Three years ago Exceptional Innovation began with the introduction of its home automation product called Life|ware. It is a whole-home solution that allows homeowners to connect different electronic devices from a variety of manufacturers, says Jason Leonardelli, project director, Exceptional Innovation based in Westerville, Ohio.
Homeowners can connect all their lighting, HVAC systems, cameras, security pads and media systems into one solution. Life|ware minimizes the complexity of home automation by relying on the technology called Web Services for Devices. “WSD is best described as USB for the Ethernet. When you have WSD-enabled devices and you can connect them to the home network via Cat 5 cable or wirelessly, they speak the WSD language. Life|ware can automatically [identify and integrate] the devices,” Leonardelli says.
Life|ware software can be viewed on TVs or touch screens throughout the house and enable the homeowner to view the scenes in each room in their house. “It offers convenience to the homeowner. Because homes are now much bigger, it could be a five-minute exercise to turn off the lights,” Leonardelli says. “But with Life|ware, you can walk out the door and hit a light switch that will turn off all the lights in the house and turn the temperature down to an energy-efficient setting. The reverse can happen when you come home.”
At the beginning of 2007, Life|ware 2.0 was unveiled. This new system is designed to run on the new Windows Vista operating system. “There are a lot of security features built into that operating system,” he says. “We knew that WSD would be a major component of the Windows Vista operating system.”
Exceptional Innovation works with other manufacturers to design their products with WSD technology. When Exceptional Innovation began, no manufacturers or electronic devices were WSD enabled, now there are 31 different manufacturers that support WSD on 170 devices, Leonardelli adds.
Installation isn’t much more invasive than other home automation products. “We are talking about either expanding or using the existing structured cabling plan that is already spec’d into the home. Take standard network infrastructure and use that to facilitate the connectivity for both entertainment distribution and home control within the house,” Leonardelli says.
Life|ware offers design/builders the opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Home automation will become the standard, Leonardelli says, so making it part of a design/builder’s basic package now will put them ahead of the pack.
Exceptional Innovation offers Life|ware certification to integrators around the country. Leonardelli suggests that any builder or architect interested in including Life|ware in a project should contact Exceptional Innovation to be put in contact with a certified individual in their area who understands how to implement it properly.