Wireless Wars or Wireless Weddings?

Innovative semiconductor companies are introducing software-defined radios for wireless LANs this year, and we already see examples of multi-mode in mobile phones and enterprise wireless access points. I expect to see multi-mode PC adapters in 2002 that help move the industry away from the confusing Wireless Wars to a more cordial Wireless Wedding. Consumers and industry will both benefit from this new direction.

Bluetooth: Finally Making An Impact

The outlook for Bluetooth technology is once again positive, albeit cautiously so. Bluetooth at its core is an embedded play. The desire to purchase add-on, aftermarket Bluetooth solutions is limited. For Bluetooth to succeed integration cost and power consumption are key determinants.

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.

Grabbing Control

Remember that the control system interface occupies valuable and prominent real estate in a home. They are placed in important positions: by the front door, on the coffee table, in the main hallway, etc. There is limited wall space and the device should be an invited part of the home and not a distraction. If careful attention is paid to the physical and digital interfaces, the system will be used more often, and hopefully shown to visitors who will want the same system installed in their home.

HomePlug Reality

Analysts believe that HomePlug has an advantage over other home networking mediums, such as phone lines, because of the higher ratio and availability of power outlets over phone jacks, the increased reliability of powerline home networking over wireless standards, the cost effectiveness of deploying powerline technology, and the ease with which it may be installed.

Leviton DHC Switches

These units are designed to control incandescent and low-voltage lighting loads in any DHC-equipped home in single-pole (one location) or 3-way (multi-location) applications when used with the Multi-Remote Unit. They offer manual and remote ON/OFF switching and full range dimming for larger incandescent and magnetic low-voltage lighting loads. They feature Leviton's new Intellisense(tm) advanced circuitry for increased reliability, even where electrical "noise" exists on the power line.

Lighting Controls Need Not Be Ugly

Technology can be scary at times. And I'm not just talking about the technical stuff! Luckily, a home's technology doesn't need to be intimidating or ugly. The fact is that there are enough options out there to get just about anything you want. So, no matter what kind of home controls you end up going with, make sure they give you the kind of functionality, ease of use and aesthetics you're looking for.

Low Volt Keypads

The Programmable Logic Controller is the 'brains' of the electrical control system but it still requires inputs from other sources, like low voltage keypads, to solve the complex switching requirements of today.

New Era in the User Interface

This article describes advancement in the ergonomics and aesthetics of a home automation controller that is attractive, intuitive and affordable. A brief overview of the traditional interfaces is presented and the problems with its user interface and limitations are identified. The ergonomics and aesthetics of a novel home automation controller that provides higher performance and greater flexibility are described in detail.

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.

PowerHome

With my criteria of looking for a low-cost application to give me low-level and complex control of all my home automation devices, PowerHome was the clear winner. This one application, although one of the cheapest components of my home automation system, has opened "Pandora's Box" to the possibilities of what I can do.

SB Pro100 Firewall & Internet Sharing Box

The Nexland Pro100 firewall has some very advanced features that will meet the needs of the most advanced users such as a need to run a VPN (virtual private network) through the firewall to your office network. Keeping your corporate network secure means not just the local network secure, but the small branch offices or telecommuters working from home that connect up to your system.

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.

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