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Acentient Software

A new home automation software application has just been released by Acentient Software for the Windows platform.

This new affordable application attempts to balance flexibility with easy of understanding, together with some new and unique features.

To download a free evaluation copy or for more information, please

visit:-

Acentient Software

AHL01.jpg
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Noticed this overlay image:

http://www.acentient-software.com/acentient/default.htm

Can you set the transparancy of those images? Is that entire image refreshed (from off to on) or just the garage door part? Do you just replace the jpg based on an event's value?

BTW, you would fair better with USA pricing announced in our post!

Looked very quickly through your site and have some more questions:

What hardware do you support?
Do you have a web server or remote client capability?
What speach engine do you use?
What scripting language do you support (if available)?

Regards,

BSR
 
Dear BraveSirRobbin,

Thank you for your interest and questions concerning Adaptive Home Logic.

Q. Can you set the transparency of those images? Yes
Adaptive Home Logic actually uses (very good + free for personal use) third party software for the interactive (text &/or graphically) screen overlay scene(s) while it operates in the background.

Q. Is the entire image refreshed? No just the part that is changing
This saves on computer resources.

Q. Do you replace the jpg based on an event’s value? Yes
This is accomplished by using a rudimentary Batch file called by an event.

Thank you for the advice concerning USA pricing, I will update the web site in due course with pricing in $US. The price is currently £39.95 (Introductory Discount) which is approximately $69 US dollars subject to currency fluctuations.

Q. What hardware do you support?

A. This is a good question. The Adaptive Home Logic program has been designed to respond too and control Parallel (Printer Port Type & Expansion Bus Type) I/O boards and up to 8 RS-232 serial devices concurrently, because of this it should be able to work with many different Home Automation devices. It was not designed with just one or two specific devices in mind, but rather can be adapted to function with a wide variety of generic devices. At the moment it can not directly control a USB device.

Adaptive Home Logic is a cross between the very easy to use but inflexible systems and the very flexible system that are difficult to use.

Q. Do you have a web server or remote client capability?

A. At this time the program can not directly serve or be controlled via a web page. It can however be controlled securely via a remote internet connected computer using the Windows XP Remote Assistance feature.

The program can however send particular messages instigated by an event via E-mail (with SMTP Authentication), which could then be relayed to a mobile phone. It also introduces the new unique ability to report to and be securely controlled via an independent APRS equipped amateur radio.

Q. What speech engine do you use?
The program is compatible with all SAPI4 voices (TTS Engines).

Q. What scripting language do you support (if available)?

A. The program has been designed to be as easy to use and understand as possible whilst still being flexible. Because of this it avoids the need for programming and macro script writing as much as possible. Apart from the screen overlay scenes and the voice recognition engine, which require very small simple rudimentary batch files to interface with the program, no other script writing is required. All the events are established using an intuitive point & click interface.

Each event (which can control over events) can be conditional upon specific text being presented at the end of a specified text file. The program in general can also respond to a general input file.

Robin Grunwald
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Not being a member of the "touch screen" generation I find the focus on system messages and com port flexibility to be very refreshing in this product.

I wonder how hard it would be to use this with RCS thermostats using an RS232 to RS485 converter?

Also curious what might be a good product to use for hardware I/O if you needed around 75-100 inputs?

Also might be a challenge to do lighting control if you have to send raw commands to an Insteon PLC.

Definitely anxious to hear more about this program!
 
Thank you for your kind comments over the last few days. To expand on the topic mentioned:-

Although the Adaptive Home Logic application can operate quite happily on it own, reporting any changes in status by text to the screen, by speech, etc. (which some people prefer) it can also function completely graphically, using one or more interactive screen overlay scenes, being controlled via a mouse and or a standard PC touch screen as well as speech input, etc.

A screen overlay scene is simply an image file (gif, jpg, or bmp format), which can consist of just graphics or a picture or both, that is placed on the desktop (transparency / size adjustable). Multiple scenes may be created (allowing you to zoom into a particular area), and selected or turned on or off via the system tray. The screen overlay scene can also display a wide variety of system information, whilst using as little resources as possible.

The Adaptive Home Logic application can be easily configured to react to different graphics (or different parts of the picture) being clicked (or touched via a touch screen) within the screen overlay scene, it can also change parts of an image (with text and or graphics) to reflect any change in its status.

The advantage of this is that the application can be setup and utilised the way you want it to be, with the graphics, pictures or layout that you want, and / or to report its status with text messages (display and / or spoken) that you define. These things have not been presumed for you, it’s not inflexible or otherwise fixed in its ways.

I wonder how hard it would be to use this with RCS thermostats using an RS232 to RS485 converter?

The RCS thermostats uses ASCII based freeform character strings, so does the Adaptive Home Logic application so this should not present any problems. It just a case of entering the appropriate control sentence within the Send Data (True) or Send Data (False) fields within an event’s Serial Com Port Data section, depending on whether you want the event to send the control sentence when it fires or when it loses its true status.

There should also be no problems using a RS-232 to RS-485 (or indeed a RS-422) converter (Hub), however this has highlighted a very minor problem, in that the program was originally designed to monitor / control one device attached to one com port (although it can monitor / control up to 8 Com ports concurrently), however only a very slight adjustment to the code is necessary for the program to be able to control multiple devices on one multi-point serial link. This update will be made, tested and released within the next week or so. To install any updates simple download the latest version of the application. This will replace the existing application leaving the user data and licence intact.

The Adaptive Home Logic application uses Window’s built-in communications API, so if you have a multipoint communication card together with a Windows driver to support it, the application should be able to use any port on the card.

The Adaptive Home Logic application offer flexibility, not being fixed or limited to just a few supported devices, providing a software solution that can build on without compelling you to invest in expensive propriety devices.

Also might be a challenge to do lighting control if you have to send raw commands to an Insteon PLC.

We are looking into this and will comment on this question in due course. Although a nice idea, we’re not so sure this is the way to go, embedding data into AC power distribution is notoriously unreliable and not recommend by the power supply companies, or at least not in the UK, as they send their own data to control sub stations, etc. We are more interested in reliability and integrating industrial type controllers, especially when there is a concern about security. I sometime think that people have forgotten how much fun and how satisfying it can be to have a neat, secure and reliable cable distribution.

If there is no objection I am going to copy the question and answer on this topic to the Adaptive Home Logic community to help get it started.


Robin Grunwald
Acentient Software
 
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