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October 29, 2009

News for the automated homes and buildings industry

 Home Systems
  • Verizon, Motorola unveil the Droid
    Verizon Wireless customers will soon be able to get their hands on the much anticipated Google Android phone called the Droid. The companies officially unveiled the device at an event here. Like most smartphones of its class, the phone will cost $199 with a two-year contract. And it will be available to consumers starting November 6. Customers can pre-order the device now. CNet (10/28)
  • First LEED log home certified in U.S.
    The first LEED Platinum log home in the U.S. was designed by Eric Hughes of Image Design LLC, and built by Hybrid Homes LLC out of Muskegon, Michigan. The house is located in Pentwater, Michigan and features the extensive use of re-used, recycled materials and efficient technology. Jetson Green (10/26)
  • Electronics survey highlights 30-somethings
    A recent survey revealed that customized-electronics dealers used to working with men in their 40s will need to adjust to cater to younger clients. According to the survey, men in their 30s place less emphasis on HD and audio products, while 70% want online media via their TVs. (10/27)
  • New report outlines home automation trends in Asia
    According to In-Stat the Asia/Pacific home automation services market is expected to grow quickly in 2008 and 2009; however, the market development within the region is uneven. Japan and South Korea are expected to continue to take the leading positions in the region in terms of the technology. China, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore are potential markets with the need for more customer education. Live-PR (10/14)
  • Ericsson, Samsung make LTE connection
    The flood of pro-long term evolution (LTE) in mobile communication announcements continued late last week with news that Ericsson AB and Samsung Corp. have "successfully achieved interoperability between the world's first commercial LTE device from Samsung and the live network from Ericsson in Stockholm, Sweden." Light Reading's Unstrung (10/23)
  • uControl and SMC Networks partner on home security, monitoring, automation
    uControl, a leading provider of next-generation home security and automation solutions, and SMC Networks, a specialist in providing high-quality, reliable customer premise equipment to service providers, announced an industry-changing partnership that will result in accelerated innovation and manufacturing efficiencies within the security, energy management and automation space. PRWeb (10/28)
  • HAI adds touchscreen control/energy management to DSC panels
    Home Automation, Inc. (HAI), a leading manufacturer of integrated security and home automation products has announced the improved integration between HAI's Lumina central lighting and home automation product line and Tyco's DSC PowerSeries security panels, allowing touchscreen control and energy management. (10/27)
  • Intruder alarm transmission systems poised for growth in U.K.
    Estimates supported by the British Security Industry Association suggest that the annual cost of crime to UK businesses - not including crime at domestic premises - has now topped £19 billion As a consequence, new kinds of 'cost-competitive' dual-path security alarm transmission systems are opening up new opportunities for installers upgrading from audible-only. (10/28)
  • Vizio expects flat-panel growth
    Vizio Inc., a supplier of low-cost flat-panel-display TVs in the U.S., expects shipments of its liquid-crystal display televisions to rise more than 70% to more than six million units this year as prices are set to fall at least 30%. Wall Street Journal (10/27)
  • A "to-drool-for" home theater
    For newly minted lottery winners with an appreciation for home theaters, check out this report. It details the creation of a to-drool-for, nautically inspired, 5,600-square-foot home-theater setup that's tucked into a home in New York's Adirondack Mountains. (10/23)
  • NIST accepts CableLabs specs for smart grid of the future
    The National Institute of Standards and Technology has accepted the initial specifications for the cable industry's participation of the Smart Grid of the future. Among the specs that were accepted are CableLabs' PacketCable guidelines for home automation, home security and energy management, according to a draft report from the NIST. (10/23)
  • Best Buy offers Blu-ray player that streams Netflix, too
    Best Buy in-house brand Insignia has introduced the NS-BRDVD3, a Blu-ray player with a twist: With a firmware update, it is capable of streaming Netflix content. Best Buy currently is offering the player for $99, which puts it in direct competition with the Roku media player. (10/26)
  • Solar community on track to dramatically reduce energy costs
    Initial testing of the effectiveness of Alberta's innovative solar community, a 52-home neighbourhood in the Okotoks is meeting all expectations. Though only two years old, the extensive engineering to create the solar-powered neighbourhood is already on track to use the sun to produce 90 per cent of its heating requirements by year five, according to tests by Natural Resources Canada. Ottawa Citizen (10/24)

  • fifthplay selects Linux for home automation gateway
    Wind River recently announced that Belgium-based fifthplay, a subsidiary of the Niko Group, has selected Wind River Linux to enable its new home automation gateway. The FG4000 Gateway platform allows sensors, lights, cameras and a wide range of home automation equipment to be seamlessly linked to and controlled by mobile phones or via a Web interface. Hiddenwires (10/26)
  • Wal-Mart offering home theater installation
    In an attempt to position themselves as an alternative to Best Buy’s Geek Squad, Wal-Mart is stepping up its consumer electronics offering by providing installation services. For a cost of anywhere from $99 to $339, customers can have their new television, computer, network or home theater set up by Wal-Mart’s team. The service includes a pre-purchase consultation and a tutorial on how to use the newly purchased equipment once it is set up. High-Def Digest (10/27)
  • Microsoft: Built-in Blu-ray not in Xbox 360's future
    Microsoft has no plans to redesign its Xbox 360 video game console to include a Blu-ray player, according to a company spokesman. The software giant, which supported Toshiba's HD DVD platform in the high-definition format battle with Blu-ray, has been bulking up the VOD capabilities of its console through the Xbox Live service. Digital Trends (10/23)
  • Sony PS3 users get Netflix access at no extra charge
    Looking for a competitive edge against Microsoft and its Xbox 360 console, Sony has announced a deal in which owners of its PlayStation 3 system will get access to Netflix's library of TV shows and movies for instant streaming. The key difference with the Xbox 360, which offers Netflix access for $50 a year, is that Sony will provide the Netflix gateway at no extra cost to Netflix service subscribers. Reuters (10/26)
  • Toshiba first major CE maker to launch methanol cell charger
    Toshiba ended years of research and development in finally introducing a charger in Japan based on technology called direct methanol fuel cell, or DMFC, which can power up batteries in cell phones and digital cameras via USB connections, the company said. Toshiba, which issued no plans to sell the charger -- named the Dynario -- overseas, will limit sales to 3,000 units at $328 apiece. PC World/IDG News Service (10/22)
  • 3-D TV is getting closer, but business model remains elusive
    While the technologies needed for 3-D TV production are ramping up -- and their cost is coming down -- a business model that is profitable for providers and fair to subscribers does not appear to have emerged yet. At a panel discussion, Steve Necessary, the vice president of video product for Cox Communications, said he was not fond of creating a dedicated 3-D channel that would be paid for by subscriber fees, adding, however, that "if enough consumer interest is generated, then, of course, we are interested." Broadcasting & Cable (10/21)
  • Video: Windows 7 hits stores
    Microsoft last week officially released Windows 7, the much-hyped, highly anticipated successor to the company's Vista operating system. With the sluggish, buggy Vista usurped, analysts expect computer users in large numbers to switch their operating systems for the first time in nearly a decade. ClipSyndicate/Bloomberg (10/22)

Click here for CABA's Industry Events Update

  Large Building Automation
  • Obama putting $3.4B toward a 'smart' power grid
    President Barack Obama made a pitch for renewable energy Tuesday, announcing $3.4 billion in government support for 100 projects aimed at modernizing the nation's power grid. AP (10/27)
  • HVAC control market poised for growth
    The HVAC market, like nearly all other markets, has been significantly impacted by the economic turmoil that materialized in 2008 and accelerated through the first half of 2009. The HVAC market enjoyed a strong 2007 and early in 2008 the market looked like it was going to enjoy another strong year, but the collapse of the US housing market and subsequent chain reaction of events made for a very difficult business climate for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009. ARC Advisory Group (10/26)
  • Whirlpool awarded stimulus smart grid grants
    The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp. $19.33 million in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the Detroit Edison Company will receive $83.83 million. (10/27)
  • BofA wins award for building automation project
    The Bank of America Building Automation project was selected by an independent panel of automation industry experts as the gold award winner in the building automation category at the fifth annual Machine-To-Machine Value Chain Awards. Bank of America is deploying a nationwide energy and maintenance management solution that will significantly reduce both the energy and maintenance costs at 3,200 branches. PRWeb (10/23)
  • Buildings gain by putting energy efficiency over other LEED aspects
    Building owners can get the most out of their LEED status by focusing on energy efficiency over other LEED aspects, according to research conducted by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). CNT analyzed how projects performed over multiple years in areas including energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, operating costs, commute transportation and occupant comfort. Environmental Leader (10/27)
  • DOE releases new versions of EnergyPlus and OpenStudio
    The U.S Department of Energy released updated versions of its EnergyPlus simulation software for modeling heating, cooling, lighting, ventilating, and other building energy flows. Additionally, the DOE released its OpenStudio plug-in for Google's SketchUp program. Available for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems, EnergyPlus 4.0 also includes two new application guides: "Energy Management System Application Guide" and "Using EnergyPlus for Compliance." cse live (10/27)
  • Top three trends for security integrators
    There are three big trends that will impact the specific interests of the security integrator community. In short, they are security, Web 2.0 and IP. The community would be well served, and positioned, to pay closer attention to these trends. Security Magazine (10/20)
  • REM Eyewear completes revolutionary, suspended solar power system
    The first, cable-suspended free span solar energy system was completed on October 21st over the REM Eyewear headquarters parking lot. The revolutionary, uniquely aesthetic solar panel system is designed to utilize otherwise untapped air-space, in future applications that include coverage over aqueducts, irregular terrain, agricultural and brown fields, parking lots, and pedestrian malls and walk ways. (10/12)
  • Microsoft releases smart energy reference architecture
    Microsoft recently released its Smart Energy Reference Architecture (SERA). SERA establishes a vision and strong foundation for migrating power and utilities companies to the new infrastructure and services. SERA informs customers, partners and prospects about the Microsoft technologies that can serve as the basis for their development of the what we often call the integrated utility of the future. MSDN (10/22)
  • Imagine the smart city
    Smart cities are a bit of a twist on smart growth, a term that emerged from the U.S. in the mid-1990s. Smart growth means building liveable communities without hurting the environment; communities that are healthy socially and economically and environmentally. Financial Post (10/26)
  • Cincinnati Zoo obtains LEED certification
    The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Historic Vine Street Village complex, which opened in May, has helped make it the greenest zoo in the country. The Cincinnati Zoo is now the first zoo in the U.S. with multiple LEED projects and the second zoo in the country to receive LEED Platinum certification. Zoo and Aquarium Visitor (10/28)
  • Video: Broadband World Forum 2009 Keynote
    Enjoy the Broadband World Forum 2009 keynote address from Orange’s Senior Executive Vice President, Innovation and Marketing, Jean-Philippe Vanot, delivered during Broadband World Forum Europe 2009. He discusses how information and communications technologies can aid the global economic recovery. IEC (10/21)
Member Press Releases
  • Call for Presentations Deadline Approaching for 2010 Niagara Summit
    Tridium announces a Call for Presentations for the 2010 Niagara Summit. Hundreds of attendees will gather in Las Vegas (May 2nd-4th at the Red Rock Resort) and come together to exchange and share experiences on automation infrastructure technology, device-to-enterprise integration and find out about the latest advances on how devices integrate, connect and create interoperable environments.
  • Other Items
  CABA Research Spotlight
  Education & Training 
  • Webinar: ITU-T, & Wired Network Inflection Point
    HomeGrid Forum is providing a new, free downloadable webinar that covers key technical milestones concerning the specification. The webinar asks: Why does continue to gain broad support from countries and companies around the world? What is the impact of the ITU’s decision for consumer electronics manufacturers, service and silicon providers? And where is the market headed?
  • Webinar: India's Telecom and Broadband Market Developments
    Check out IGI's second installment in its new Emerging Telecom Market Webinars series with a webinar on India to held Oct. 30 at 11 am ET. The webinar will examine: Indian carriers and industry structure; the challenges and opportunities for wireline communication; broadband and Internet applications; and the state of the market, industry trends and growth opportunities.
  • Webinar: Using ZigBee to expand health care market opportunities
    You, your co-workers, clients and associates are invited to attend a free ZigBee webinar entitled: ZigBee Health Care: Expanding Market Opportunities with Health and Wellness Monitoring. The webinar is scheduled for Nov. 10, at 11:00 am ET. ZigBee Health Care is the newest public application profile from the ZigBee Alliance. It lowers healthcare costs by promoting wellness, fitness and reducing in-patient stays, without sacrificing convenience or mobility. ZigBee Health Care will help people live healthier, happier, independent lives.
  • Online trade show: BCA's SkyFORUM
    SBCA's SkyFORUM® is the satellite broadcasting and communications industry's new online event that gives you the product demos, sessions, training and networking found at traditional trade shows but without the hassles of leaving your business and customers. The online trade show will take place 11 am to 7 pm ET on November 18.
 CABA News
  • CABA to hold meeting on connected home marketplace
    CABA's Connected Home Council will hold a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009 at 3 pm ET by conference call. Established in 2004, the CABA Connected Home Council initiates and reviews projects that relate to connected home and multiple dwelling unit technologies and applications. The Council also examines industry opportunities that can accelerate the adoption of new technologies, consumer electronics and broadband services within the burgeoning connected home market. For additional information about this meeting, please contact Don O'Connor, CABA Business Development Manager, at: or 613.686.1814 x226.
  • CABA to hold meeting on intelligent and integrated buildings
    The next meeting of CABA's Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council will take place on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009 at 11 am ET by conference call. The meeting will examine CABA initatives on the smart grid, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 189.1, CABA's Intelligent Buildings Market Sizing for North America research project, the Office of Future research project, CABA's BIQ and Life-Cycle Costs tools, education and training and more. For additional information about this meeting, please contact Don O'Connor, CABA Business Development Manager, at: or 613.686.1814 x226.
  • CABA proud to again partner with NEXTGEN Home Experience
    The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), through its Connected Home Council, is once again the official Association Partner of NEXTGEN Home Experience. The 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show to held January 7-10 in Las Vegas will feature the NextGen "Digital Home for the Ages" and will focus on consumer electronics technology targeted for the 50 and over "silver" generation. "Home for the Generations" is the theme for the 2010 NEXTGEN Home Experience that will be featured at the 2010 International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. For more information and how your organization can participate, go to: WWW.NEXTGENHOME.COM.
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