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.
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.
Networking hardware manufacturers would benefit from digging deeper into the residential homeowners' psyche before developing confusing, expensive products and services to a disinterested population.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
"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."
"When you think of the future and all it's endless possibilities, imagine the ideas that living an Automated Lifestyle can bring. The comforts of the future are available today. The idea of a home being intelligent is no longer just a vision. These systems are available today and are very affordable."
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Revolutionary Hi-Fi 2 4x4 (Four Zone, Four Source) Distributed Audio System from Leviton Security & Automation
Leviton Security & Automation's 4x4 is the perfect affordable solution for homes and small businesses. The powerful yet compact Hi-Fi 2 plays music from devices you already own (or those you wish to purchase), and is so easy to operate that anyone can enjoy it. Use the free app on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone to control audio sources, volume levels, etc. Use the optional Bluetooth input to wirelessly stream music from your tablet, notebook, or smartphone!"