e/home 2004: Hit List

New priorities set in the market for home automation products

Simpler controls and increased security in the intelligent home


In kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and studies, new products for the intelligent house provide the inhabitants with increased comfort and security, a wealth of entertainment opportunities, wide -ranging information and communication too. And proof of all this can be found in the following exhibits. In the run -up to e/home 2004 other new items will be regularly added to this list.


The focal point of the networked home

Television, music, pictures from a digital camera, or information exchanged over the internet, it is all digital nowadays. And it is available in the home too, where David links all these media via a single operator interface. The software from Tobit automatically records the current television programme, but only those items that the user actually wants to see, thereby excluding unwanted advertising. Even the current television guide is supplied direct to the home. And to ensure complete enjoyment of every movie David even lowers the living room blinds, because this program can also handle home automation systems.

And there is no need to worry about whether the music downloaded from the internet has been obtained legally. Day in, day out, David supplies the latest hits, straight to the PC. And not only is it all legal, it's also completely free. David simply "taps into" the radio, and its software also handles e -mails and faxes, as well as keeping up to date with appointments. David does not miss a thing. This is the control centre for an entire digital world.
Tobit Software AG, Ahaus,
contact: Kirsten Altevogt, tel.: +49(0)2561/9130,
e -mail: product.marketing@tobit.com


Your favourite CD in every room

It's a familiar problem: each new item of consumer electronics equipment adds a few more metres of more cable to the home. At the same time the range of remote control devices is steadily increasing too. So there is clearly a need for new concepts, at the same time solving yet another problem: access to multimedia content from (just about) anywhere in the home. Wire -less technologies would seem to provide a comprehensive solution. But in reality they often fail to fulfil all their promises, and consumers are frequently put off by the problem of signal radiation.

Fraunhofer IPMS is presenting an alternative at e/home 2004 in the form of a universal infrastructure based on the use of economically priced fibre optic cable and FireWire connections. Each power socket is also provided with a data socket, which provides access to multimedia content. For example, a complete collection of DVDs and audio CDs can be placed in a central storage system, enabling any of the items to be played back in any room in the house. Digital transmission ensures optimum sound and picture quality. Operation of the overall system is further simplified by the use of innovative software such as HAVi (Home Audio/Video Interoperability).
Fraunhofer -Institut für Photonische Mikrosysteme IPMS, Dresden,
contact: Michael Scholles, telephone: +49(0)351/8823201,
e -mail: michael.scholles@ipms.fraunhofer.de


Domestic appliance overview

Miele@home is a system designed for the intelligent home. The first component of this system has been introduced by the company in the form of Miele@home InfoControl. This uses Powerline technology, via the domestic mains supply, to relay information from the relevant Miele domestic appliances to the information control base station, and these details are then transmitted by a radio link to the mobile component. The integrated display informs the user visibly and audibly about the operating status of the domestic appliances, for example, when the automated washing cycle has been completed, or whether it is time to baste the roast in the oven. With the Miele@home InfoControl it is possible to stay in the picture at all times and from anywhere in the home.

Ovens, cookers and steamers equipped with the Navitronic control system, as well as selected refrigerators and freezers from this company, are already provided with full communication capabilities. These facilities will also be available on automatic washing machines, driers and dishwashers in the autumn of this year. All these appliances operate in accordance with the CHAIN standard (Ceced Home Appliances Interoperating Network) that has been established by the European Association of Domestic Appliance Manufacturers CECED.
Miele & Cie. GmbH & Co., Gütersloh,
contact: Sabine Häring, telephone: +49(0)5241/891342,
e -mail: sabine.haering@miele.de


A new service for senior citizens

At e/home 2004 Fraunhofer -Institute für Software - und Systemtechnik ISST und für mikroelektronische Schaltungen und Systeme IMS is presenting added value services for the homes of the future for the benefit of senior citizens. These two institutes have developed a service platform which evaluates sleep data from senior citizens, comprising readings for heart rate, breathing and movement, which can then be viewed by carers, following their secure registration. The elderly subjects are also given a pocket alarm. If required this transmits an emergency call to the next available carer via a specially designed access system.

With this and other service -based applications for senior citizens in the fields of security and facility management the Fraunhofer institutes are transforming traditional dwellings into intelligent forms of accommodation for the future. All these solutions rely on an internet -based network of domestic appliances and services, providing residents with all the necessary information to meet their specific requirements.
Fraunhofer -Institut für Software und Systemtechnik ISST, Dortmund,
contact: Britta Schmitz, telephone: +49(0)231/97677160,
e -mail: schmitz@do.isst.fhg.de


Switching between media

In conjunction with its integrated wire -less network hardware and Network Media Receiver, Sony's VGC -RA104 home server forms the heart of a high -speed wire -less network in the home. It eliminates for ever the inconvenience of so many leads connecting individual items of equipment. The Network Media Receiver forms the link between the PC and the television or stereo sound system. Multimedia content of any kind, be it photographs, videos, television broadcasts or music, can be enjoyed on the equipment most suited for it. An on -screen remote control enables the various functions to be easily selected via the television set.

The integrated TV tuner card and Sony's "Giga Pocket" software now enable high quality recordings to be made of television programmes too. Using the "Click to DVD" program these can be edited later and easily burnt onto DVDs or relayed to another device using a Memory Stick. With the "GigaPocket tvtv -Service" users of electronic programme guides can also compile their own individual television programmes even when they are on the move.
Sony Deutschland GmbH, Cologne,

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