarm and even relay pre-recorded instructions to a child in an emergency.

The possibilities expand creatively.

You wake up, walk into kitchen, where a motion detector senses your presence and knows, because you gave an audible ‘good morning’ signal to your smart phone, that it’s time for you start getting ready for work. A weather app announces the forecast over the speaker and then shifts to the type of music you like at that hour. All are integrated into the SmartThing’s app platform.

You wake up, walk into kitchen, where a motion detector senses your presence and knows, because you gave an audible ‘good morning’ signal to your smart phone, that it’s time for you start getting ready for work. A weather app announces the forecast over the speaker and then shifts to the type of music you like at that hour. All are integrated into the SmartThing’s app platform.

SmartThings, Wemo, Sonos, Philips HUE – They are all embracing the new age of wireless, mobile device managed automation. I am all onboard and will post thoughts and reviews soon.