2007 NextGen Home Gets Automated, Glimpses Digital Future

Popular notion holds that today’s home automation means some lighting and temperature control, while automated appliances remain part of a Jetsons-like future we’ve never quite achieved. However, the future was achieved at this year’s NextGen Demonstration Home, showcased during the 2007 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS). The entire home was equipped with remote and touch panels that powered a home automation system called Life|ware 2.0 from Exceptional innovation. Life|ware 2.0 controlled everything from the appliances and the lighting to the home’s security, ushering what was termed “a new level of digital living†into the kitchen and throughout the home. It is a digital entertainment and automation solution that expands a homeowner’s ability to manage subsystems and appliances via Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center to create a comprehensive digital living experience. The home automation solution is powered by its use of Web Services for Devices (WSD) to communicate between different home systems. By integrating Life|ware into Media Center, a user’s entire music collection, complete with album art, can be accessed on screen. It’s also possible to view slide shows of digital photos, schedule and record favorite TV programs, retrieve home videos and watch DVDs. Life|ware also gives homeowners the power to control a home’s lighting, thermostat and security systems, distribute music throughout the house, and enact homeowner-defined “Life|scenes.†In addition, the home automation solution also allows remote access and management of a home’s systems through a TV with a Media Center PC, Media Center Extender or Xbox 360, from a home or office PC or notebook from a Life|point touch panel or from a wireless device like an Ultra Mobile PC. The NextGen Home also showed the result of the partnership between LG and Life|ware: Life|ware Connected appliances that employ an adapter module that makes an appliance Life|ware Connected, thereby allowing homeowners to check the status of appliances and adjust functions to better suit their schedule. Other high-tech touches the NextGen Home showcased included a one-touch refreshment dispenser in the kitchen and a mirror that also served as a nightlight in both baths. Look for more information about this in the upcoming issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News. And log onto Live Events and Consumer Resources. In addition, try logging onto http://www.securityinfowatch.com/ for more information about home automation systems and home security.     (Be sure to log onto KitchenBathDesign.com for Kitchen & Bath Design News’ coverage of the 2007 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS) in Las Vegas. Log onto the home page to visit the Live Events, Top Headlines, Project Spotlight and Consumer Resources sections, and Product Gallery. And don’t forget to sign up for our eNewsletters that will cover other upcoming industry shows.)     The NextGen Home’s home automation solution was demonstrated.