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New Technology for Home Automation

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, March 17, 2005

New technology for home automation. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Products using what is called the X10 standard have been around for many years, allowing people to easily control lights and appliances with wired or wireless remote controls. It sends signals to modules through the wiring in your house. Generally, its cheap and works pretty well. Now, a new, improved standard is on the way that will be licensed by SmartHome, where VP Rajeev Kapur tells us…

"The new technology we developed is directly from the feedback from our customer base. It's called Insteon…I-n-s-t-e-o-n… your users can go to insteon.net to get some more information there. Insteon is a technology that we think is going to revolutionize home automation, it's going to make it more widely available to the masses. It's a dual band network protocol. What that means is that it's an RF and a power line solution. Our engineers found a way to synchronize the RF and power line signals together."

Which means when you or a programmed controller send a signal for lights to go on or off, for instance, the response is fast and reliable. The technology is backward compatible with X10 control modules. SmartHome is expecting it to catch on in a big way…

"ABI Research just did a study that they're expecting this home automation, electronic home improvement market to grow to about a nine billion dollar industry. West Technology Research… they're expecting close to 70 million Insteon devices by the end of this decade."

Insteon modules should arrive this spring with prices starting at about 20 dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.