New Face of Home Automation

It's exciting to see so many appliance, computer and entertainment suppliers join the home automation fray. It's also a bit scary because forces this powerful can have a profound effect on any market. Over on the demand side, meanwhile, consumers already leery of living in electronic mazes are looking for somebody to make it all work and make it all safe, simple and secure.

Simple Interfaces - Part II

Close coordination between contractors is a must, and you must be able to 'work well with others'. There is a lot of planning involved, both before the project starts and during the installation. Again, a well-designed system is one in which the only time the homeowner calls, is to invite you to dinner.

So ... Who Designed Your System?

If the system designer is not an expert with regards to every aspect of the system, he or she should look for outside design resources, including other system designers, programmers, consultants or even the manufacturers. Making the system work will win you friends and future business. Making a poor system design will cause your phone to ring endlessly . . . and mine too.

Clear Thinking about Home Automation

"System Integration" speaks to the need for intelligent cooperation between the electronic systems in your home. It could be a matter as small as controlling different lighting zones by time or circumstance, or it may go so far as interfacing audio/video, security, lighting, heating & a/c, sprinkler systems, & oh-gosh-so-many -other-things. Remember the key idea: Integration of systems.

Controllers Need to Look Nice

For a satisfying automation experience, incorporate aesthetically pleasing, intuitively simple control interfaces into your home. Throughout your search, just keep in mind that if you don't really want to live with it, you won't really use it.

Easy Use Products

The home networking market is not aiming to be a market of gadgetry, but rather a utility that is routinely included in homes. The less customers have to rely on outside help to maintain the system -- and the more customer friendly and flexible those systems are -- the more likely it is that home networking will see an increased rate of adoption.

Flexibility in Design

My first reaction to seeing some of the products in the marketplace was "you're not putting that in my house", or, "where can we hide it". To me, initially, some of the interfaces seemed unwieldy and incongruous; especially considering they were placed in a room where the homeowner had spent hours agonizing over the perfect lamp shade to highlight the artwork which was selected with even more painstaking care.

Online Washing Machines?

Networking hardware manufacturers would benefit from digging deeper into the residential homeowners' psyche before developing confusing, expensive products and services to a disinterested population.

Simple Interfaces

It should be every installer's objective to install their systems so that the home owners entire family including their children, and the occasional houseguest can operate the lights with no questions, let alone manuals. This includes putting lights on and off in their bedrooms, dining room and living room, exterior lights, scenes, path lights, etc. One shouldn't have to press a button, and wait to see what happens, and where.

Touch Panel Design: Warming Up Technology

Whether you design your touch panel pages internally or outsource to a professional design team, the key to touch panel design success is planning and communication with your customers. Knowing in the beginning what functionality can be achieved will make designing pages an easier task. Dedicating the right amount of time will enable you to produce eye-pleasing page designs and help you introduce a little "technology warmth" in the home.

Futureproof Your Home

New types of devices have helped to change the thinking of home networking experts. Six years ago they said to put bedroom phone outlets by the bed and TV outlets across the room. But they didn't anticipate interactive program guides or NetTV devices that require both a phone and TV outlet. So today they put a phone outlet by every TV outlet. Still, no one can fully anticipate future wiring needs, and that's the message of this article.

Let's Play Ball!

The next time you have an opportunity to observe a group of individuals demonstrating precision and harmony, be it on a sports field or on stage in an orchestra or play, remember that it takes both talent, teamwork and many hours of practice to achieve this level of performance. Remember to expect that same level of performance from the products you use to populate your home network.

There is only ONE way and it's Two way

There is a time and a season for everything, and indeed, even in a two-way system there is a time to "speak" and a time to refrain from "speaking". So the focus of the issue before us is whether a system can support two-way communication and not when and how this capability is used.

HA in the UK

Ask 100 people on the streets of the UK what X-10 is and I reckon the two top answers would be: 1. It's a sci-fi movie. or 2. It's that cream for hemorrhoids isn't it? Up until very recently X-10 had only been available from a couple of mail order specialists. Then, about 12 months ago, products finally became available 'over the counter' in Maplin stores (something like your Radio Shack) across the country. Despite recent price cuts, modules are still very expensive. A lamp module, for example, is around 30.00 UK Pounds (the equivalent of just under $50!!). You can imagine how sick we feel when we see US units advertised at around $10. But at last X-10 is slowly starting to get exposure in the UK.

Where is the Positive Message?

"Good products, dealers, and manufacturers must be profiled, and happy customers must be displayed for all the world to see. We cannot quietly sit back and watch as various uninformed reporters continuously ridicule our products and services. A few more negative stories could kill the industry."

Records 121 to 135 of 141

First | Previous | Next | Last

Featured Product

IntraSonic Technology - I2000 Music Distribution and Intercom System

IntraSonic Technology - I2000 Music Distribution and Intercom System

Get wired for sound throughout your home with a new state-of-the-art communications and entertainment system! The I2000 Music Distribution and Intercom Systems provide a wide variety of features at an affordable price so you can enjoy the luxury of music throughout every room in your home without moving a muscle. Interested in wireless music streaming? See our optional Bluetooth Receiver