Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Simple and secure networked home

20.08.2008
Most people will only start to control equipment remotely in their homes when they believe it is simple and safe to do so. A newly developed control system provides personalised answers.

Software that enables people to control the audiovisual equipment and white goods in their home through one simple, remote interface has been demonstrated by researchers on the ESTIA project.

New networked devices are automatically recognised by the system, and the network can be administered using a wide range of devices readily found in the home, including TVs, cordless phones, handheld PDAs, or from a PC.

Increasingly, multimedia equipment and even ovens, washing machines and tumble driers in our homes can be controlled remotely. While we see the benefits, few of us are firing up the oven from work so dinner is cooked when we arrive home. Why?

There are two main reasons we are reluctant to tap into home networks, according to Professor Lars Dittmann, a lead researcher in the EU-funded ESTIA project which studied what is needed in an enhanced networked environment for personalised AV content and appliances.

Firstly, he says, people perceive the control of networked devices as too complicated – particularly as the thousands of ‘networkable’ devices available for the home tend to have their own proprietary control systems. There is also a trust issue. Parents, for instance, worry that if it is possible to turn the oven on over the internet, their children will learn how to do it with potentially catastrophic consequences.

ESTIA’s solution

The ESTIA team sought to address both these issues by producing a single, simple and easy-to-use interface for all networked devices, and by giving each network user a personal identity with different access rights.

“For example, it would allow people entering the house to type in a four digit pin code on a pad by the door,” says Dittmann. “If there was an adult in the house, the children would be able to use the oven or microwave, but they couldn’t if they were home alone. Similarly, it is a way to control or block content on the TV.”

As well as the residential gateway software, for control of the home network via an internet connection, the team also developed a Home Media Gateway – a set-top box using Windows Vista, that allows a higher level of administration and control.

The ESTIA home networking architecture selects and uses whatever networking technologies are available – from IP-based networks to KNX. KNX, or ‘European Installation Bus’ as it has been known, is a wire-based platform for building control systems. Based on this physical infrastructure, ESTIA defined a set of higher-layer interfaces for machine-to-machine and person-to-machine interoperability.

Road to new standards

“We don’t believe that we have set the ultimate standard here,” says Dittmann, “but we believe we have moved the debate ahead by demonstrating that network control systems don’t have to be too complicated. It is simple for anyone who can use TV text to set up a device and an administrator, after connecting a device, can decide that it should only be visible or controllable by certain people.”

Having all devices on a single network and sharing one interface adds considerable flexibility and enables home users to personalise the services they use. For example, when a meal is ready in the oven an alert could pop up on the television screen in the living room.

Some of the participants are incorporating elements from ESTIA into their next-generation products. Keletron is introducing ESTIA’s audiovisual handling core logic in its product portfolio and presenting this to potential customers considering gateway installed services.

All of the companies that participated in the ESTIA project, including Siemens and the Slovenian white goods group Gorenje, have gained a lot of experience in how to exploit the commercial potential of a personalised home-networking control system, according to Dittmann. Moving forward from that point will require consensus.

“We demonstrated that devices could be automatically recognised by the network. To move forward requires the manufacturers of home-network-enabled devices to agree on a number of standards,” he concludes.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Seeing the forest through the trees with a new LiDAR system
28.06.2017 | The Optical Society

nachricht Drones that drive
27.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer Researchers Develop High-Pressure Sensors for Extreme Temperature

28.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Zeolite catalysts pave the road to decentral chemical processes Confined space increases reactivity

28.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Extensive Funding for Research on Chromatin, Adrenal Gland, and Cancer Therapy

28.06.2017 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>