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Take your pick of technology for smart home nets

Posted: 11 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:home network smart? technology networking? implementation network?

Over the last few years, a great expansion in the variety of remote control devices has occurred in our day-to-day life. A few years back, IR remotes for the TV were the only such devices in the homes. But today, almost all the electronic devices are controlled using a remote, which results in large numbers of remotes in our homes.

Now the question arises as to why we need a lot of remotes. Devices such as TVs, garage door openers, light and fan controls etc. predominantly necessitate one-way, point-to-point control. They're not interchangeable, and they usually don't support more than one device. Because most remotely controlled devices are proprietary and are not standardized among manufacturerseven those remotes used for the same function (like turning on and off lights) are not interchangeable with similar remotes from different manufacturers.

In other words, the consumer has as many separate remote control units as devices to be controlled. To solve this problem, the universal remote controllers with learning capability are already in the market for the last few years. But because of their line of sight and short range of communication and limitation in the number of supported devices, they find only limited use in the home entertainment segment.

In addition to comfort, home security is a consumer's significant concern. Home security systems like burglar alarms, motion detectors and surveillance cameras are already emerging as popular products in the market. But these products offer somewhat limited security.

All these needs have triggered the requirement of a home network that can control and monitor a number of devices without any line of sight or range limitations.

A home network is a method of allowing different devices to communicate with one another. In a home network, one or more devices have the power to monitor or control the other devices in the network. Generally the home networks are used for communication between digital devices used within the household, usually a small number of PCs and accessories, such as printers and mobile computing devices. The major purpose is the sharing of Internet access (often a broadband service through a cable TV or DSL provider) or sharing of files and utilities. Today, however, home networks are finding extended applications involving data collection from several devices or specific sensors for centralised control from a single control unit that monitors the premises even when one is far away.

This article explores various home network techniques and the application possibilities with an implementation example.

View the PDF document for more information.

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