Monthly Archives :

March 2014

Zubie Team Spolight: How I Zubie by Logan

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loganI’m a guy who appreciates simple things: a perfect espresso with delicious crema, new words from my 2 year old and when technology makes my life easier. I’m the guy who would spend an inordinate amount of time upfront crafting an overly complex array formula in spreadsheet software of choice to save me three steps the next time I’m using it. I appreciate autonomy for the mundane events in my life. Fortunately, Zubie offers the joys of rule-based automation without the fuss of spending hours in a spreadsheet to retrieve a single value for that TPS report.

My wife and I share a vehicle, so while Zubie can’t (yet) coordinate my travel schedule ahead of time with my better half, but it can alert me to the status of my ride. Since my wife usually has the car for the day, I’ve learned to really appreciate the place notifications (among other great features such as vehicle health and trip metrics) for our situation. To save her the headache of waiting in the car with a screaming child built-up anxiety of not seeing me for the day, I’ve setup place notifications when the vehicle is within .3 mi of my office. This usually gives me enough time to pack up and head outside and meet her to prevent said anxiety. On the contrary, if I have the car for the day, she is notified when I leave work.

So, while I could accomplish a similar notification system with hours and hours of making the perfect recipe on my phone, Zubie offers this feature out of the box (or out of the app?). Zubie takes a load off so I can spend more time enjoying that perfect espresso.


Zubie App Update- Version 1.4

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Version 1.4 of the Zubie App is here, and it’s faster, sleeker, and smarter. We’ve made numerous tweaks to make the app experience faster and more fun. Screens load faster, animations are sleeker and overall the app is smarter, thanks to all the feedback we’ve received from you.   

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Improved Live Map  What used to be Family Map is now Live Map and the photo strip now allows easy access to cars as well as drivers. Your cars are no longer second-class citizens.  

Group sharing now supports cars as well Create a group for carpooling, or the vehicles in your small business and share vehicle location easily.  

More intelligent and accurate location tracking With recent fixes to iOS7, phone location tracking is now accurate even if the app is shutdown. Smarter logic allows a driver to use multiple devices, e.g. a phone on the road and a tablet at home –  while still maintaining location integrity.

New Summary View We’ve greatly simplified navigation.  Selecting a person or car now shows you all you need to know in one smooth continuous flow – location, trips taken, engine and battery status and of course, the driving stats.  So you can swipe and scroll to your hearts content without navigating to different screens.

Daily Statistics You can review your driving stats on a daily basis across all the trips you’ve taken, regardless of the car you drove.  Watch this space going forward, as we start to introduce more interesting analytics about how your driving compares with others.

More control Need even more privacy or want to conserve phone battery use?  You can turn off phone-based location tracking all together and therefore never needing to use location services on the phone.  And still benefit from all the other great features.

Have any ideas on how to make the Zubie App experience even better? Leave us a comment below or visit our Community Page!

2014 SXSW Connected Home Developers Garage

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See you in the garage!

The Connected Home Developers Garage, that is. We’re thrilled to be a part of this opportunity at SXSW 2014 on Sunday, March 9.

This inaugural event will feature such connected app and device companies such as Life360, PebbleWatch, Keen Home (and Zubie!) focused on growing the connected lifestyle community.

Following our announcement on partnering with iControl Networks, we’re looking forward to talking the “Internet of Things” with industry frontrunners. Stop by and talk with the  Zubie Crew if you’re at SXSW this weekend!

Check out this video from Silicon Labs, who is hosting the Developers Garage along with iControl Networks and Time Warner Cable.

Connected Car, Connected Home – A New Zubie Partnership


If you were fortunate to have made it to Las Vegas earlier this year for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), two particular technology trends were practically impossible to miss.

The row of BMW fleet cars parked outside,  emblazoned with the “Connected Car” logo, and the full-frontal assault launched by Audi, Nissan and Ford in their respective exhibits, signaled that the era of the Connected-Car was finally here.   The Connected-Home was the other major trend, despite having taken a long, circuitous path to get here,  After more than a decade of marginalized home-automation exhibits, this was the year that saw huge marketing pushes by major brands like Samsung, Lowe’s, Verizon and AT&T.  Many years of “Next Big Thing” status has arguably transitioned into just “Big Thing”. Both areas have seen significant innovation driven by hardware/Internet-Of-Things technology and a slew of innovative new startups based on a combination of  killer mobile apps, cloud-based platforms, crowd-based funding and low-cost manufacturing.   The two technologies share even more in common – a strong focus on location, always-on wireless connectivity and a promise of unprecedented insight and automation for consumers.

So, with connected-car and connected-home quickly becoming mainstream (in awareness if not adoption just yet),  the anticipated next step is the convergence of these technologies.  Home meets Car at the intersection of safety, security, social and big data insights.



With this as backdrop,  we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with iControl Networks to develop integrated solutions for home and car.  On a basic level, this provides a home owner with a single interface to monitor and manage all aspects of their home – alarm, lights, thermostats, water sensors and video cameras etc – as well as car and driver information as well, from real-time location of all family cars, arrival and departure alerts, and the operating metrics of their cars such as trips, mileage etc.  But the real value goes way beyond a nifty user interface.    The stream of data collected from the home and the car are compelling individually, and when combined are much more than the sum of the parts.  Here are some examples of what this means:

Presence-awareness – Knowing if you’re home or away has always been a core element for home automation logic, allowing you change thermostat settings or lighting as appropriate.  Incorporating car location into the mix provides additional depth to these rules.  Your teenager’s room has music blaring, but his car seems to be in the next town over?  Hmm….  Other examples – emergency alerts can be intelligently directed to those who are closest first, or less important alerts sent to those who aren’t driving to avoid distraction.

Activity patterns – Zubie allows a user to tag places that they frequent, so it can provide more meaningful alerts and become smarter about your daily activity.  These places are equally relevant for home automation.  For instance, arriving at work is a good indication that you’ll be away for the next 8 hours and lowering the thermostat, versus  a short trip to drop your kid off at school.

Home as the ultimate user interface – Many automation systems systems already allow you to flash the home lights in the event of a break-in to get your attention.  Imagine that same concept applied in a more subtle way to other meaningful events.  Your kitchen lights may fade slowly or glow a different color as your spouse gets closer to home.

Risk & Security –  Home Insurance companies already provide discounts for having alarm systems or other sensors.  Similarly, in the parallel universe of car-insurance,  carriers have been dabbling in Usage-Based-Insurance (UBI) to provide discounts to safer drivers based on actual driving data.   Its a natural evolution for major carriers to consider the aggregation of these two data streams collectively as a better indicator of risk across the board.  Again, the value is more the the sum of the parts.

Simpler billing – Cable and wireless companies such as Comporium, Time Warner and Verizon and  AT&T have already led the way to commercialize home automation with a simple monthly subscription model, inexpensive sensors and controllers, 24/7 monitoring and in some case, a shared wireless data plan.  This model allows for cars to be added on as another sensor utilizing in some cases, the same wireless plan.  One bill, one service for securing all that you care about.

These are just some of the things we are working on.  It’s too early to tell where all this could go in terms of new value to consumers. But there’s already plenty to be excited about….♪ car and home, happy together ♪♪ !

Come see us and learn more at SxSW at the Connected Home Developers Garage!