The Smart and Not-So-Smart Appliances at CEDIA
September 27, 2011

Samsung's hum-drum WiFi-enabled refrigerator/freezer eliminates magnets, while Sub-Zero shows full integration with Control4 home automation plus a new kosher mode. Despite its “Intelligent Dispenser,” Samsung WiFi-enabled RF4289 refrigerator/freezer isn’t so smart.

Smart appliances may hold a lot of promise for the home of the future, but you wouldn’t know it by CEDIA Expo 2011. Two companies showed white goods at the Expo: Samsung and Wolf/Sub-Zero (in the Control4 booth). One was really smart, one not-so-smart. Let’s start with the latter. Samsung’s RF4289 “smart

Control4 Gets Full Integration with Z-Wave
September 2, 2011

Control4 home automation loves ZigBee, but a new driver from Extra Vegetables enables complete integration of 500+ Z-Wave devices. With a side dish from UK-based Extra Vegetables, Control4 is now compatible with 500+ Z-Wave home automation devices. Control4 is largely a ZigBee shop, but efforts have been made in the past to bring Z-Wave RF technology to the home automation system. It never took. Now, true Z-Wave integration is available, thanks to a new Control4 driver from UK-based Extra Vegetables, which creates “side dishes” for Control4 and other automation systems. The driver connects Control4 systems to the Vera 2

ihiji Joins Control4 Program
August 28, 2011

Ihiji announced Friday that it has joined the Control4 Solutions Provider Program. The deal means ihiji will be integrating its products with Control4 products and ZigBee devices.

ZigBee Updates Smart Energy Standard
July 26, 2011

Many have predicted that the ZigBee will be the wireless communications technology of choice in our smart grid world. It at least appears it will be used between two-way communicating smart meters being rolled out and smart appliances that will receive pricing signals from electric utilities and delay cycles to save consumers energy. The ZigBee Alliance has announced an update to ZigBee Smart Energy version 1 that appears to make utility smart grid rollouts much more feasible. It is now available for product development and public download.

Will Google Destroy ZigBee?
May 18, 2011

By The ZigBee home area network standard already has lots of challengers (Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, and HomePlug to name just three). Now it faces an assault from the biggest, baddest billion-dollar bully of them all – Google. Google recently announced it will create its own home networking standard as part of its Android@Homeinitiative. "But Android@Home is about home automation and home A/V, not smart grid," I can hear you saying. "How does it threaten ZigBee?" Two things:First, everyone knows that energy management will be an essential part of future home automation systems. Second, Google engineering director Joe Britt has stated

Cool New Smart Grid Tools
May 6, 2011

Too bad there’s no such thing as a personal shopper for smart networks. With more and better hardware and software available to utilities and their household customers practically every day, it’s hard to keep informed—and even more difficult to decide what to buy. Here’s a list of seven stellar new apps, devices, and components that you’ll want to see.

Utility access to public safety 4.9 GHz band – Earlier this year, the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC), a Washington, D.C.-based global trade association, proposed changes to the FCC that would make it easier for utilities to broadcast over the 4.9

Smart Appliances To Be A $26.1 Billion Global Market By 2019
April 21, 2011

As the global smart grid movement begins to transition beyond infrastructure and into the realm of energy efficiency applications and devices, smart appliances will have a growing place of importance within the broader industry landscape. The smart appliance market, which includes smart grid-connected refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, water heaters, dishwashers, and other appliances, is off to a slow start, but a recent report from Pike Research forecasts that these categories will experience greater growth beginning in the 2013 timeframe, and by 2019 the cleantech market intelligence firm anticipates that smart appliances will represent a $26.1 billion annual market.

Atheros Pushes Wi-Fi into ZigBee's Kingdom
April 20, 2011

Wi-Fi is spreading its tentacles in all directions, up towards HD video networks and now down into ZigBee's ultra-low power, embedded territory. The Wi-Fi standards have been closing in on ZigBee and Bluetooth for some time, and now Atheros is set to launch embedded chips, a move that is sure to be emulated by its rivals. The company, which is being acquired by Qualcomm, has also announced a software developer's kit for its forthcoming powerline chip, which will support the HomePlug GreenPHY specification

ihiji Adds Control4 Integration
April 5, 2011

ihiji said Tuesday that it is now offering compatibility with both Control4 home automation systems and ZigBee devices.

RFMD and Atmel Collaborate on ZigBee Solutions for Smart-Energy Applications
April 4, 2011

RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA has teamed with semiconductor manufacturer Atmel Corp of San Jose, CA, which provides microcontroller and touch solutions, to deliver ZigBee solutions for a broad range of smart-energy applications. RFMD’s newly introduced RF6575 ZigBee front-end module (FEM) has been combined with Atmel’s ATmega128RFA1 single-chip solution to create the ATmega128RFA1 reference design. RFMD says that the ZigBee-based solution can provide public utilities and consumers more control over how they monitor and save energy