Back in June, Microsoft announced a new startup accelerator focused on home automation. Microsoft announced the partnership with American Family Insurance’s American Family Ventures, the direct venture capital arm of American Family Insurance, makes early stage investments in emerging technology companies. Microsoft will provide mentorship, workspace and an immersive experience to create world class companies to the selected startups. Since the announcement, Microsoft Ventures team met with companies across the country and dug through more than 400 applications to select the names of the 10 startups for the accelerator and that they will be hosting on their campus this fall. These startups will have Demo Day in December. You can find the list of selected startups below.   Chai Energy delivers real-time energy understanding – from the whole house to individual appliances. Contact: www.ChaiEnergy.com | @ChaiEnergy | info@chaienergy.com Heatworks Heatworks is the world’s first fully electronic, connected, water heater that conserves water and energy in any application. ...

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Microsoft today announced a new startup accelerator focused on home automation. Microsoft is doing this with the partnership from American Family Insurance’s American Family Ventures, the direct venture capital arm of American Family Insurance, makes early stage investments in emerging technology companies. Microsoft will provide mentorship, workspace and an immersive experience to create world class companies to the selected startups. Read the full press release below. REDMOND, Wash. — June 17, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. and American Family Insurance are launching a unique business accelerator for startups focused on home automation. The accelerator will help the next generation of startups create advancements that can help lead to safer and smarter homes. Startups interested in participating in the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in partnership with American Family Insurance can apply now at http://www.microsoftventures.com/accelerators/seattle. The new Microsoft Ventures Accelerator was announced at the tech company’s Global Startup Day in San Francisco, celebrating startups from several ...

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INSTEON, one of the best-selling home automation and control technology, yesterday announced that an enhanced version of its INSTEON app will be available for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 devices as of June 1, 2014. The upcoming INSTEON app for Windows 8.1 will feature the following, Visitor Mode – provides restricted access to children or guests in your home Live Tiles – get status on multiple devices directly on your Windows 8.1 Start screen (not currently available on Windows Phone 8) Enhanced Camera Support – view multiple cameras at once, view full-screen, and camera support without the need of an INSTEON Hub Multi-House Support – enables you to control multiple homes or businesses from a single account Dashboard View – a quick and organized view of the status of your home Also, starting June 1, 2014, INSTEON connected home products will be available for purchase on MicrosoftStore.com and by early ...

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In a press release Microsoft has made their purchase of id8 Group R2 Studios official, and at the same time also announced that they have absorbed some of the talent of the start-up into their management. R2 Studios have several important home automation patents, and their technology will find a home in the Xbox Division. Head of R2 Studios, Blake Krikorian, is being appointed  as corporate vice president for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), home of the Xbox, where he will report to Marc Whitten, chief product officer for IEB. Krikorian has some experience with Microsoft technology, having worked on the first Windows CE PDAs at Phillips, and of course invented the Sling Player, which also had mobile apps first on Windows Mobile. Hopefully we will see the result of their technology inlux in actual products sooner rather than later. See he press release below. Microsoft Names Longtime Technology Entrepreneur ...

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has acquired home-entertainment technology startup id8 Group R2 Studios Inc with the aim of incorporating the technology into its Xbox console. The team, led by founder Blake Krikorian will join Microsoft, and bring along its patents related to controlling electronic devices. Krikorian founded Sling Media Inc., maker of the Slingbox and sold it to EchoStar in 2007. He resigned from the board of Amazon.com Inc. last week. R2 Studios has been working on technology related to distributing and displaying digital media on TVs, and prior to the purchase the company was apparently also in talks with Google and Apple. The technology will find a home in Microsoft’s entertainment console, and may be part of the rumoured Xbox Loop casual gaming and TV streaming console, or the Xbox Next, set to be released at the end of the year. Via The Verge.com ...

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