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Thread: 2008 Brings Smart Home Utopia?

  1. #31
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Can that big push come from the Eco Energy Saving drive?

    Home-automation making the home smart can save energy by lowering temperatures and turning off lights. In the current climate that is something that has mass appeal.

    Paul

  2. #32
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    The problem with going the ethernet route is that the machine will need an IP address. This is OK if you only have one or two devices. But if you have many then this can cause quite a headache. In my house I have, A router, a WiFi Access Point, Main computer, House computer, a Pinnacle Showcenter, A Viewsonic AirPanel, 2 laptops, NAS, and a PDA. All of these require an IP address. Apart from the usual encryption for WiFI I also use MAC address filtering for added security.
    Now start adding things like fridges, washing machines etc your LAN starts to become quite large, and your standard router needs to be expanded with either another router or switch. I am about to do this on my system, as I have run out of ports and need to connect an IP power 9212 system. Yet another IP address to manage.
    Normally once they have been set its not a problem. But sometimes I have had to reconfigure the router and re-input IP and MAC addresses. Not very often but it does happen.
    Also the more things connected to a single bus (ethernet or even some sort of serial bus) the more traffic on that bus and the slower it becomes. Its just like a motorway, a few cars and you can travel fast, lots of cars and you end up travelling slow.

  3. #33

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    I don't think those are real problems Toscal. I don't envisage everything connected to a switch by cable. Lots of stuff would be wireless/wifi.

    Like the xAP packet example from Kevin above, the traffic would be so small as to be pretty insignificant on a modern LAN that has the ability to stream multiple videos simultaneously.

    M.

  4. #34
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    I agree with Otto that IP addresses are not really a problem. Although people should probably consider a Class A or Class B private address range rather than going for the defacto Class C 192.168.n.x range.

    Although the point it does raise the issue of hiding this complexity from Joe public.

  5. #35
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default 2008 Brings Smart Home Utopia?

    interesting ... a few things to throw back-in, roughly in the order they came-up in yesterday's posts :

    >serial ports ...

    RS232 might be great, but it's ages since our main home computers (Mac) had such a thing, and they seem to be fast-disappearing from Dell's & other's offerings, even Mini-ITX ... and it seems USB-Serial adapters can't (yet) always do the job when time matters (Idratek experience) ...

    >fridge-freezer running low ...

    wonder if a bar-code reader (supermarket-type) could help somehow here ... check-in the shopping, check-out the empty wrapper ... have one in the kitchen work-top or back-stand, maybe ... if it saves the supermarket time & trouble, it might be worth our trouble, too ...

    >Siemens ...

    unless I missed it, the DECT offerings are just 'phones & a door intercom ... but they used to offer selected white goods (ovens, fridges, freezers, washers ...) with EIB built-in, for status & control, for about GBP15 extra per unit ...

    > Liebherr ...

    AIUI, Net@Home is EIB ... ISTR Mielé have something, too ...

    >UI ...

    can't help thinking iTouch (or rather iPod Touch, iTouch being something else) and iPhone give some new opportunities here, that weren't available before, albeit from an, as it were, non-traditional source ...

    >xPL ...

    Cortex (Idratek) offers xPL support ...

    >digital photo-frames ...

    there's at least one with RSS capability now ... a Samsung IIRC ... so maybe looking promising already ...

    >Eco energy saving ...

    if the current interest lasts ... ISTR a lot of fuss not many years ago about an imminent ice-age ... would be a shame to ride a dying bandwagon ...

  6. #36
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Chris,

    I'll pick-up on some comments:

    RS232 ports do seem to be almost extinct on computers these days which means having to install a PCI card (on a Mini-ITX board you only get two slots so loosing one is a big issue). USB seems to be the de-facto standard. Does anyone produce a reliable USB / RS-232 Gateway?

    Siemens offering seems to be in the infancy or dying? As does Liebherr but interesting they are both based around EIB. The problem for us is integration into our non-EIB systems. But it is worthwhile because of synergy

    Having received an iPod Touch for Christmas it is a fantastic piece of kit and very intuitive to use. I hope Apple either loosen their thinking on SDK's and locking or others copy the form-factor and functionality of the iPod touch and allow third-party development (someone's already been hard at work with HA integration and iPod Touch http://digitaldan.com/index.php/hai-iphone-control)

    Eco "bandwagon" is here to stay one way or the other. We only have finite resources (we aren't finding new oil to supply increasing demand). We waste our finite resources (UK is now an importer of gas as the North-Sea is running out). Fuel prices will continue to rise. The worst event in the UK would be if the gulf stream "shut off" suddenly our climate would change from what it is now to that of Canada (we couldn't cope without massive capital expenditure). However, it does annoy me that yet again big corporations and governments are using green-wash and alienating the populous.

  7. #37
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Paul -

    thanks ...

    >RS232 ... PCI ...

    maybe daughter boards provide some additional means, too, 'though we used ours for DVI ...

    >Siemens offering seems to be in the infancy or dying ...

    maybe, but EIB is big in Germany & Eastern Europe, and see Liebherr offer the option in Italy as well ... so suspect it's more a case of not yet having taken-off in the UK ... which it may / may-not yet do !

    >iPod Touch ... third-party development ...

    there was talk of something beyond the current developer arrangement around Easter'08 ... 'think they're feeling the pressure & may do good, 'though they'll be keen to protect the interface from getting out of hand ...
    finger's crossed !

    >Eco bandwagon ... greenwash ...

    thing that gets me is that it's presented as if there's really a concensus, which just a little digging shows there's not ... they also seem to discover new influential factors rather too often, and when people go-measure against predictions the results are too-often contrary ... so, makes me wonder ... it could be made worse by what's done, not better, then what ? ... How much will people pay (for HA) to save ... and will it really deliver ?!

  8. #38
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Paul -

    >HA integration and iPod Touch

    http://digitaldan.com/index.php/hai-iphone-control

    interesting ... rather than a simple menu approach, would be good if things like the rollerdex & coverflow & moving-about-a-large-web-wage approaches that Apple have could be used ... they mightn't be easily accessed just now, but at Easter they might be (says he hopefully) ... could be a way of getting more onto a screen at a time (avoiding pages of menues) & allowing more rapid access to whatever it is that's wanted ...

    ISTR Microsoft playing with 3D-type display techniques (coverflow being an example of the sort of thing, 'though it's much more dynamic) ... so it's not just Apple, 'though they may have taken it further - wonder if there's anything available in (eg) the Linux world that could be brought-in (OSX being Unix, too) to help ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 30th December 2007 at 02:03 PM.

  9. #39
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    I'll continue this discussion on the thread I started in the Idratek forum.

    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/vbull...ead.php?t=1682

  10. #40
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_B View Post
    Tim,

    Can that big push come from the Eco Energy Saving drive?

    Home-automation making the home smart can save energy by lowering temperatures and turning off lights. In the current climate that is something that has mass appeal.

    Paul
    Yes, this may be the best way to get the ball rolling, something like the ByeByeStandby stuff. The "real" features could then be brought out as "enhancements" but still using the same protocol.

    How do we get manufacturers to take notice though?

    Tim.

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