CES 2005 Exclusive Update

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Note: Here is an exclusive update on CES 2005 held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Information provided was per notes taken (very quickly) during interviews with the various representatives. Information was "thrown out" at a tremendous pace, thus trying to interpret notes afterward may provide some information that is incomplete or inaccurate. Please keep in mind that the intent of these updates is to introduce our members to new technology displayed at CES and not to provide a "detailed" review of the products themselves.

Smarthome Technologies Booth

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I stopped at Smarthome's booth at CES 2005 and spoke with Mat Dean of Smarthome Technologies about their new Insteon line of switches.

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I originally reported that Insteon uses RF combined with X-10 technology when transmitting signals. This is INCORRECT. I went to CES again and spoke with Smarthome reps and got further clarification on this.

Insteon uses its own signal over the powerlines which is deemed faster and better than X-10. Only "Insteon" devices can receive this signal. It will not transmit traditional X-10 signal UNLESS you program the Insteon device to do so. So there is NO RF TRANSMISSION from any Insteon switch or controller. Instead the Insteon brand of switches or controllers can be set up to provide a traditional X-10 signal over the powerline OR an Insteon signal over the powerline.

What Insteon also has is an RF unit with an antenna that plugs into a wall outlet. You need two of these plugged into each phase of your home. These two units then "talk" to each other via RF, thus bridging the gap between the two phases. This technology will replace the traditional coupler/repeater (usually installed in a dryer outlet or breaker box).

Boy, was I disappointed! The rep saw my "hurt puppy" look and asked what was wrong. I said that I was lead to believe in my first visit that the Insteon was like Z-Wave technology combined with X-10. I even made the reference to Z-Wave when this was being first explained to me.

Oh well. This puts a whole new light (or in my case TURNS OFF THE LIGHT) on Insteon technology.

HERE is some literature I picked up and quickly scanned on Insteon as well.


Another advantage is the size of the new Insteon devices. They are a lot "thinner" than the traditional older model of Smarthome switches. Note the picture below where Mr. Dean is holding a new Insteon switch next to an older Smarthome switch.

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This technology will also be showing up in some appliances as well, though he was not at liberty to disclose any more information at this time.

Smarthome will be releasing this product later this year. They have a "Smartlinc" type of controller as well as shown below.

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They will also have the capability to change the color of the "side light bar" of their switches as shown below (he is holding a light change kit in his hand).

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Mr. Dean stated that Insteon is fully compatible with HAI, Homeseer, and Home Controls as well.

Please post all comments on Insteon HERE
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