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Home Automation | Home Automation DIY

New product alert: INSTEON Smoke Bridge

Posted in Hardware,Home Automation,Industry News by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 8th, 2013

Smoke bridgeNever again leave home without knowing that your possessions and loved ones are safe. The INSTEON Smoke Bridge monitors First Alert® ONELINK® smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This allows you to create email and text message alerts that can be sent to you no matter where you are.

Monitor the state of your home and be alerted to smoke, fire and carbon monoxide. When paired with an INSTEON Hub, the Smoke Bridge can send alerts to your smartphone via text or email informing you that something is wrong, giving you the knowledge to act to save your home and family from potential disaster.


How it Works

ONELink with voice

It all starts with a First Alert ONELINK Smoke Detector. If one of these detectors senses smoke, fire or carbon monoxide, they sound an audible alarm and send out an RF signal to other ONELINK Smoke Detectors.

The signal propagates throughout your home and activates every First Alert ONELINK Smoke Detector. Before long, every alarm is sounding. But what happens if you’re not at home?

The INSTEON Smoke Bridge detects the First Alert ONELINK RF signal and sets into action. Communicating with the INSTEON Hub or any other alert-ready INSTEON central controller, the alarm is sent out as an alert to your smartphone. Simultaneously, Smoke Bridge turns on any linked lights as an additional precaution, making escape at night even safer.


Source: Smarthome.com

Smarthome Introduces World’s First Remote Controllable Dimmable Receptacle

Posted in Hardware,Home Automation,Industry News by Ruslan Ulanov on the June 28th, 2011

OutletLinc Dimmer

Please welcome a new member of Smarthome’s dual-band INSTEON product family – OutletLinc Dimmer!

This is a first of its kind dimmable wall outlet, that can be controlled from a remote control, keypad or even a mobile phone. It features advanced options like an adjustable ramp rate that slowly brings the lamp on, a preset dim level that stores your preferred choice of 32 brightness levels when turning the lamp on initially, as well as load sense, so you can still use the lamp’s built-in switch to turn the light on and off.

OutletLinc Dimmer will be a welcome addition for families with small kids, thanks to its tamper resistant outlets, which have spring-loaded shutter mechanism that allows plugs to enter but resists access to single-pronged items like keys, hairpins, or nails.

Thanks to its dual-band technology OutletLinc Dimmer is able to send and receive commands using both radio frequency (RF) and power line. So it will repeat both signal types for other devices in your network, making your entire INSTEON system faster and more reliable. It’s also backwards compatible with X10 devices, making it a good addition for customers with existing X10 installations.

But the uniqueness of OutletLinc Dimmer is in its Dimmer Key, a small, razor-thin piece that goes over the lamp plug, which prevents others in your home from unplugging the lamp and plugging in non-dimmable appliances that could result in damaging of the appliance or even in a fire from overheating.

OutletLinc Dimmer Key

The OutletLinc Dimmer is available for pre-order at Smarthome.com for $59.99 for White (Item# 2472DWH), and $64.99 for other varieties (Light Almond, Almond, Ivory, Black, Brown, Gray). The shipments are expected to start in the end of July.

(continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

The Future of Home Automation

Posted in Home Automation,Industry News by Ruslan Ulanov on the May 19th, 2011

So, you want to know the future of Home Automation? No problem!

Future telling is expensive business, you know, but if you have between 3 and 10 thousand dollars to spare, then ReportLinker has a treat for you. They recently released a comprehensive report on the state (and the future, of course) of home automation industry.

This report examines how consumers and governments are creating a booming market for “smart home” devices. It analyzes the companies, technologies, and products behind automation in energy, entertainment, home security and health care. It details pilot projects, product costs, industry trends, business alliances, and the new and emerging technologies that are shaping the future of the market.

In that report you will find information on all your faves, including Z-Wave, ZigBee, Insteon, and all the major brands that are moving into home automation market (with the exception of Android@Home, which was announced just recently).

Follow this link to download the aforementioned report or read on for more details and the table of contents. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Android@Home – what we know so far

Posted in Home Automation,Industry News by Ruslan Ulanov on the May 12th, 2011


Google has dropped the bomb at this week’s Goggle IO conference, claiming to bring Android platform in the near future to any device in your home – from light fixtures to tumble driers, to stereo systems. The technical details, though, are scarce at the moment. Here’s what we know about Android@Home initiative so far…

Android@Home will use a new low power, wireless (900Mhz), mesh protocol, similar to ZigBee. But unlike ZigBee it will be capable to carry audio and low-res video streams. “If an OEM were to do that it would most likely today be a proprietary solution,” claimed Android head Andy Rubin. “By the Android team doing that it becomes a standard.”

There could be up to 500 devices in a mesh and they can be up to 50m (~164ft) apart. There should be a central Android@Home base station (at present time code-named Project Tungsten) in the mesh to bridge wireless devices with Android phones/tablets.

Protocol adopters (i.e. device manufacturers) will have a relatively low cost of entry, thanks to “no NDAs, no fees and no approvals process”. Currently the details of the implementation are not revealed, but Google promised to open source the protocol as soon as it’s ready. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

New CustomCTRL experimental app video published

Posted in Industry News,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the April 8th, 2011

Daniel Kleinman, the man behind a new home automation controller called CustomCTRL, has published a new video of the experimental iOS app prototype. It uses the accelerometer, compass and wifi signal strengths of the smartphone to add some pretty impressive capabilities. It’s really cool! Check it out below.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Link to new CustomCTRL app video