Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Exciting news from the Consumer Electronics Show......

So much has been going on that I have not been able to take the time to post any new items. Sorry for that! Time has really gotten away from me, but I am back and ready to provide you with more information as home automation technology is ever changing and there is so much to write about!

So, the CES show (Consumer Electronics Show) was just a few weeks ago in Las Vegas and from what I heard the big item that was the talk of the show were 3-D televisions. I'm not sure when this technology is really going to be ready for prime time, but manufacturers are pushing to get their new televisions out to market by spring 2010, even though 3-D content will be limited at best. There will be televisions that will take 2-D technology and be able to convert to 3-D technology as well as televisions that will be true 3-D, needing 3-D content in order to take advantage of the visual enhancement. These 3-D sets will be HD televisions and will be able to be used for non-3D broadcasts as well.

Another big hit at the CES show was at the Control4 booth, where it seemed to be standing room only most of the weekend. Control4, a leader in affordable IP based home automation solutions, is about to introduce their new software version (version 2.0) which I spoke about in my last post back in September. They showed a lot of new features including their new "App Store" that will be called "4Store" which users of the Control4 systems will be able to download applications that were developed by various developers (similar to iPhone apps).

Some of the applications that will be initially available are a Netflix app, an eBay app and an energy monitoring app that will allow you to see energy usage based on equipment tied to your Control4 system. There is also an application for wine enthusiasts called eSommellier, for managing your wine collection. Other apps are being developed as we speak. They even have a First Aid app that gives you step by step instructions to help a sick or injured person. My understanding is that some apps will be free downloads while other will be fee based and all can be selected and purchased right from your television or touch screen.

Version 2.0 software will be available Spring 2010 and current customers will be able to upgrade their systems to this new software version. It's not a simple upgrade, as all devices on the system will need a software upgrade as well, so the process can be time consuming depending on the equipment you have installed on your specific system. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this new technology or general home automation questions as well!

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