Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

Home automation confusion

Being a real geek I want a home that reacts to my voice (Enterprise anyone). So I started looking around what the state of the art in home automation is. Confusing is a mild expression what I found out there. There are many different standards and philophies available in the market. The good folks at Futurehomes helped me to bring light (pun intended) to the darkness of my knowledge. I finally settled on a combination of PLC Bus and X10.

Anthony and Ernest were quite exited, that they could switch on and off the lights in their room (we used the Sleeping-time-moon and the Story-telling-spotlight as gunea pigs). She-who-must-be-obeyed murmured something along the lines of "Boys and their toys". So some convincing needs to be done there.

Lessons learned so far:

  • Check carefully what system you want to use: does it have all the components / functions you are looking for (get a white-paper with good questions)
  • Components from different manufacturers have different abilities. E.g. the RF receiver from Marmite can be addressed from the RF remote and the X10 bus. A competitive product (forgot the name) from China can't be addressed from the bus.
  • Start bottom to top: first play with modules you plug into a regular socket then move on to installed components (which your certified installer will install for you)
  • Once all devices work (switch on/off, dim etc.) move on to the fun part: plan scenarios
  • Devices that can be reconfigured with a push of a button make a great game: randomly reconfigure them and let the kids figure out which light is triggered by a specific button
  • Get a phone and a PC module to control it further (have good passwords once you connect to the outside)
I haven't settled on the PC software to use. Homesser is for sure a candidate. However I'm looking into Linux based stuff (could I get that running on a Linksys router ?) just for the fun of it.
Stay tuned for updates.

Posted by on 18 November 2006 | Comments (0) | categories: Singapore


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