[CES] 2007 Exclusive Update - SMARTLABS/INSTEON


CocoonTech CES 2007 Exclusive Updates - SMARTLABS/INSTEON

Notice: Please be aware that information gathered from the various vendors’ booths was done at an incredibly fast and furious pace. The purpose of these updates is to make our members aware of the new technologies introduced during the show as quickly as possible. Some details and statements may have been (unintentionally) misinterpreted and thus not be entirely correct/accurate during this process.

I visited the SmartLabs/Insteon collection of booths while attending CES 2007 in Las Vegas on January 8th (first day of the show).

One new product that Mike Pearson (SmartLabsMike) showed me that is sure to draw a lot of attention is the Insteon remote (shown below). This remote can send Insteon signals via your existing RF phase couplers.

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Next I visited with a fellow Cocooner Ted Singh of Embedded Automation. Ted was showing the mCentral PC which is a media center and home automation server (running mControl) that can be mounted inside a structured media box as shown below.

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By having the mCentral PC in the utility area wiring closet you simplify cabling/wiring to other components as well as have the noise of the PC inside the media center. It runs a full dual core Intel ViV compatible platform running Vista.

It supports (via mControl) a multitude of security systems as well as Insteon and Z-wave plus internet IP cameras. One end of mControl will interface with HVAC, lighting, security hardware, etc... while the other end provides web server based interfaces to touch screen clients, mobile pages, etc...

mControl has an all new interface because of the new Vista "media center" markup language. They have taken the Microsoft UI's made available via Vista and integrated them with their mControl software.

One new feature in mControl is the ability to trigger macros based on video change of an IP camera. For instance when the video viewed by an IP camera changes, it can send a trigger to mControl which can then turn on a light, record for a length of time, etc... mControl supports Axis, Panasonic, and D-Link IP Cameras.

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An Insteon RF Thermostat was on display:

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Here is a picture of the new Insteon enabled Socket Linc.

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SmartLabs also has an Insteon RF enabled Smoke Detector (sends an Insteon signal that can turn on your lights, shut down your HVAC system, etc...)

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I also visited the Cortexa booth and saw their controller with a Samsung Q1 running as a client.

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Next I saw a Dlink Insteon router. Basically it is a standard network wireless router with updated firmware so you can now interact with Insteon products.

You can access your router's remote web page interface which now has an Insteon device area where you can control Insteon devices. (This should be out before the end of the year). It will send the signal to the powerline and to the RF interfaces as well. Currently you can only have "on-off" capability of the Insteon devices.

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I had a very nice visit with David Howard of Powerhome. David will have a new version coming out soon.

Some Powerhome capabilities include Elk M1 Interfaces that enable you to use the Elk as a controller to your Insteon devices (via a serial interface, Ethernet may be in future development).

Other features include a streamlined Insteon explorer interface as well as added control of an individual device right in the Insteon explorer menu (i.e. you don't need to go into the device status screen to turn a device on or off).

David plans on working on the manual and get it up to speed after this new 1.4 released version is out.

Powerhome can also easily configure an Insteon keypad linc device (set up linking as well as local ramp rates and levels).

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PowerHome is THE way of setting up your Insteon devices and linking (between devices as well as a controller) and also is excellent for maintaining and monitoring your Insteon network.

Powerhome provides full time monitoring of Insteon communications (reporting of Insteon reliability levels as well as error detection). The graphics (in the screen shot below) are sorted by problems (colors) that represent what is going on with your Insteon network. The graphs are an average of all Insteon communications since your last manual refresh.

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This excellent software also has a web interface for home automation needs (can design touch screen graphics with this capability as well). David will be improving on the graphics to enhance these visual interfaces in later versions. He will also be putting together a windows pocket pc interface in the near future.

Powerhome can support image mapping (for supporting devices such as Audrey's) as well as cascading style sheets for the more modern pocket pc devices.

Powerbuilder design view can easily link a button graphic to an Insteon device or macro. Currently a "color" feedback change isn't easily available but Dave plans on adding this feature as well as other indicators.. :blink:

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Some items I did not get pictures of were the Insteon "Broan" enabled exhaust fans as well as the Somfy Blinds that are Insteon Enabled.