Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Open your mind to the home automation era

22.04.2004


Ever wished you could run some of your daily chores at the flick of a switch? Well, this may soon become reality thanks to an open source home automation and networking platform from IST project HOMETALK.

HOMETALK set out to overcome the problems posed by existing home networking, automation and control systems that automate procedures such as turning on the washing machine. As Christos Georgopoulos, CEO inAccess Networks, Greece, provider of a smart Home Gateway to the project explains: "For home automation service development, only closed solutions used to exist, each with a specific language that had to be mastered by specialist technicians. This did not help the progress of the service development market and could not build a critical mass of service developers that could support the requirements of the early adopters of the emerging Home Automation market."

The project partners decided to produce an open source platform to offer more freedom to service developers. "We offer it back in open-source in order to allow for input by other parties and to quickly gain adoption by developers," comments Georgopoulos, adding that the "target is to integrate the developer community and develop a standard base."



Designed with the requirements of service providers and operators in mind, HOMETALK is a platform from which they can offer their advanced services. The advantages include decreased development time, homogeneity such as a common language and the possibility to focus on the value-added service they offer rather than the need for interconnectivity.

The system combines previously unconnected appliances, such as a telephone and an oven, into one platform through a common reference point called a Residential Gateway, which has the necessary hardware interfaces and software protocol stacks to implement convergence between the different technologies. A number of systems can then be controlled from one platform to facilitate the process for user requests.

A more natural user interface

In HOMETALK, traditional Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) are speech-enabled with automatic speech recognition and text to speech generation capabilities to achieve a more natural user interaction. The user operates the system from a personal digital assistant (PDA) or an ordinary telephone by either programming or dictating into the PDA the actions they want HOMETALK-based systems to carry out, for example remotely switching on the oven for cooking.

Jan Sedivy, IBM Czech Republic, Project Manager of HOMETALK elaborates, "The central control/automation engine of Hometalk [called HERMES] includes a scheduler... It can register alarms that the user sets directly through the telephone by performing voice recognition." This allows the user to create various scenarios with the intelligent home devices such as programming lights to switch off at 11:00 and on at 16:00 daily.

Connected to devices on the home network, the platform allows for easy development of services that can offer elderly and disabled persons freedom at home to carry out tasks that might otherwise be difficult or not possible. A simple "emergency function" built on HOMETALK can telephone an elderly person’s children indicating that a sensor has been activated by a person falling over or if a special emergency button has been pressed. "It explains what happened [...] by synthesizing the appropriate message based on the exact situation [whilst] at the same time it talks calmly to the elderly person explaining that an appropriate person is in contact," says Sedivy.

The HOMETALK platform, which has now been finalised and delivered to the open source domain online at the project website address, will be trialled in Madrid, Spain (Telefonica users) and Athens, Greece (OTE users) from June 2004 until May 2005. HOMETALK has already presented prototypes of the platform at ’Net-at-home 03’ in Cannes, October 2003.

Contact:
Jan Šedivý
Manager of Voice Technologies and Systems Group
IBM Czech Republic
V Parku 2294/4
Praha 4 - Chodov
Czech Republic
Tel: +42-02-72131182
Fax: +42-02-72131401
Email: jan_sedivy@cz.ibm.com

Source: Based on information from HOMETALK

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&ID=64810

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano
20.10.2017 | Brown University

nachricht New software speeds origami structure designs
12.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>