Panasonic aims for 70% CO2 cut with 'smart' town

The Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (SST) is aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by 70 percent compared with 1990 levels. The completely networked town will be a 19-hectacre subdivision built on a former Panasonic plant site some 30 miles southwest of Tokyo. It will house about 3,000 people whose lives will revolve around being energy conscious: the 1,000 homes and other buildings will have solar panels to generate electricity and smart appliances, as well as home fuel cells. The batteries might include the fridge-sized Ene-Farm developed by Panasonic and Tokyo Gas. They say the Ene-Farm can reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 35 and 48 percent, respectively, from typical Japanese household usage and can help lower home utility costs by up to $740 annually. Plans for the SST call for features such as EV recharging stations, LED lighting, surveillance cameras, and "wind paths" to accommodate wind patterns in Fujisawa, a city of 400,000 on Sagami Bay. There will be plenty of trees, too. The project will cost some $739 million, and all homes are expected to be occupied by 2018. I wouldn't be surprised if SST gets way too many applicants. Fujisawa has beaches, a surfing culture, and plenty of sunshine, so it's an ideal location for this experiment. If it's successful, it could become a model for future green communities.

HOMEPLUG ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FROM GLOBAL GERMAN AUTO MANUFACTURERS FOR HOMEPLUG GP SPECIFICATION

At its event at COMPUTEX Taipei today, the HomePlug® Powerline Alliance announced support from Germany's major car manufacturers - Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen - for its HomePlug Technology.The HomePlug GP specification, finalized in June 2010, is a low power, highly reliable and cost-optimized powerline networking specification which targets "Smart Grid" applications such as appliances, smart meters, climate control, and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. Utility companies and manufacturers are looking to adopt communications and networking technologies, such as HomePlug GP, to help consumers and businesses monitor and reduce their energy consumption. HomePlug GP is a key component of the HomePlug technology portfolio, along with HomePlug AV broadband powerline technology and the upcoming HomePlug AV2 specification. HomePlug AV is the baseline technology for the IEEE 1901 powerline standard. All three specifications are fully interoperable with each other and with IEEE's 1901 powerline standard, and they are designed to make it easier for multiple chip suppliers and manufacturers to deliver products to support IP networking.

Did I Turn off the Lights?

Save energy by controlling your home's temperature while traveling.  Check the video feed from your security cameras.  Turn off the security system for a neighbor to enter and feed the cat without giving out a security code.  Turn the lights on and off in different rooms to make potential burglars think that someone is home, or activate the TV at night like you would if you were home.

Digital Signage Dayparting Takes Content Relevance to a New Level

Dayparting optimizes the relevance of your messages because it enables you to schedule various presentations to play automatically at different times of the day and specific days of the week.   Organizations that leverage both digital signage and dayparting experience added convenience, increased freedom to focus on their business, and a greater impact on the viewer.

Hey! I'm a Radio Station

The medical field took us humans apart and analyzed our DNA, thereby placing us in a family, which could be related by matching the elements of our DNA.  Just like the medical field took apart our DNA, the Music Gnome Project took apart the basics of music, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics and vocal harmony.  Each part of our DNA makes us who we are, and can compare our DNA association to others in our family.  The Gnome Project makes the same association between families of similar songs.

Hot Selling Devices Spell Great Insecurity Opportunities

OMG your iPhone tracks your movements.  Well yes your Android does to and the wireless companies and Homeland Security and Facebook and Google and  Mom, Dad and ..... How do you think you get those neat coupons when you walk by the store?  How do you think your phone service knows how to deliver a call or your email server to deliver your spam. You probably can't remember the last time you were alone...really alone. Sure you thought so but you silly boy/girl ! Getting off the grid is getting even more difficult.  Sometimes it's a bad thing but overall well just don't get paranoid...you're really boring to follow.  " No matter how incompetent the assassins, no matter how much they miss their target, there's always one person who always gets hit." - Frank Farmer (Kevin Kostner), "The Bodyguard," Warner Bros (1992)

Infocomm 2011 News Report

News Announcements from the show

Interview - Expanding Markets and Product Lines

We are firmly convinced that every premise should have automated control for comfort, convenience and safety - along with remote access. Security and energy management are a natural fit, since one system provides information (occupancy, mode, etc) to the other, and both are things that we want remote access on our smart phones and mobile devices. This helps with energy savings. That's the practical side of the business. The fun side of the business is the built-in audio, music servers and colorful touch-screens. So the driving force will be all of the above - especially as we are increasingly connected in this world.

Interview - A/V Equipment Cooling and Ventilation

Digital gear especially is prone to misbehave at elevated temperatures and have its programming corrupted. Expensive electronics fail, and, on occasion, enclosure finishes are discolored. In extreme cases, we've heard of cabinet delamination occurring.

Interview - Outdoor Entertainment Systems

The outdoor A/V market is definitely growing in 2011. We have already started to see an increase in sales with our dealers and distributors, almost twice as much sales as the year before. We are also seeing new building projects beginning to increase, which also drive up our commercial sales.

Looking for a New TV Experience - Try The Internet

The Internet is positively the new television.  So much so, that we are using our computer and Internet ready boxes more for entertainment than anything else.   And we can get this entertainment just about anywhere that we have broadband service.  While reality TV is taking over the cable and satellite systems, we can branch out and find the shows that we really want to watch, when we want to watch them.

Making Sense of Internet Radios

Unlike a PC, these devices deliver the content you desire while blending with your dcor.  Because they are always on, you get fresh content, eliminating searching or booting up.  All of the radios supply apps and most programs at no charge.  Radio, as we have known it, has morphed into something exciting, where we no longer have to tune-into a program at a certain time, or be forced to listen to music that is lackluster. We, the listeners, now control the media. For more information about Pandora and Internet Radio read " Hey! I'm a Radio Station "

People, Work, Play and Content Are On the Move

Increasingly, people are bringing in their own devices - notebooks, smartphones, and tablets to work.  As more business apps are available, the tablet will be used for even more "office activities" … yeah, right! The challenge for IT people will be ensuring that they have adequate security in place, which is still  an issue with the iPhone your boss told them to support.  IT managers are quoting Count De Monet, "It is said that the people are revolting." When the pain level drops, IT will add business/enterprise applications for the tablets.  Don't worry, you'll still leave the office with your notebook, smartphone, tablet…knowledge warriors have to be prepared for anything.

Project Showcase - Come Fly with Crestron

Crestron DigitalMedia 8GTM Provides Ultimate Entertainment Experience at Virgin Airlines Lounge in Heathrow Airport. The DigitalMedia system, complete with the latest 8G technology, required each display device to have a dedicated cable to supply HD video, device control and Ethernet. This presented some logistical challenges as within Clubhouse there are no access hatches in the ceiling - a feature designed to preserve the sleek, seamless look of the interior.  Avensys ran all the cabling around the perimeter of the area where some ceiling grids were removable, while other cables ran under the floor.

Protecting Projectors from Vibration Sources

As most causes of vibration are equipment such as an HVAC Unit attached to a Building's Steel Framework, installing the Projector on the same Steelwork results in vibrations between 0-30,000 Hertz being transmitted directly to the Projector. The solution for an Installer in these cases is to eliminate these unwanted effects by attacking the problem at the Projector. The absorbing grommets used in the Nigel B Design's Mounts absorb these vibrations by lowering the frequency levels below the excitation or disturbing influences that occur and in combination with the Isolation Mounting Elements, result in a cure.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

GreenPeak’s GP565 – ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

GreenPeak's GP565 - ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

The GP565 Smart Home RF chip for remote controls supports voice control, motion sensing and the new ZRC 2.0 protocol. The GP565 is optimized for advanced & low cost ZigBee RF4CE remote controls. • 120k or 248k Flash (8k or 16k RAM) memory • 40-pin footprint to support a keyboard scanner interface or other IO interfaces required for remote controls. • Reduced current consumption and improved receiver sensitivity and output power • Patented Antenna Diversity technology enables superior range and WiFi/Bluetooth interference rejection