You can buy a sophisticated home-control system today, but most have two drawbacks: You need a centralized controller to manage everything, along with a professional installer to set it up. Enter a new concept that Intel demonstrated Tuesday at its Research@Intel event in San Francisco: a peer-to-peer network of embedded micro controllers that homeowners can program for themselves.
Intel researchers demonstrated the concept in a booth set up like a tiny apartment. In one room, they had a webcam that recognized hand gestures. A thumbs-up gesture triggered an AV receiver to play music. Hand-swipe movements caused the drapes to open and close. A webcam in another room, mounted to a baby’s crib, was programmed to recognize the baby’s facial features. When the baby cried—they used a photograph as a stand-in—an instant message was sent to “mom’s” smartphone and music began to play to soothe the infant until she could arrive.
The researchers were using tiny hand-built computers—on the scale of a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino—but they said the real thing could be small enough to embed into the devices being controlled. The demo system was using a Wi-Fi network, but an Intel spokesperson said other protocols, such as Z-Wave, Bluetooth, or ZigBee, could be supported as well.
This story, "Intel’s new vision for home control: User-programmable peer-to-peer networks" was originally published by TechHive.