Monitoring of power consumption with EnergyBuddy

FutureDash EnergyBuddy

There is a plenty of ways to measure and control the power consumption in the individual houses or apartments. In my mind, the best is TED so far. But new product of Cali-based startup FutureDash called EnergyBuddy has all chances to be better. The main square box indicates the power consumption level by different colors. It has Ethernet and WiFi module to connect to your network. Power measurement is done by clips with module for whole house or SmartPlug module for specific device/appliance. Both transmit data to the EnergyBuddy using ZigBee wireless technology. Additionally to color indications you can use smartphone, tablet or PC to see different kinds of graphs and charts as well as control SmartPlug modules remotely.

The EnergyBuddy can be pre-ordered at Indiegogo. So, don’t miss a change to be one of the fist EnergyBuddy owners and help FutureDash release it in production.

[via Engadget]

Control4 introduced Starter Kit under $1000

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Control4 Starter Kit

Control4 recently introduced its new Starter Kit under the price $1000. Except installation the price include a HC-250 Controller which allows control up to 8 IR devices, two devices/subsystems via serial interface and IP control for an unlimited number or devices. The Starter Kit looks nice for single room installation. It covers media control including audio and video streaming from various sources and ZigBee automation – lighting, climate-control, security. To control the system the ZigBee remote (including into the kit) can be used together with on-screen GUI. Additionally any Android, iOS or Mac smartphone/tablet/computer can be used but it needs a license fees – $199 for single device or $499 to cover the entire home.

The system can be easily expanded according to consumer’s needs – ZigBee lighting switches ($129 each), ZigBee door locks ($150 to $350) or a door intercom unit with camera ($799). Additional HC-250 Controller will cost $599. So, the Control4 Starter Kit is a good way to start your home automation in case you’re not geek who prefers build his system by himself of use some open source solution like LinuxMCE.

[via Engadget]

The first NFC-enabled door lock

IPUCam Smart Scene Controller

We know the Near Field Communications (NFC) technology is used to replace the credit card by your smartphone. But, for sure, this technology might have more applications. As example, we can see the first NFC-enabled door lock presented by Yale Locks & Hardware. To open it just put the smartphone near the lock and if it accepts the electronic key you’re in. Simple and the same time secure. You don’t need any connect except NFC, of course.

Additionally the new Yale door lock sports touchscreen to type unlock code manually and it’ll supports Z-Wave or ZigBee to integrate the lock into the home automation system. You may see the sort demo video after break.

Control4 is going to support Z-Wave

Netgear NeoTV

Control4 adds the Z-Wave integration to their systems thanks to UK-based company Extra Vegetables who develop actual interface. That interface connects Control4 systems with Vera2 home controller from Mi Casa Verde. As result Control4 owners or consumers, who just thinking to buy it, will be able to use Z-Wave devices. Control4 already offers a support of another RF-based mesh network technology ZigBee. But Z-Wave has better interoperability between devices produced by different vendors. Also it’ll give possibility to upgrade the Z-Wave DIY system to commercial product. If you need it, of course.

[via Electronic House]

AlertMe changed their strategy

AlertMe Open Gateway

AlertMe decided to change their strategy and dropped monthly fees for their energy monitoring service as well as to embrace open standards for their ZigBee powered wireless hub. The aim is to give consumers an universal way to control their homes over the Internet. At the same time AlertMe launched updated version of their SmartEnergy Kit. Its price stays at £49.99 but now includes a free in-home colour LCD display (it was £29.99 optional extra before) and not monthly fees. Also company is going to offer a Heating controller which is already completed but not ready for selling.

Personally I like new approach of AlertMe. The security system of energy monitoring system shouldn’t have mandatory dependences with online services. It have to be optional. It should just have a way to integrate it with other systems, online services or something else.

[via AutomatedHome]

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