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July 23, 2009

News for the automated homes and buildings industry

 Home Systems
  • CANASA appoints new Executive Director
    The Canadian Security Association (CANASA) announced that it has appointed Mr. Jean-Francois Champagne as its new Executive Director. Prior to joining CANASA, Champagne has been part of the electronic security industry for more than 15 years most of which were working for security product manufacturers. CANASA (7/21)
  • Tridium's smart home technology featured by U.S. Department of Energy
    Tridium’s Smart Home Technology is being showcased in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Living Zero Home Tour. The DOE’s Living Zero Home Tour is traveling across the country to show useful and affordable ways people can save energy, reduce their utility bills and to demonstrate the benefits of using energy efficient products and technologies to live more comfortably, use less energy and contribute to a eco-friendly environment. Tridium (7/8)
  • CEA forecasts CE revenue will fall nearly 8% in 2009
    The Consumer Electronics Association last week forecast that U.S. revenue from consumer-electronics shipments would drop 7.7% this year, to $165 billion. Part of the drop, according to the association's Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, is due to the maturation of some categories, such as video game consoles, MP3 players and digital cameras. Dealerscope (7/20)
  • Market for IP multimedia phones set to take off
    The IP multimedia phone may turn into the "fourth screen" in Americans' homes, according to market researcher In-Stat, based on consumers' increasing need for visual communications. Multimedia phones are expected to bring in as much as $8 billion in annual revenue by 2013, In-Stat said, with the increase in the number of homes with broadband access helping to drive the sales. (7/16)
  • Blu-ray disc sales, rentals skyrocket
    Sales of Blu-ray discs jumped 91%, to $407 million, in the first half of 2009 even as consumers' home-entertainment spending fell. Digital Entertainment Group said revenue from Blu-ray rentals also increased, by 62%. PC World (7/16)
  • PlayStation Network reaches the 500-million mark
    The PlayStation Network has reached the 500-million mark for pieces of digital content, such as movies and TV shows, that have been delivered to PlayStation 3 and PSP devices. According to this report, the distribution mark is an important one for Hollywood studios, which have been slow to reap the financial rewards of digital downloads. The New York Times/GigaOm (7/19)
  • U-SNAP Alliance releases first specification for home to grid product developers
    U-SNAP Alliance, formed by a group of utility industry leaders to create a low cost connector standard to enable consumer products to communicate with any vendor's smart meter, released its first specification for product developers. The Utility Smart Access Port (U-SNAP) Bus Specification provides manufacturers with guidelines on how to create U-SNAP compliant interfaces to accommodate radios for several popular wireless standards including ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wi-FI, FM, and FlexNet. Utility Products (7/21)
  • Crestron introduces Prodigy Home Control
    Prodigy is a simple to install, easy to use, and exceptionally affordable solution that does not require any special wiring, programming or expensive custom installation. Prodigy home automation solutions include home theater, audio distribution, lighting and climate control. CEPro (7/21)
  • Security experts at home: no downtime
    There's no rest for computer security professionals, assuming they have one or more computers at home. TechNewsWorld polled some experts in the field to find out how they safeguard their personal systems, and we were surprised at the wide range of responses. Some experts really batten down the hatches, while others rely more on common sense than on security software. TechNewsWorld (7/22)
  • Companies chase the promise of high-tech homes
    Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc., among others, are selling systems to centrally store and manage digital media in the home. Other start-ups are also vying to supply software to monitor and manage such technology, which could be a $5 billion a year market by 2011, according to research firm Parks Associates. Wall Street Journal (7/22)

  • British Gas announces new money saving technology
    British Gas has just announced it has signed a brand new agreement with to trial a new type of technology to help households around the UK cut their gas and electricity consumption. The system allows an energy kit to be fitted in a home and then connected to the internet. From there the household will have its energy usage monitored by (7/22)
  • Smart meters cracking into U.S. homes
    The number of smart electricity meters with two-way communications is poised to mushroom in the next two years, according to a study. Research company Park Associates this week released figures for smart-meter installations in the U.S., saying that there are 8 million units installed, or about 6 percent of all meters. As utilities upgrade equipment as part of smart-grid trials, the number of smart meters is forecast to grow to 13.6 million installed next year and to over 33 million in 2011. CNet (7/17)
  • New research released on home automation industry
    Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Home Automation Solutions and Business Issues 2009" report by Mind Commerce LLC to its offerings. The report provides updated information about home automation technologies, standards, organizations, designers and installers. The report also provides an updated vision for the home automation market, including an overview of current business models, global SWOT Analysis for the industry including real-world examples. The report also includes a market segmentation study that contains factors that shape the home automation industry. Research and Markets (7/22)

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  Large Building Automation
  • HVAC system helps provide cell phone reception
    The nation's largest convention center, Chicago's McCormick Place, needed a wireless service boost, and the HVAC system helped provide it. ExteNet Systems installed a proprietary wireless-over-HVAC system in McCormick Place that uses HVAC metal ductwork to distribute signals and create a new indoor wireless network. cse live (7/9)
  • PA state buildings upgrade, achieve savings
    Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services (DGS) has completed a project with Siemens Building Technologies to reduce energy consumption at the state government’s Health & Welfare and Labor & Industry buildings. The structures, each 50 years old, are located in Harrisburg, Pa., the state’s capital. GovPro Media (7/21)
  • HVAC manufacturers fighting new CSA standard on harmonics
    The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) is concerned about the proposed adoption by the Canadian Standards Association of the IEC 61000-3-12 Standard. The association, representing equipment manufacturers, has joined a coalition of 14 similar organizations, including the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, who were to be sending a letter of concern to CSA regarding the standard. Canadian Consulting Engineer (7/2)
  • Cisco, Intel help power up smart grids
    A broad group of companies including giants Cisco Systems and Intel Corp. are working with utilities to draft proposals competing for $3.9 billion in grants recently announced by the Department of Energy. In addition, Cisco is actively engaged in discussions on defining new variations of Internet Protocol standards to serve electric utilities. EE Times (7/21)
  • DOE, China to research greener buildings, vehicles, energy
    Energy Secretary Steve Chu is putting U.S.-Chinese cooperation into energy and efficiency research on the front burner this week with partnerships aimed at breaking ground in energy-efficient buildings, green vehicles and cleaner energy generation. IBM and Duke Energy are among the companies looking to China for new energy-related projects. Green Tech Enterprise (6/16)
Member Press Releases
  • MatrikonOPC passes another Milestone in OPC Server Functionality
    MatrikonOPC™ is proud to deliver on their commitment for higher levels of OPC Server functionality with the release of the newest version of their OPC Server Framework. Used in all of their OPC Servers, the newest version of the MatrikonOPC Server Framework includes advanced calculation and security options.
  • Other Items
  CABA Research Spotlight
  Education & Training 
  • Webcast: Construction Industry Market Insights
    On July 23 at 2 pm ET, join expert economists Jim Haughey, Ken Simonson and Kermit Baker for “Turning Points in Construction,” a complimentary, 90 minute Webcast focused on the key factors affecting the recovery of the construction industry. The Webcast is produced by Reed Construction Data in association with the American Institute of Architects. Register now!
 CABA News
  • CABA announces agenda for Office of the Future Consortium meeting
    The Office of the Future Consortium is a group of progressive utilities (Southern California Edison, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Seattle City Light, Sempra Utilities, National Grid, B.C. Hydro, NSTAR and Consolidated Edison) developing fully-integrated energy efficiency solutions for existing buildings. Leverage the power of some of North America's largest electric utilities by participating in research and development focused on the next generation of utility incentive programs. A face-to-face one day product manufacturers meeting has been scheduled for July 30 in Chicago, IL. Invited industry sectors include: lighting product manufacturers, HVAC equipment manufacturers, furniture manufacturers, plug load device manufacturers, console and metering manufacturers, interior designers, developers/owners, GSA and USGBC. For more meeting details please contact Don O'Connor at or 613.686.1814 ext 226 or Alex Detre at, 613.686.1814 ext 228.
  • Agenda announced for Connected Home Research Council Family Ecosystem Forum
    The Connected Home Research Council has announced its agenda for its Family Ecosystem Forum, to be held September 9. Hosted by Whirlpool Corporation in Atlanta, this event will bring together leading companies, including Microsoft, Direct Energy, Cisco Systems, CBS Vision, and P&G to examine the integration of consumer electronics and other cutting-edge technology throughout the home. Discussions will surround smart home technology, energy conservation, consumer technology convergence, and existing connected home technology and connectivity solutions that enhance quality of life. The Forum will also include a panel discussion on real world lessons in "aging in place" products and services. Please register today.
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