Archive for October, 2008

ehome 2008 fair started in Berlin


Today a big even started in Berlin – ehome 2008 – Trade Show and Congress for Home Networking. Its focus will be on changed living standards and requirements. Two new areas will be central to the event: a practical exhibition area with a prototype apartment and a lecture program parallel as well as the international expert congresses in the subject of “Assisted Living” and “Energy Efficiency” with its own accompanying exhibition.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to go to that fair. Smarthome is still my hobby and not main job. But Andrew from Convergent Home Technologies promised me to tell about all interesting things there.

Monitor your home with BT Home Monitor


Company Intamac has launched its broadband home monitoring products and services with WoonVeilig in The Netherlands. The BT Home Monitor VP1000 is easy to install DIY wireless security alarm and monitoring system. First of all it’s a security system. So, VP1000 includes a security panel and various wireless sensors: motion, smoke and flood detectors. The security panel offers a few pre-defined mode for the home security and possibility to connect to the broadband Internet to have access from everywhere. Additionally wireless D-Link IP cameras can be connected to the system to allow monitor you home.

The price of BT Home Monitor VP1000 including Main Control Panel, 2 Wireless Movement Detectors, Wireless Door Contact and Remote Keyfob is £115.99. Additionally consumer should pay £5 per month for the access to his online account and includes the cost of all outbound voice call, sms text message and e-mail notifications from our monitoring service. Additionally £2.5 should be paid for monitoring 4 IP cameras.

The new Intamac security system looks very similar to AlertMe but offers more useful features then it. However, AlertMe is based on standard home automation protocol ZigBee which is much better that using some proprietary unique one (I couldn’t find any information aboutVP1000 protocol). In any case, those two systems show a new tendency in the DIY home security and monitoring systems.

[via HomeToys News]

ASUS all-in-one touchscreen PC

Asus Eee All-In-One-Touch Screen PC

A new ASUS all-in-one touchscreen PC is ready for pre-order on the UK online shop. It sports 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 15.6-inch touchscreen LCD, a 1.3-megapixel camera, built-in stereo speakers, WiFi (802.11b/g/n) адаптер and gigabit LAN and runs Windows XP Home. The release date is set for November 20th, but now you can pre-order it for £399.99 ($685)!

The all-in-one ASUS PC looks really amazing! Till that time the most appropriate solution for big, WinXP-based touchscreen control panel for LinuxMCE, called Orbiter, was Sahara i400. But new all-in-one Eee provides better configuration for the half price (Sahara i400 is tagged at $1700.00)! A big respect to ASUS for its amazing line Eee!

[via Engadget]

AlertMe is going to save energy in your home too


AlertMe is planning to release a new Energy Saving kit additionally to its Home Security line. That kit will include Smart Plugs to control individual appliance, the AlertMe Heating Controller, the AlertMe clip on electricity meter and the AlertMe Keyfobs. All those devices will communicate with AlertMe Hub (just like the Security system). The hub will send information from them to the AlertMe servers, which in turn make it available to the user via a simple web interface. That’s it!

The new Energy Saving kit will be available in November and will need AlertMe Hub + Security package. But from the beginning of 2009 consumers will be able to skip security part and buy just Energy Saving kit including its own hub.

Good expansion by the way. The next step can be added a simple lighting control system based on the wireless home automation protocol ZigBee. It seems that it’ll be possible.

[via SmartPlanet]

Send IR commands over TCP/IP network

IR Over IP

Keene Electronics released its new product – IR Anywhere. It allows to send IR signals over TCP/IP network. Even through Internet! IR Anywhere contains two physically identical modules. Each of them can act as either a receiver, as a target or as a stand alone.
A receiver will receive an IR command, convert it to packet data and send that data to a pre-determined IP address (usually another module). A target module will decode the received data and retransmit the IR as originally received. A stand alone module will operate as a target receiver without attempting to locate a compatible PC or other module on the local network.

The IR Anywhere can be very useful for multi-room A/V distribution systems. It seems ideal to transmit IR commands from one room to another. But if you’d like to control A/V equipment from some IP-based home automation system the better solution is GC100.

[via AutomatedHome]

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