X10 Going into Receivership


Looks like it’s the end of X10. Not as technology yet but as a company for sure. However, there is no reason to worry about that. First of all, X10 many European home automation retailers have a good level of stock of X10 devices. Secondly, Chinese manufactures offer a good range of X10 devices with better design and price. And finally, there are good alternatives to X10 such Z-Wave, ZigBee, EnOcean, PLCBus. So, it’s good reason to upgrade your home automation system or start with new technology.

[via AutomatedHome]

Toshiba demonstrates glasses-free 3DTV

Home Theater Setup for Dummies

I like 3D technology. It brings new senses to watching movies or football games (I mean European football, of course). But the biggest disadvantage of 3D are glasses. First of all, they are very expensive (active ones). And they are not comfortable. At least for me. My eyes always are tired after one-two hours of watching 3D. That’s why I like Toshiba’s glasses-free 3DTV concept it demonstrated recently. It has 4K horizontal resolution unlike 2K for current FullHD TVs. For demo Toshiba chose animation Final Fantasy. Sure the quality of 3D in the Toshiba’s glasses-free 3DTV isn’t so good as with active 3D glasses. But I hope the company goes right direction and it’ll be able to improve its awesome TVs.

LG Thinq will join appliances in home together

Synology DS211j

LG announced its new solution to make home appliances smarter. It’s called Thinq. The idea is to join all appliances in the house using standard WiFi communication to give consumers a full remote control under them. Another good feature of Thinq is energy saving. All devices receive information about cost of energy from Smart Meter. So, for example, washing machine will start no immediately but in time when electricity is cheaper. Or oven will adjust its mode and power according to information from Smart Meter.

Except remote control of appliances LG Thinq offers security surveillance feature with its HOM-BOT robotic vacuum cleaner equiped with camera.

The LG Thinq looks very attractive. Many manufactures have networked appliances with some kind of intelligent. But only LG offers a completely solution for far.

ZigBee Becomes Green

ZigBee Green Home Devices

It seems that ZigBee Alliance found a way to make its technology more popular. And that way is using alternative energy such solar or some other stored energy sources to power devices. That what EnOcean does a long time.

Actually using green battery-less devices is good. But as I know the real problem with ZigBee is weak interoperability between devices from different producers. Maybe Control4 which is going to switch to ZigBee Pro, will produce whole range of needed devices. But for the DIY enthusiasts it’s a real problem. The Z-Wave looks more attractive because all its devices are interoperable. Also the model range and price of Z-Wave devices became better and better in Europe. The cost of some of them is near to X10 devices. So, in my mind, ZigBee Alliance should work on it. Of course, if its target is not just cover Control4 needs.

The Next Wave in Home Control Systems

Here is a brief review of Z-Wave – a new technology of wireless data transfer for smart home. Developed by Zensys it uses a mesh networking over two-way wireless RF communication. Its RF transmissions are based on a robust, low-cost FSK radio platform operating in the 915 MHz band (868 MHz in Europe). The small 5 mm x 5 mm ZW0201 chip includes a fully-featured FSK radio receiver, accelerated 8051 CPU, 32 KB of Flash memory and SDRAM. It also has a comprehensive set of peripherals for home automation, including a Triac controller, 8/12-bit ADC and UART. Finally, it features a high-quality radio front-end, and displays an input sensitivity of -104 dBm with very low power consumption.