The Immediate Impact of Coronavirus on Smart Home Device Purchases

While we all work remotely from our homes, and watch the increase in traffic on our QuickSet Cloud services (probably as a result of increased entertainment-needs to prevent mass boredom), we wonder if the recent economic downturn is influencing the technology purchase decisions for the home.

Looking beyond the natural slowdown of new professionally installed services, how has this pandemic affected the smart home (including smart entertainment) device purchases? Should be no surprise to see entertainment leading the way, but some interesting surprises hidden in the data.

Be well, stay safe, and pick up a new project.

The Immediate Impact of COVID-19 on Smart Home Device Purchases

Brandon Gruber, Z-Wave Alliance Developer of the Year 2020

Brandon Gruber receiving the Z-Wave Alliance award for Developer of the Year 2020.

We are excited to share that the Z-Wave Alliance has recognized Brandon Gruber, Senior Firmware Engineer at Ecolink (A Universal Eletronics Inc. Company) as Z-Wave Developer of the Year for 2020

Established in 2005, the Z-Wave Alliance is comprised of industry leaders throughout the globe that are dedicated to the development and extension of Z-Wave as the key enabling technology for home and business applications.

Brandon has been instrumental in successfully bringing multiple Z-Wave products to market, meeting or exceeding the highest performance standards for top-tier ecosystem providers. Brandon contributes regularly to our applications support process by proactively providing feedback on the stability of the firmware and identifying opportunities for improvement. He has demonstrated independence and expertise in developing Z-Wave solutions that extract the best performance of the 700 Series platform. Brandon’s work exemplifies quality engineering effort and highlights the range and link stability that can be achieved with battery-powered Z-Wave applications.

“The Z-Wave Alliance commends Brandon and Ecolink for quickly adopting the latest solutions and features into their product strategy.”

Mitch Klein, Executive Director, Z-Wave Alliance

“The Z-Wave Alliance commends Brandon and Ecolink for quickly adopting the latest solutions and features into their product strategy.” Stated Mitch Klein, executive director, Z-Wave Alliance, “Brandon consistently shares constructive insights with Silicon Lab’s marketing and R&D teams to help them continue to improve the product”. 

Brandon has been universally recognized within the Z-Wave development community as a team player and a strategic development partner. For these reasons, Brandon is a deserving recipient of the Alliance’s Z-Wave Developer of the Year award. 

We are more than thrilled for Brandon and know he will continue to be a key player in the future development of Z-Wave. Congrats, Brandon!

UEI’s QuickSet Cloud Powers Smart Speakers and STBs

Next-generation AI smart speaker devices integrate UEI QuickSet Cloud technology, bringing simple interactive voice control of AV and home appliances to the consumer


We announced that QuickSet® Cloud platform is an active feature in many of the new and emerging operator-focused, smart speakers and set-top boxes introduced this year and expected to launch in 2020.

As part of its overall mission to enable CE devices to universally and ubiquitously discover and control electronic devices and services in the home,  UEI has recently worked with several prominent regional customers to integrate its QuickSet Cloud platform into smart speakers. According to Parks’  Associates, the smart speaker segment for the U.S. is expected to grow over 50%  and reach household penetration of 47% in 2022 UEI’s ability to enable this category segment with control solutions means it is well-positioned to capitalize on this growing market opportunity.

Integration of QuickSet Cloud inside the Korea Telecom artificial intelligence speaker GiGA Genie

One successful example has been the integration of QuickSet Cloud inside the Korea Telecom (KT) artificial intelligence (AI) speaker GiGA Genie. KT launched a range of indoor and outdoor versions of its AI speaker GiGA Geni. The virtual assistant lets users control TVs and IoT devices in the home.  GiGA Genie was  launched in January 2017 as the first artificial intelligence-powered smart home media hub developed by KT.  Boasting more than 1 million subscribers, KT’s voice-activated AI platform allows users to see what they command on touch screen devices or UHD TV screens in Korean and English.  A customized variant of the GiGA Genie, the GiGA Genie Hotel, has also been deployed in select hotel chains in Seoul, allowing guests to turn on their TVs and control room temperature using voice.

SK Broadband also introduced a voice-enabled service for their B tv set-top box using QuickSet Cloud and collaboration with SK Telecom’s Nugu voice-enabled virtual assistant.  By connecting Nugu with TV set-top boxes, Nugu‘s search functions are able to display visual results, overcoming the limitations of voice-only services offered by other assistant speakers.  “Based on the rich content information offered by ‘B tv x Nugu,’ we plan to continue developing speech recognition and search functions,” SK Broadband said. “The goal is to give users a positive experience that will make the device the hub of future smart homes.”

Introduced in 2016, UEI’s QuickSet Cloud is Universal Electronics’ award-winning product family integrated into more than 550 million devices worldwide, including a growing list of set-top boxes, Smart TVs, game consoles, smartphones, tablets, smart home devices, and more to enable effortless configuration and control of nearly any modern or legacy connected home entertainment, air conditioning, and IoT devices.

The advantage of QuickSet Cloud is that it can be easily integrated with any connected host platform through simple Web APIs

The advantage of QuickSet Cloud is that it can be easily integrated with any connected host platform through simple Web APIs, effectively making all of the QuickSet features and benefits available to all connected devices, including:

  • Automated Device Setup that enables automatic discovery and configuration of control interfaces for most entertainment and smart home devices, enhanced with the processing power of a cloud platform.
  • One Touch View (OTV), a control function that enables users to instantly view their desired content or app with a single button press on the remote regardless of the state of the set-top box, TV or connected media device. Unlike many of the devices on the market today, this must-have feature delivers true universal market compatibility.
  • More integration possibilities based on simple Web APIs, including server-to-server for cloud video delivery platforms, resource-constrained devices in the IoT domain, and cross-platform mobile applications.

UEIs position as a fully, vertically-integrated technology partner to leading brands across smart home, subscription broadcast and AV entertainment industries enables deployment of its award-winning software, hardware platforms, and back-office solutions that easily connect, manage, and maintain customer devices and services in the smart home.

We will host product demonstrations for all our latest technologies and products at Booth #42325 in the Sands Expo at CES 2020 in Las Vegas from January 7 -10.  Nikki Ahmadi, Director of Cloud and Software Products, will be available to discuss how Nevo Butler and curated kits and services can be used to introduce or expand offerings in a range of channels.