Google Assistant: a new way to parent

Monitronics/Brinks Home Security reorganizes

Monitronics, going to market with the licensed Brinks brand for home security and home automation, filed for bankruptcy protection in May and will emerge in September after restructuring debt. SecuritySales & Integration

dis-rup-shun: The company, long a significant player in the monitoring business, has bought more time to establish an identity as a dealer-installer seller of home security with multiple system options — one is a Nest Secure based DIY option. Straddling the pro monitored market between dealer installed and DIY seems like a good strategy, but only if the company has a marketing war chest to fight an army called ADT on one side and a marketing machine called SimpliSafe on the other. 

Assignable reminders for Google Assistant: helpful or hurtful

Google has added a feature to Google Assistant called Assignable Reminders. One can now request the Assistant to remind someone in your Google family group (up to 6 people) to do something at a specific time. Wired

dis-rup-shun: This is a useful feature and one that could enhance parenting. Tired of your mom pestering you about feeding the dog? How do you feel about being pestered by Google? Removing personalities from daily reminders and messaging could improve productivity at home or office.

The case for electric vehicles

Choices for electric cars continue to increase. According to the EPA, the standard mileage range for EVs has risen from 84 to 107 miles. According to MY EV, 8 models can travel for more than 200 miles on a charge, and several Tesla models claim to be capable of up to 315 miles on a charge. The DOT states that Americans drive, on average, 40 miles per day. Federal tax credits range from $2,500 to $7,500 based on size of car and battery and will be phased out as adoption increases, and state credits are also available. Details on taxes can be found on

dis-rup-shun: With gas prices remaining mostly steady for the past decade, the excitement for EVs could have died down. Thanks to tax credits upheld by the Obama administration and not yet reversed by Trump, EVs have turned the corner — in large part because they were made trendy by Tesla, followed by Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo, VW and others, and in great abundance thanks to Toyota and Nissan. As ranges reach 400 miles, barriers to EV ownership will be few. 

Smart oven dilemma: allow preheating?

The June Oven is a high end kitchen appliance that contains a camera to identify its contents and can be controlled through an app. After three owners reported that the oven preheated in the night, June is considering limiting the ability to remotely turn on the oven without food being in it.  TheVerge

dis-rup-shun: The road to the smart home is bumpy, and smart devices that can be remotely controlled could be dangerous, even if the network connecting them is secure from hackers. Many people currently experience Siri and Alexa waking up with incorrect trigger words, and if these devices accidentally turn on ovens, or turn off refrigerators, damage will follow. Adding confirmation or double acceptance steps to apps will lessen user error, but using cameras and other sensors to warm people of malfunctions will be an important smart home attribute.