NOBA USA partners with Homeseer, Cinemar, ...


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NOBU USA Brings Flexibility and Value to Digital Living by Partnering with Smarthome, Global Cache, HomeSeer and Cinemar

COSTA MESA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 11, 2004--
Dedicated to developing the next generation of home automation products, NOBU opens the market for component flexibility by building a truly open-source network.

NOBU USA, a leading provider of home automation products, has teamed up with four digital living hardware and software companies to advance flexibility in digital living. The bundled technology will allow homeowners the ability to choose a variety of theater, lighting, security, and sound-system manufacturers with easy integration of each component into NOBU's centralized controller, similar to "plug and play" computer peripherals. This new flexibility in choosing digital living vendors and components will create many customization possibilities and lower the cost of traditional home automation.

NOBU's technology partners are Smarthome Inc., the world's leading provider of electronic home improvement products and personal gadgets, Global Cache, an award-winning provider of products that enable technology in homes and businesses, HomeSeer Technologies, makers of the number one selling home automation software in the United States, and Cinemar, creators of MainLobby, a tool for designing attractive user interfaces in minutes.

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Is NOBU doing anything other than taking HomeSeer/Cinemar products and putting them on a computer with their name on it? I can't really tell too much from their web site (clicking on manual links doesn't take me anywhere).

Their media server computer is just a SFF machine (not sure whose it is) bundled with software - it goes for $2000 from

The touchscreen (wallmount) computer is running a VIA Eden at 700MHz and comes with a whopping 128M of RAM. $2650 at sounds a little steep.

I haven't really figured out which machine is running what. Nothing really indicates where HomeSeer is running. I assume it's the server.
If you go to the smarthome Fox "Renovate my Family" page, you can look at the products used for this week's show (tonight, I guess).

I was wondering where HomeSeer was. You can look for products by category - HomeSeer is listed under miscellaneous, along with these fine products:
Enchanted Candle Flicker Candle (a batter operated fake candle)
Heated Towel Rack
Hands-Free Soap/Lotion Dispenser
and a scuba mask.

This is also the page with the TiVo, Roomba, and other "real" products but they really could have done a better job separating the technology products from the fluff.
A few times over the past year and a half, I investigated buying NOBU unit(s). I spoke to them a few times. My impression is that they really seem to understand the needs of home automation, but they can't quite seem to put out a full featured product at a decent price. Also seemed a little flaky to me. But I really wish them the best - they have the right idea.


Don't expect too much technical stuff from that show. I was on the set when the episode in Dallas was filmed. I lot of money was poured into that house that wasn't even talked briefly about when the show aired.
AutomatedOutlet said:
Don't expect too much technical stuff from that show. I was on the set when the episode in Dallas was filmed. I lot of money was poured into that house that wasn't even talked briefly about when the show aired.
I struggled through the first episode that aired. I haven't felt any inclination to watch another.
Wouldn't it be sweet if there was a show dedicated to true home automation? I don't mean the super high end stuff that we can only dream about. I mean the real man's everyday automation. Now that I would definately watch!
About 3 years ago a local company that suppied X10 pro stuff, tried doing a weekly (on Sat Mornings) program on local TV, showing them doing customer installs, etc.

Tape and editing quality left a lot to be desired, and their explanations probably went way over the heads of most casual observers. More of a techie type infomercial wannabe.

I think they only did 12 or 13 shows, then pulled the plug.

I'm not even sure they are still in business. I telephoned them once about buying a module or switch, and their price for an x10Pro wall switch was more then most places sell the PCS brand for ~$80.

Yes we might watch, but most people probably wouldn't. They only did basic wall switches, lamp modules, etc. Don't recall them ever mentioning a coupler/repeater or any kind of PC contol accept ActiveHome and the CM11a.
I don't think that a serious series about this stuff would work. As mentioned above, not enough people would watch.

I think the right approach is for a current series to have one or two episodes describing available technology and showing some examples (with installation). This could be done on something like Monster House. Instead of creating a strange house, they could run it as a behind-the-scenes kind of show. "You know all the cool stuff we put in these houses, well here's how it's done." That kind of thing.

If a single episode proved popular, then they could have other occasional episodes covering different aspects.

I think these programs need to do something like this to keep people interested. I assume I'm not typical, but after watching one or two episodes I usually get pretty bored anyway.