Evolution of Home Automation

The capabilities now are bountiful; one's imagination is the only limitation. We tell our clients that if the load is connected to the system, we are 99.9% certain that we can program same to their specifications. (We haven't been stymied yet.) We also urge our clients to ask for the impossible, you never know!

HA in Brazil

Our evaluation is that the rate of growth in the next few years will be sufficient to give viability to well conceived investment planning. Up-to-date technology, feasible training policy, competitive costs, liveliness and a good purpose in mind are the main characteristics imposed to newcomers.

IEEE 802.11g

"The IEEE has defined a clear path for 802.11g that bridges 11, 22 and 54 Mbps, making multi-mode products based on one standard a reality," said Allen Nogee, senior analyst Cahners In-Stat/ MRD. "By already offering 22 Mbps capabilities with the ACX100, TI and its customers are well positioned to enable the first step in the deployment of 802.11g compliant products in the 2.4 GHz band."

OSGi: The Glue to Fix your Home Network

It turns out that installing a service gateway is not a do-it-yourself home project. The hardware needs to fit with whatever home devices you want to connect, the software has to be written to work with the devices, and the home devices have to be designed to work with the service gateway. But cheer up: OSGi service gateways are already available, and are predicted to become wide-spread in the near future. One day soon your OSGi-managed home system will make George Jetson look like a Luddite.

Power Line Communication for Home Control Systems

Reliable, robust, low-cost technology for power line based home automation and device control is available today in ITRAN Communications' DCSK based IT800 modem. The integration of the IT800 with Microsoft Simple Control Protocol enables the development of a wide variety of in-home PLC based applications with significantly superior performance than existing PLC command and control solutions.

The Importance of Repeaters in Powerline Carrier Home Automation Systems

Fortunately, a repeater provides a practical solution for both of these problems in any X-10 compatible installation. In the X-10 standard command protocol, a controller sends the signal twice, back-to-back. The repeater listens to the first signal, then transmits on top of the second signal. It can boost a weak 25 mV signal to a 5V level that receivers can easily hear. The repeater also concurrently transmits on to the other pole in a home wiring system.

Bridging the Automation/IP Gap

The Archronix ArcWay ZigBee to WSDL gateway allows two sets of standardized yet disparate technologies to communicate with each other. You can buy products from a variety of vendors and they will be able to plug and play together.

2001 in Retrospect

Clearly 2001 has been a mixed bag in the areas discussed above with the number of bright spots being equaled by instances of postponed growth. The depth of this technology industry downturn has been unprecedented by most metrics. It has reinforced the belief that the tech industry despite its allure is cyclical beyond just the semiconductor segment. Nevertheless over the long-term the technology industry, as an aggregate, should post healthy positive growth.

802.11b Wireless

The newer, and at this point more expensive, 802.11a standard is able to transmit data at speeds up to 54 Mbps, which is more than adequate for today's video and audio technologies. In fact, according to a recent report from the Gartner Group, Inc., it has "enough capacity to simultaneously support two streams of standard television content, data traffic among multiple PCs in the home and an HDTV stream".

HAL Deluxe

I was most impressed with the quick and easy setup and the fact that I didn't need to train the voice recognition system at all. This is a fun ... fun ... fun product that can pretty much become your sidekick in operating your home automation system, answering, dialing and taking messages as well as getting your favorite sports scores, stock prices and weather reports from the internet. What else do you need? And the very best part ... just say "Goodbye" or "Thank-you" and HAL goes to sleep until you awaken it with your next desire.

HAVi and IEEE 1394

The digital home continues to evolve and smarter appliances continuing to perpetrate the home. These smarter appliances and the need for sharing broadband data, voice, and video is pushing the need for home networking. While several technologies exist the technology that provides high-speed and reliable delivery of voice, data and video will win. IEEE 1394 is one such home networking technology that provides both high-speed and reliable delivery. The proliferation of 1394 as the A/V standard will be accelerated through the use of HAVi as its middleware solution to connect disparate devices, thus providing a complete solution to the consumer.

Home Entertainment Networking - COAX

In an office setting, printers are not replicated in everyone's office. A printer's capabilities are distributed by networking it; thus multiple users can share one device. Home entertainment networking is analogous to the office printer scenario, permitting multiple users to share the capabilities of entertainment devices and providing benefits to both the consumers and service providers.

HomePNA Networks the Home with Existing Wires

At COMDEX 2001 HomePNA announced the Voice-over-HomePNA (VoHPNA) protocol, which extends its 2.0 specification to include support for digital voice services. This announcement makes HomePNA the first home networking protocol to deliver a network-based framework for delivering toll-quality digital telephony services for consumer price points.

Streaming Wireless Entertainment

What Whitecap2 does is give priority to the game, movie, and other multimedia content you're running, allowing it more usable throughput within the 11mbps pipeline. If you imagine 802.11b as a highway, picture it with no traffic signs, no lanes, no lights - just data whizzing around with no traffic cop to maintain order. What Whitecap adds, to extend the metaphor, is a commuter lane for multimedia content.

Wireless Toys

Some of the products discussed provide adequate performance under ideal conditions, but there are many things that emit radio interference that can impact performance. These include stadium lights, cordless phones, microwave ovens, wireless LANs, and anything else that operates in the unlicensed 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz frequency band.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

ELK Products -M1 GOLD with Two-Way Wireless

ELK Products -M1 GOLD with Two-Way Wireless

The M1 Gold Security & Automation Control combines security, fire, energy management, lighting, and access control to provide total control of the home. Easily integrating with products of industry partner manufacturers, M1 controls offer a truly customized solution. With remote access capabilities and simple, user-friendly interfaces, M1 keeps homeowners informed and in control, anytime, anywhere! ELK's Two-Way Wireless family of products for the M1 offers a truly secure and reliable wireless solution with cutting edge techniques such as frequency hopping and UL approved jamming detection to defend against interference, hacking, and jamming. Advanced features ensure reliability, extend battery life, and provide innovative security enhancements including wirelessly interconnected smoke detectors, motion detectors with built-in security/convenience lights, and key fobs with a system status inquiry button, allowing users to see if an alarm has been activated before entering the home.