Thursday, November 29, 2007

Neat technology!

So I'm having a very good week, I've apparently won over $90 Billion in European Lotto (from several different countries) and now that I have a home, car and wife I apparently need a big chicken (I didn't know Viagra would make chickens grow!?!). ;-) Also it seems that the Nigerian upper-class are all dieing off and leaving there money untouched. Since I have such an honest face they're asking me to help them (good thing I won all that money, now I can be very philanthropic and earn money too).

Note: I work for AT&T in the labs so I'm giving, what I think, is my honest opinion keep in mind that I work for the company whose products I'm touting. Also note that I am not speaking for AT&T here. Just thought you aught to know.

Anyway, more to the point. I had been giving Google's Android (Open Handset Alliance) a lot of thought and easily realized that the 'cell phone' is going to be the gateway to remote access to your home. AT&T Wireless recently came out with a way to remotely monitor you home. The service is called AT&T Remote Monitoring service. It provides a way for you to remotely monitor your home through your cell phone. I expect to see more services being provided to the consumers with more home automation and security being tied to remote access to you home (via video, audio and application access). And why would consumers being interested in this? Well it I'd like to know when my fire alarm goes off, or a security alarm or any number of other things. I'd guess that a number of security services provide something of this nature (if they don't they should!). As a DIY'r I could easily have my Misterhouse system send me an SMS message. I'd then access my home's camera system from my cell phone and look around or I can pull up my home's layout from Misterhouse and see what went off (fire, security, etc).

To that extent I got to drool as my friend Joe (he has the neatest toys!) showed me his latest. Joe picked up a nice Pantech Duo (Windows Mobile CE) with the AT&T Wireless data plan at the Black Friday Sale ($99 US for the phone)! He then proceeded to demonstrated accessing his Slingbox over the 3G (and Edge) networks (we have a micro-cell in our building and we know where the edges of the zones are - remember we're labs folks we're supposed to know this stuff ;-). The TV program played real nice over the 3G network, over the edge network it dropped a little bit because Joe didn't tuned the stream for the smaller bandwidth. He also displayed his cameras (lovely view) and he was able to access his home server. This was the kind of stuff I expect to see out of Android and the Open Handset Alliance. But please note, you have to make sure you purchase the correct data service to support you communications needs.

PS: To the folks who have contacted me about various home automation questions, keep 'em coming and I answer as quickly as I can. I've been surprised at the number of inqueries about HA I've been getting (I get about 10 messages a day on the subject). I think the next blog entry I post will be about the forums that are available.

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