The field of home automation is expanding rapidly as electronic technologies converge. The home network encompasses communications, entertainment, security, convenience, and information systems.
A technology known as Powerline Carrier Systems (PCS) is used to send coded signals along a home's existingelectric wiring to programmable switches, or outlets. These signals convey commands that correspond to "addresses" or locations of specific devices, and that control how and when those devices operate. A PCS transmitter, for instance, can send a signal along a home's wiring, and a receiver plugged into any electric outlet in the home could receive that signal and operate the appliance to which it isattached.
One common protocol for PCS is known as X10, a signaling technique for remotely controlling any device plugged into an electrical power line. X10 signals, which involve short radio frequency (RF) bursts that represent digital information, enable communication between transmitters and receivers.
In Europe, technology to equip homes with smart devices centers on development of theEuropean Installation Bus, or Instabus. This embedded control protocol for digital communication between smart devices consists of a two-wire bus line that is installed along with normal electrical wiring. The Instabus line links all appliances to a decentralized communication system and functions like a telephone line over which appliances can be controlled. The European Installation Bus Associationis part of Konnex, an association that aims to standardize home and building networks in Europe.
Echelon Corp., the creator of the LonWorks system, is helping drive adoption of an open interoperability standard among vendors in the control networks industry. LonWorks is an open standard for network automation and control for the building, transportation, industrial and home markets. The AmericanNational Standards Institute (ANSI) has adopted the protocol underlying LonWorks control networks as an industry standard. The LonMark Interoperability Association is made up of more than 200 controls companies mission working on standard to integrate multi-vendor systems based on LonWorks networks.
The design, construction and operation of Smart Buildings is occurring as a result ofmajor financial, technical and environmental changes. These include the evolution of building systems within the building to IP-type networks, the financial advantages of integrated systems in reducing total capital and operating costs, and the importance of controlling energy usage and energy costs within the building in response to escalating energy prices and the “Green” movement to reducecarbon emissions.
WHat do they wanna do
Owners, designers and managers of buildings want integrated building systems to produce high performance buildings that add value, differentiate the building, control costs and meet occupants’ requirements. The challenges in doing so are many. How do you select technology amenities that will address tenant needs? Do the building designers and managers have theresources to really understand system integration? How do you manage energy usage and costs or the coordination of multiple designers and contractors? How do you procure the right facility management tools to obtain accurate, up-to-date information on the building’s performance?
The notion of buildings or homes having a "brain" where it actually adjusts and responds to the people living in them...