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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:42 PM   #26
johncrab
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I am way, way, way ahead of all of this with my Universal Devices ISY and Insteon control of my home. I can access everything via my iPad and iPhone from anywhere on earth and know the status of appliances, HVAC, the pool pump, lighting and even the electric blanket on the bed. I can control my thermostat and the system acts as a load controller during peak demand hours. I am already living in the future today. Hehehe....ahead of the curve for once!
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:44 PM   #27
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BTW, I realize that products like HUE control through the bulb, but this is a very narrow product mostly meant for dorm rooms. It won't install in most homes looking to spend $40 on a bulb, because they use other specialized lighting standards.

Also, generally the quality of LED lighting is quite poor, and only a few products can actually get the color of a regular light bulbs. So the only place that HUE makes sense is in novelty settings.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Patriot24 View Post
Are there any companies out there today offering an affordable, easy-to-setup and use home automation system? I'm talking about opening blinds, turning on/off devices and appliances, locking doors, turning on the shower in the morning to warm up, managing climate, etc. all in one package?
Have you researched Indigo yet? With Indigo, you can control INSTEON devices to open drapes , turn appliances on and off , lock and unlock a deadbolt , send hot water to your shower , and control HVAC .
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:47 PM   #29
pacalis
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Originally Posted by johncrab View Post
I am way, way, way ahead of all of this with my Universal Devices ISY and Insteon control of my home. I can access everything via my iPad and iPhone from anywhere on earth and know the status of appliances, HVAC, the pool pump, lighting and even the electric blanket on the bed. I can control my thermostat and the system acts as a load controller during peak demand hours. I am already living in the future today. Hehehe....ahead of the curve for once!
Somehow this doesn't sound like an impulse purchase my mother would make.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:48 PM   #30
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A lot of this stuff is not consumer friendly at all. For much of it people use an electrician and specialized hardware.

Sure, many can replace a themostat, but where are you going to control an oven? Through the oven? The Socket? The panel?

And wireless door locks? Sounds like a very niche product. Lighting control, again where, at the switch? Panel? Bulb?

Unfortunately, while nearly everything in my house is 15 years old or less, I would say that in many cases the technology driving it is either 30 years old+ or incremental improvements on 30 year old+ tech.

Whatever they do, it will likely be a play on media, followed potentially by energy monitoring.
That's why Apple's interesting here is intriguing. They wouldn't enter the market if they felt like they couldn't make it consumer friendly.

Right now lighting is perhaps the easiest of targets you have:

The Philips Hue
Lifx
Greenwave Reality
and more...

all vying for control of lighting

For locks you have the usual suspects
Schlage
Qwikset
but I want a
Lockitron

Cameras and surveillance will be the next big thing
Hive Labs looks interesting
Logitech has some nice cams as well

I'm excited about what a nice interconnect system could do married with excellent control software to make home setup easy. Apple has been working on extending Bonjour to be more business friendly and that could lead to more extension in areas of home networking.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:50 PM   #31
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With emerging products like Twine , Nest , and hue , coupled with a myriad of app-enabled accessories it's no wonder Apple has started to take notice of the home automation segment.

Granted, we already have solutions such as INSTEON + Indigo but competition is a good thing.
Thanks for the tip on Twine, I wasn't aware of this one.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:50 PM   #32
Trotsky40
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Originally Posted by johncrab View Post
I am way, way, way ahead of all of this with my Universal Devices ISY and Insteon control of my home. I can access everything via my iPad and iPhone from anywhere on earth and know the status of appliances, HVAC, the pool pump, lighting and even the electric blanket on the bed. I can control my thermostat and the system acts as a load controller during peak demand hours. I am already living in the future today. Hehehe....ahead of the curve for once!
I guess I am ahead of the curve as well. I have a MiCasaVerde Vera controller and z-wave based switches, outlets, locks, and Thermostats.I can access it all with my iPhone and iPad. It is definitely the future.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:51 PM   #33
chrisbru
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Originally Posted by pacalis View Post
A lot of this stuff is not consumer friendly at all. For much of it people use an electrician and specialized hardware.

Sure, many can replace a themostat, but where are you going to control an oven? Through the oven? The Socket? The panel?

And wireless door locks? Sounds like a very niche product. Lighting control, again where, at the switch? Panel? Bulb?

Unfortunately, while nearly everything in my house is 15 years old or less, I would say that in many cases the technology driving it is either 30 years old+ or incremental improvements on 30 year old+ tech.

Whatever they do, it will likely be a play on media, followed potentially by energy monitoring.
That's my whole point... Someone needs to incentivize other manufactures. There's no reason that ovens shouldn't have a wifi radio or something so that phones could communicate with them from a distance. I'm sure there is a similar solution for outlets and bulb sockets (possibly an adapter?)

If I had a perfect solution, I'd be getting after it myself... But I hope someone in these areas can come up with something. I can't imagine its that far off.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:51 PM   #34
Patriot24
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Have you researched Indigo yet? With Indigo, you can control INSTEON devices to open drapes , turn appliances on and off , lock and unlock a deadbolt , send hot water to your shower , and control HVAC .
Thanks. I'll look into it.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:52 PM   #35
Allenbf
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Originally Posted by johncrab View Post
I am way, way, way ahead of all of this with my Universal Devices ISY and Insteon control of my home. I can access everything via my iPad and iPhone from anywhere on earth and know the status of appliances, HVAC, the pool pump, lighting and even the electric blanket on the bed. I can control my thermostat and the system acts as a load controller during peak demand hours. I am already living in the future today. Hehehe....ahead of the curve for once!
That's a sweet setup for sure, I dabble but nothing like this.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:53 PM   #36
pacalis
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Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post

Cameras and surveillance will be the next big thing
Hive Labs looks interesting
Logitech has some nice cams as well

I'm excited about what a nice interconnect system could do married with excellent control software to make home setup easy. Apple has been working on extending Bonjour to be more business friendly and that could lead to more extension in areas of home networking.
Actually, home surveillance is probably the easiest target. It's a media product. All the competitors have very generic offerings, add ons can be wireless, and all of the devices have horrible set up and interfaces.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:53 PM   #37
chrisbru
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Originally Posted by Aeolius View Post
Have you researched Indigo yet? With Indigo, you can control INSTEON devices to open drapes , turn appliances on and off , lock and unlock a deadbolt , send hot water to your shower , and control HVAC .
It seems this is exactly what I'm talking about, maybe its here and I just don't know about it lol
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:55 PM   #38
nuckinfutz
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Actually, home surveillance is probably the easiest target. It's a media product. All the competitors have very generic offerings, add ons can be wireless, and all of the devices have horrible set up and interfaces.
True.

As camera sensors get smaller and cheaper and networks get faster cams should be the lowest of hanging fruit.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:58 PM   #39
Aeolius
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Cameras and surveillance will be the next big thing
For a simple solution, I have had success with the IZON . for a more robust solution, there are applications like SecuritySpy that support numerous cameras and protocols.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:00 PM   #40
pacalis
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That's my whole point... Someone needs to incentivize other manufactures. There's no reason that ovens shouldn't have a wifi radio or something so that phones could communicate with them from a distance. I'm sure there is a similar solution for outlets and bulb sockets (possibly an adapter?)

If I had a perfect solution, I'd be getting after it myself... But I hope someone in these areas can come up with something. I can't imagine its that far off.
Apple doesn't have strengths in working with others on promoting hardware standards - and by that I mean where is their blueray drive or my thunderbolt and lightening hubs.

What it does IMHO is take technology that's pretty established, and make far more attractive, elegant, device. Then it makes tons of them and charges a premium. That to me sounds like TV and home surveillance. It does not sound like the electrician bins or appliance sections at home depot, specialized home services or specialty products sold at do-it-yourself websites.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:13 PM   #41
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Yes Please! This is great news. Now give me a real Apple TV that can record and play high def material and I'll be happy.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:18 PM   #42
Dekema2
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You know who Apple should buy?
Nest.
I logged on just to plus one that. I suggest others do the same.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:20 PM   #43
johncrab
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Indigo ties up a Mac which must remain running in order to control X10 and Insteon devices via a PLM. The Universal Devices ISY has a built in web interface that uses Java to provide local and secure remote access. It works very well with a Mac and with Mobilinc apps, easy touch control can be brought to iPhone and iPad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolius View Post
Have you researched Indigo yet? With Indigo, you can control INSTEON devices to open drapes , turn appliances on and off , lock and unlock a deadbolt , send hot water to your shower , and control HVAC .
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:21 PM   #44
willcapellaro
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or perhaps Leap Motion
and Wacom

(before Windows people or Windows apologists flame me, let me just say that both companies are OS-neutral when it comes to professional hardware -- it could be done)
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:25 PM   #45
kdarling
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Not sure, but I know I want it. It's the future, for sure.
The good/bad thing is that we've all been saying this since the early 1980s when home computers first got hooked into X-10 modules. I swear, I had a lot more home automation going on back then, simply because it was new and exciting

In the mid 1990s, a place I worked at built a prototype living room of the future, to test our interactive TV ideas. It was so much fun. Alas, we were about a decade too soon.

The coolest example of home control I've seen lately is the CRISTAL project, where you control things in your room by manipulating their images projected onto a table:


Last edited by kdarling; Dec 20, 2012 at 04:39 PM.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:25 PM   #46
mdelvecchio
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BTW, I realize that products like HUE control through the bulb, but this is a very narrow product mostly meant for dorm rooms. It won't install in most homes looking to spend $40 on a bulb, because they use other specialized lighting standards.

Also, generally the quality of LED lighting is quite poor, and only a few products can actually get the color of a regular light bulbs. So the only place that HUE makes sense is in novelty settings.
clearly you dont own the HUE product. i do.

- the color can matches a "regular" light bulb (whichever flavor of "regular" youre referring to) just fine -- warm, cool, whatever.

- the price of the wifi-enabled LED bulbs is actually not much different from other high-end LED bulbs at Lowe's, which dont even have wifi or color hues.

- we love it in our house: two living rooms. my GF really enjoys setting the colors via our ipad, which is a testament to how easy the software is.

...only area for improvement is the lumens; current bulbs are 60-watt equivs, want them to get brighter. this will happen in time, surely.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:28 PM   #47
johncrab
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I have grown this system for years starting with basic X10 on/off control from RF keypads. Then I added a timer interface and then software to program a plug-in controller. Today I'm using the ISY which has its own web/Java interface which can be configured from any computer on the network.

I have motion sensors which turn on groups of lights and other lights which come on based on sunrise and sunset times. It's not something one jumps into all at once. You have to walk before you can fly but I almost never have to turn on a light switch (or remember to turn it off. By controlling the pool pump and large appliances to control peak demand, I have cut my power bill by 54%. It can even email me to let me know if things are on at the wrong times or don't come back on properly or when certain sensors are tripped.

Not everyone is this nuts about home control or needs to be but the technology is already here and it's fun as well as being very practical.

http://sales.universal-devices.com

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Somehow this doesn't sound like an impulse purchase my mother would make.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:28 PM   #48
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Not sure, but I know I want it. It's the future, for sure.
Me too! I've been dreaming about stuff like this for years. Bring it on!
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:41 PM   #49
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Are there any companies out there today offering an affordable, easy-to-setup and use home automation system? I'm talking about opening blinds, turning on/off devices and appliances, locking doors, turning on the shower in the morning to warm up, managing climate, etc. all in one package?
Control4 was set up specifically for that purpose and have been doing it for years and they also have app support. As have other products. Typically Apple are not on the list of major manufacturers who support the system. My Pronto remote control could control my entire house if I wanted it to and I've had that for 5 years and that's not even Control4 compliant.

Set up will never be easy if you want entire house automation. You can't remove the electrician from the equation. If you want to be able to do it yourself then only a few small products will let you.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 05:00 PM   #50
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Set up will never be easy if you want entire house automation. You can't remove the electrician from the equation. If you want to be able to do it yourself then only a few small products will let you.
I think that's the opportunity - accessibility for the average Joe.

NEST has made great strides in removing the intimidation of changing a thermostat by providing the right tools and education for novice users. Could the same be done utilizing long-life batteries in small, networked devices that could be deployed throughout your home to provide automation features?
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