Well I've got a few tidbits for us today! The first is the Nokia 770 Internet tablet, which Dave Houston found and let the comp.home.automation newsgroup know about. From various Google info (thanks Dave!) we can piece together a cost of about $350 (w/0 VAT)/€350 (w/ VAT). It runs Linux and Nokia says it will support the Open Source community. It looks to have removable MMC memory cards and possibly a USB connection or Bluetooth interface. If it has a USB then we can hook up wireless networking and/or Bluetooth with a few other devices. This looks to be a useful interface to many of the HA control systems available (Windows, Linux, MAC or even custom controllers with web interfaces). One article noted that it might eat into Nokia's cell phone products because of VoIP. I have my doubts on this, for now at least, because VoIP isn't mobile and the 770 isn't a cell phone. So it's currently 2 different markets. If someone can work an IR remote interface into it (I thik I know how to do it without nasty dangles hanging off of it), in addition to a wireless network connection then I'm sure I can have this sitting in my living room replacing several devices, such as an Audrey.
The second item is a series of articles on home automation like topics that CNN ran in the Tech section on 2005/05/31. As usual I find them a bit funny and still useful. The above link is a story about how a family of 4 has decided to participate in an experiment/study where they get to live in a automated home. They get the full Big Brother treatment while they live there (it's a study so you can expect that). The story goes on how the home will adapt to the user's routines. This aught to be interesting to anyone who regularly reads the newsgroup comp.risks. We regularly see the end results of systems trying to adapt to the user (do what I mean). The articles further talks about using a cell phone to contact your home to get it ready for your arrival or notifying you a an important event that just occured such as a leak or water main break. This is the stuff many in the HA communityhave been doing for a while. The sidebars are also interesting. One talks about how we'll be using voice to control everything. I hope to attempt to use Sphinx to interface to my Asterisk PBX. Of course I'm still working on the Sipura SPA-3000. While I agree it that voice will become more prevalent, it won't replace the other methods of interface (command line, browser, phone/dtmf). Can you imagine trying to change the TV channel while your spouse is a sleep?