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HAI Announces WL3 for Windows Home Server

electron

Administrator
Staff member
HAI has been pretty busy lately announcing new home automation products. Today, they announced WL3, a Windows Home Server plug-in which gives you full control of your home, using any device which has a webbrowser (including smaller devices such as a Black Berry or iPhone). It will also allow you to access your video cameras, customize the user interface, and has support RSS for custom data. Pretty impressive! The press release does not mention if connectivity happens through a central HAI server, or if you have to open up your firewall. See the press release below for more details.

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New Orleans, LA - HAI (Home Automation, Inc.), a leading manufacturer of integrated automation and security products since 1985, has announced a new software product called WL3 for Windows® Home Server. WL3 is an Add-in for a Windows Home Server that allows you to monitor and control your HAI Home Control System from any device with a web browser, including the newly announced iPhoneâ„¢ 2.0, iPod Touchâ„¢, BlackBerryâ„¢, Smartphone, computer, PDA, etc.

WL3 allows you to change your home’s temperatures, adjust the lights or security settings, or view any supported camera securely and easily. WL3 automatically configures supported UPnP IP cameras on your home network and allows you to manually configure other IP cameras on your network or cameras that reside anywhere on the Internet. It also allows you to view and record video from cameras in your home or from public IP cameras around town, such as traffic and weather cameras. Regardless of the brand of camera, the video is displayed in the WL3 format so that all camera feeds have a consistent look and feel. Easily select any camera, choose the frame rate and screen size, manually start and stop video recording, take a snapshot of the video image, and play, pause, or stop the video stream.

The Windows® Home Server is a central server that stores, organizes, protects, and allows you to share all of your digital photos, music, video, and documents, while running quietly in the background. When the WL3 for Windows Home Server Add-in is installed, it is continually monitoring your home. It can inform you of events such as the alarm system being disarmed or activated, a car entering the garage/driveway, or even if the wine cellar door or pool gate has been opened. WL3 for Windows Home Server can record video based on an event and/or send e-mails or text messages to inform you when an event has taken place. Recorded videos and snapshots are categorized and can be viewed anytime you log into WL3, locally or from over the Internet. The video can be played at normal speed or accelerated. There is even an option to step through each frame of the recorded video.

WL3 for Windows Home Server is customizable and allows you to change the user interface by applying different graphic and color schemes. You can also add RSS feeds for custom data, such as weather forecasts, sports scores, news, personal blogs, and much more, to your WL3 Home Page.

WL3 for Windows Home Server will be shipping in July and will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronic Association’s Digital Downtown (www.digitaldowntown-nyc.com), Consumer Technology Showcase, June 12-14 in New York. The event is open and free to the public and will be held at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan.
 

PaulD

Active Member
I installed my Windows Home Server (HP) last week. Pretty impressive capability for home networks. I know the serious IT people will complain about what it does not do but it is perfect for someone who wants a home server, easy backup, lots of file storage capabilty...all on a network without the complicated administrative issues of a full blown server. It is based on MS Server 2003.

I will grab the WL3 package as soon as it is released to link up with my Omni Pro II setup.
 

Frunple

Active Member
The press release does not mention if connectivity happens through a central HAI server, or if you have to open up your firewall.

Since it runs on WHS I would think you would access it through the WHS connector so you wouldn't need to open any additional ports, only what WHS requires.
 

Frunple

Active Member
Pretty impressive capability for home networks. I know the serious IT people will complain about what it does not do but it is perfect for someone who wants a home server, easy backup, lots of file storage capabilty...

Well, just watch out for the Data Corruption Bug (dubbed DCB by most WHS users), as long as you only have 1 drive in your system pool you'll be ok. Add more than one and you'll surely lose your data.
 

Frunple

Active Member
The Power Pack 1 Beta was just released that is said to fix the bug and a number of other things.

Yeah but if you check into that, it seems to have broke more than it fixed.... the whole WHS thing is not really up to par. The next version, named Vail so far, will be a much better version I think.
 
I don't understand that last comment, most folks seems to be happy with the beta, as happy as one can be with a beta, I don't see where there is a large number of things broke with the beta, it seems to be fixing more than it's broke.
 

htsource

Active Member
I don't understand why HAI would limit to WHS OS, not entire Windows 2000/XP/2003, how many HAI end users also have WHS - okay I admit it I don't have WHS so I'm ranting now :(
 

jharrell

Active Member
I don't understand why HAI would limit to WHS OS, not entire Windows 2000/XP/2003, how many HAI end users also have WHS - okay I admit it I don't have WHS so I'm ranting now ;)

I would imagine it has to do with the simplicity of creating a WHS add-on vs the Web-Link 2 install which had to setup a IIS web site and windows service. Also WHS comes with a valid SSL certificate and DDNS name for encrypted remote web access should you enable it, this makes support for people wanting to access their home remotely much easier than trying to explain to them how to get a SSL cert installed or exposing your OMNI right to the internet as with snap-link and having to deal with its proprietary port/encryption.

The only thing better would be selling an embedded web server with DDNS and SSL, but for $600 you can buy a HP EX470 to run WL3 on along with file storage and desktop backup, seems like a good fit.
 

PaulD

Active Member
I sat in on a web cast today from HAI concerning upcoming firmware release 3.0. A question was asked about including a web server in the Omni Pro. The answer from HAI was that they have not included that capability since it creates a security issue if someone wanted to hack into it via the internet. With the WHS package, the server is acting as a middle man and it inhibits the ability of the hacker to get into the security system on the Omni board. I am no expert in this areas and I hope I am stating it the way HAI intended but the bottom line is that a person can hack into the server but not all the way thru to the security system on the Omni.
 
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