Archive for January, 2008

Lutron Abella – dimmer with extended functions

Lutron Abella

Lutron Abella is not just a simple dimmer. Except possibility to set lighting level it offers another good feature. If the on/off button is pressing till the LED flashes and then releasing, the Abella dimmer gives you 30 seconds delay before your lights fade to off. It might be useful if you don’t have emote control but don’t want to go to bed in the dark. The Abella has buttons featuring a sleek, curved design that is comfortable on your fingertips. Built-in LED which moves as you change the light level, makes the lighting control more user friendly. Included power-failure memory will save your preferences even power will be down some time.

Play with flash demo of Abella dimmer from Lutron. You can see it in action.

News of the day: Nokia acquires Trolltech

It seems that Nokia decided to add Qt into S60 and GTK acquiring Trolltech – company which develops alternative of GTK – Qt and participates KDE development. Just thinking about the next generation of Internet Tablets. Should we expect N820 with Qt and customized KDE instead of GTK and GNOME? In any case, I’m sure that Maemo will have to get some advantages from Qt and Trolltech’s experience. Will see.

New Actiontec Z-Wave controller


Recently Actiontec officially announced its new lines of Z-Wave Home Automation Controllers – zControl. It gives you the ability to automatically add consumer devices to the network such as IP cameras, thermostats, powered shades, garage doors or lights, and then control them, not only from any location in your home, but anywhere in the world where you can access the Internet. The setup procedure is extremely simple. Just add zControl to your home network, press the button on its front panel and the corresponding button on the Z-Wave device. The chosen device will be automatically added to the home Z-Wave network. To provide an universal way for device management zControl includes a web interface. Thanks to that the interface can be accessed from any Internet-enabled PC anywhere in the world or from most mobile phones with a special service package available from Actiontec.

As you might see the zControl demonstrates a new point of view to HA directed to consumers and not to professional installators. That first version is needed a separate router but the next generation will contain it as well. It might be a good opportunity for Service Providers who can offer home automation service together with Internet broadband, VoIP and IPTV.

The standalone Actiontec zControl Starter Kit will be available at producer’s web site next month at $399 including the zControl unit, one indoor camera with motion detector, one lighting control module and a remote control. zControl-enabled wireless gateways and routers will be released in March.

[via Electronic House]

Add INSTEON compatibility to your thermostat

INSTEON Thermostat Adapter

INSTEON Thermostat Adapter offers a simple and efficient way to add your Totaline / Venstar thermostat into your INSTEON network. It’s plugged into the jack on the bottom the thermostat and should be linked to the INSTEON controller, using INSTEON’s simple Plug-n-Tap setup. After that you’ll able to control the temperature from the controller and receive back its current value.

The INSTEON Thermostat Adapter doesn’t require battery. It’s powered by the thermostat. Just note that the INSTEON Thermostat Adapter is not compatible with X10.

The INSTEON Thermostat Adapter is expected to be available from 15/02/2008 at price $99.99.

MV780 HD Media Player

MV780 HD Media Player

Today Mvix launched the HDMI equipped HD Media Player – MV780. Unlike the similar devices the MV780 has a built-in 3.5″ HDD (up to 750Gb) and can not only receive media content from PC to display on TV but store it locally. It has a native HDMI output to deliver a full HD (1080i) signal to your TV. Also the MV780 doesn’t need special software on the PC. Just add it into your home network using WiFi (802.11n) or LAN connection and it will appear for the rest PCs as external HDD. It should be doesn’t mutter what operation system run your PC – Linux, MacOSX or Windows. The unit have to work correctly with all of them. Thanks to syncing function the MV780 can sync with any PC in your network or with filesharing PNP services such eMul or BitTorrent.

The is no any word about availability and price of the MV780. But if you take into account the price of previous model MV760HD (€260) you can approximate the cost for MV780.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

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