Industry News

IFTTT – Connect Zubie to your World

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Since we launched our service, we have been consistently amazed at the ingenuity of our customers in how they put Zubie to use. From staying connected with aging drivers, encouraging your teenager to drive safely, or maintaining a history of your business vehicle activity, there are more meaningful ways to benefit from connected car capabilities than we ever could have imagined.

Starting today, Zubie is integrated with IFTTT!

If This Then That is a web service that allows you to connect and unify all of your connected devices, social channels and numerous others applications. This allows you to use Zubie data and events in ways that that are limited only by your creativity. For example, you can turn up your Nest thermostat as you leave work to come home to a warm house. You can maintain a Google spreadsheet of all your trip data. If you operate a food truck, you can broadcast your location on Facebook, twitter or your website automatically when you park. You can even receive driving alerts via a voice phone call.

Now you can really connect Zubie to the rest of the world, and your connected life.

How do I activate IFTTT

  • IFTTT is a free service that you can sign up for, at http://www.ifttt.com.
  • Once you have registered, you can activate different channels for various online services that you may already be using, such as Gmail or Nest. There are channels for just about every service you may want to use, including ones for voice calls, text messages and weather. When you activate the Zubie channel, you will need to authenticate using your normal Zubie account.
  • Then you use a recipe to track something and perform an action when that occurs. You can choose from existing recipes or create your own. Each recipe consists of an “IF” part and a “THEN” part.  You can mix and match however you need to create really useful integrations.

What Events Can I Track

We are starting you off with a treasure-trove of useful events and information, and we will be adding more events as well as the ability to make changes to Zubie based on outside events (called Actions in IFTTT).

  • Arrivals and departures
  • Trip Start
  • Trip Completed
  • Check Engine light
  • Low Battery
  • Out of Range Alert
  • Long Distance Trip
  • Driving alerts – speeding, acceleration, braking
  • Fuel Level and Status (coming soon)

Examples

We have created some great recipes that you can start using right away. Feel free to customize or create new recipes all your own- and be sure to tell us about them on our  Community forum.

 

IFTTT Recipe: Record trip activity to a Google spreadsheet connects zubie to google-driveIFTTT Recipe: If vehicle is driven during curfew hours, call my phone with a message connects zubie to phone-call

IFTTT Recipe: Close the garage door when you leave home connects zubie to garageioIFTTT Recipe: Maintain a Tumblr journal with maps, as you travel connects zubie to tumblr

IFTTT Recipe: If I am on vacation, then adjust my Nest thermostat to save money connects zubie to nest-thermostat
IFTTT Recipe: Update the Odometer in my Numerous Dashboard connects zubie to numerousIFTTT Recipe: Remind me to call for service when my car has a problem connects zubie to ios-reminders
IFTTT Recipe: Announce your vehicle's arrival connects zubie to ubiIFTTT Recipe: When my car has a problem, email me the details  connects zubie to email
IFTTT Recipe: Text me if car's battery is critically low connects zubie to smsIFTTT Recipe: When I park, update my Facebook page to indicate my current location connects zubie to facebook

It’s National Tire Safety Week

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June 2-8 marks National Tire Safety Week, reminding motorists to keep up with regular tire maintenance to increase safety and extend the life of your tires- as well as save money! According to the NHTSA, “tire maintenance alone can extend the average life of a tire by 4,700 miles.”

There are many common driving habits that can affect your tire’s lifespan- rapid accelerating, speeding, hard braking to name a few- which can affect your safety on the road, fuel economy, and more. We took a peek into the driving behavior of Zubie Drivers and found some interesting stats:

TIRE WEEK STATS

Monitoring your hard brakes and rapid accels in the Zubie App is easy- you can view your daily stats and improve your skills over time. This is just one simple way to reduce the wear and tear of your vehicle to give it a long life on the road!

Here are some other tips for keeping your tires in great shape:

  • Check the tread– An obvious method is if the little fuzzy things on your tires (tread indicators) are worn down or missing, but you can always do the old penny trick to see if Lincoln’s head is visible when you place the penny in the tread, face down.
  • Under Pressure– Make sure your PSI (pounds per square inch) is at the proper level for your tire and local weather. Firestone has a handy tool to check your recommended tire pressure here.

And finally- learn how to change a flat tire! Always a good skill to have in case of emergency.

2014 SXSW Connected Home Developers Garage

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sxsw

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

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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.

Announcing…

icontrol

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!

CES 2014 Semi-Finalist – We Need your Vote!

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We’re thrilled to have been selected as a semifinalist in the Mobile Apps Showdown for CES 2014.   In a year that has seen many new innovations in hardware, services and Internet of Things,  we’re proud to represent as the standard-bearer of the connected-car segment.

But here’s the deal.  We need your support to make it into the top 10 and hopefully be selected as the top application.  Top 10 finalists will present in a live event hosted by that Titan of Tech, Gary Dell’Abate  of the Howard Stern show (ok, we kid because we love).   In any case, it will be a death match and we’ve got some serious, southern-fried ninja power.

Click here to proceed to the voting screen, and select Zubie halfway down the list and click on Vote.  Easy peasy, and then you can come visit us at CES and watch us battle it out in Vegas.

Let’s make it happen, Zubie fans!   More on our activities at CES in a later post….

Who’s Driving the Connected Car Industry? Companies like Zubie

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For generations, it was the automotive industry that drove how new technologies were integrated into automobiles. Now, as cars become connected to service facilities and to each other, it’s the consumer electronics industry that’s driving that integration, and major automotive OEMs are along for the ride.

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OEMs are Wrestling with Connectivity Standardization

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In a CNET article last week, Paul Mascaranas, Ford Motor Company’s Chief Technical Officer, talked extensively about Ford’s goal to standardize the way app developers work with auto manufacturers, bringing the entrepreneurial tech startups into the fold with some of the world’s largest auto manufacturers. Mascarenas’s comments hit home at Zubie, where we’ve developed an AlwaysSmartTM connectivity solution that delivers the kind of high data quality that customers, OEMs, dealers and service providers require to help customers with their automotive service needs. read more

Connected Cars Will Drive $39 billion by 2018

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Zubie Connected Car

It wasn’t ten years ago that the ultimate in cell phone technology was a Nokia flip phone. Now that piece of hardware is a running gag like Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone. We’re at a similar crossroads with connected car technology. We’re on the verge of the entire business cresting like a tidal wave. read more

The Future of the Connected Car

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connected car expo 2013

Connected Car Expo 2013: The future starts now

It’s an exciting week for those of us who are at the forefront of automotive connectivity. The LA Auto Show’s Connected Car Expo starts today. Not ten years ago, the Consumer Electronics Show held every January in Las Vegas, and the LA Auto Show barely recognized each other. Now you see automakers invading CES, and tech titans like Google and Nokia with a powerful presence in LA.

It’s exciting for companies on the forefront of the connected car revolution, but it’s just as important for consumers, who are eager to see the latest developments in automotive connectivity; the features and functionality that will help them be safer, more efficient, more aware of their vehicle’s health, and more in tune with how the drivers around them are operating their vehicles.

Sharing the stage at the keynote address this morning are Ford Motor Company’s Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Jim Farley, and Google’s  Director or Google Maps for Business, Tarun Bhatnagar.

As of this morning, there was no official announcement of any strategic partnership or collaboration between Google and Ford, but the very idea that top executives are sharing the stage? It signals that we’re arriving at a new frontier between high-tech companies and automakers, and it’s exciting for all of us in the automotive and the tech industry.

Since the dawn of the automobile, car builders have shaped the industry. Now entrepreneurs are shaping its future: Big Data, autonomous vehicles, mapping, the Second Screen Entertainment experience. All of these advancements are coming from outside the automotive industry via small, entrepreneurial companies that can innovate quickly and help lead automakers in the right direction.

Here at Zubie, we’re riding the very crest of the wave, and we’re excited to see the collaboration between companies like ours, and some of the greatest brands in the world.