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 New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
16.01.2017 | University of Southern California

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT announces CloudTeams collaborative software development platform – join it for free
10.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>