Remember when home automation meant having one light dim at a certain time? That seemingly simple task required an electronic monster installed in your basement. Now imagine having auto-control over every system and appliance in your home, distributing data, voice (VoIP), and audio and video throughout the house â€“ using your existing home network as the infrastructure. Broadband and wireless Internet access, Local Area (LAN) networks, more sophisticated computers and consumer electronics, and the digitization of entertainment are all generating new ways to tie your systems together.
Until now, automation systems had to be wired into a home’s electric infrastructure, and the vast majority of existing systems still use a single data protocol, (i.e., x10, zwave or others). But the next generation of home automation products will provide an all-in-one solution for easily controlling your entire home â€“ and they won’t require an expert technician every time you want to add a new appliance or reprogram your A/V system. They’ll be cheap, simple, and user-friendly, and they’ll be available right off the shelf.
One such next-gen system is Superna’s ControlBox. Superna supports almost all data protocols, with optional wireless connectivity using 802.11 a,b,g Wi-FI. The system can also be installed wired, using a standard 10/100BaseT Ethernet-based LAN wiring. Its wide variety of control options makes it flexible, affordable, compatible with other control systems, and extremely innovative in providing easy centralized control of your house or apartment through multiple automation scenarios.
Four features make Superna’s all-in-one system stand out.
1. Simplicity â€“ Easy installation and wizard-based configuration make this the simplest system to handle by far. Although not yet simple enough to be a shelf product, with a few hours’ training from your technician, you’ll be able to maintain the system yourself, and future Superna products could come completely DIY.
2. Cost â€“ Superna systems can cost as little as 30% of other systems.
3. Scalability â€“ Customer’s needs determine the type and size of control system and features, from basic home security to a comprehensive management system.
4. Inter-operability â€“ Superna is compatible with existing systems and with all standard home appliances and equipment.
Installation entails just three basic steps. First, connect Superna devices to your home LAN, either with cables or through your wireless router. Next, connect the ControlBox to whatever needs to be controlled, via serial connection, IR emitter, dry contact, or X10 (or ZWave in the near future). Superna already knows the “language,” or data protocols, of your other devices and can easily learn new ones using the wizard-based tools included in ConfigNet (or with the assistance of the dealer).
Third, with a push of a button, you upload and store the set-up information to every Superna product connected to the network, rendering each one completely independent of the others (in case one device in the network fails). The system then automatically creates user interface windows for each interface device (TV, PDA, laptop, computer, touch panel), and you’re ready to take control.
What’s Inside: Operating System Options
All Superna home control packages utilize the Linux 2.4.24 operating system, reflecting the belief that using free, open-source software saves on costs while maintaining quality. Superna’s ControlBox or MiniBox, both with the SH4 Hitachi 7751R processor and 128 MB SDRAM 100MHz memory, are designed for home automation control systems. The ControlBox connects to any type of household appliance, includes an embedded Mozilla Firefox browser (another open-source product) for on-screen display on a TV receiver, and handles streaming video in virtually every format (see specifications below). The more compact MiniBox is an inexpensive option where fewer connections are needed or a video display is not available.
For customers requiring high-end user interaction, Touch Panels (10″ and 6″) incorporate both home control and sophisticated A/V interfacing capability. Using an AMD SC2200, 266MHz processor and a SODIMM socket carrying up to 256MB SDRAM 100MHz memory, Touch Panels can be placed throughout the house and plugged into any wired or Wi-Fi network.
Copyright 2005 Vertex Security & Technology Inc.