Internet wears the trousers

Internet wears the trousers
Tom Foremski US control systems company Echelon has demonstrated the use of the Internet to control devices in a home. Echelon’s goal is to spur licensees of its Lonworks control system technology to create a new class of home and industrial control devices that contain their own Web server. “The idea is that common home electrical items such as light switches, heating systems and any other electrical device could be controlled by a device that supports TCP/IP, the Internet protocol,” said Barry Haaser, marketing director of Echelon. “Users could employ any Internet connection coming into the house to control these devices.” The company has set up a room at its headquarters where Internet users can view live and click on various devices, switching them on or off. The products are connected through twisted pair wire or through power lines. Through such networked devices and an Internet connection, Haaser says that people could receive an E-mail that their children have arrived from school, or program their VCRs to record a television programme from a remote location. Haaser says that the home automation market is still largely confined to expensive homes but he expects that to change in the next couple of years as homes become increasingly networked. Echelon says that the Internet-enabled control devices will come from its Lonworks licensees but it is too early to say when the first commercial products will become available. To view the demonstration, point your browser to: www.echelon.com/demo/


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