17 December 2004

Home, safe Home

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Home sweet home, but not always safe. We hear daily about gas leaks, floods, circuit breaks and fires. Victims are often children, the elderly and the disabled

Home sweet home, but not always safe. We hear daily about gas leaks, floods, circuit breaks and fires. Victims are often children, the elderly and the disabled. But now the smart house can guard your life.

Leaving for holidays can make you feel quite excited. In the general chaos of packing and making arrangements at home and at work holidays feel long-awaited. And finally, on your way out, you check all devices, taps, plugs and sockets. But have you ever felt anxious that you’ve forgotten something?

This feeling is about to be banished. Your house will take care of itself. It will automatically check the status of the devices, and alert you in case of trouble. This will be possible through a control unit, which is connected wirelessly to all appliances in the house or apartment. Communication will take place through the Internet or the telephone line, as well as directly to a PDA. Soon the control unit will even automatically request maintenance assistance from manufacturers.

Assured safety is only one of the advantages offered by Hometalk. Your house will also serve as your butler. It will be capable of executing automated sequences of everyday tasks, which have been previously programmed. Or you will be able to operate the appliances from anywhere in the world through ordinary telephone lines, wireless microphones and the Internet. All this will be possible thanks to system integration of cameras, projectors, microphones and computer-controlled laser pointers. A PDA enables voice inter-face between the house and the user.

The architects of this smart house belong to the Hometalk pan-European project team, which includes researchers, telecom operators and the appliance industry experts. The EU is supporting the development of this technology to improve quality of life for European Union citizens, and to guarantee that homecare of the elderly and disabled is at its absolute best. So far there are only a few such intelligent houses in existence, as part of a trial phase. But it will not take long before it is marketed Europe-wide. And the saying may one day be changed to “Home, safe home”.

 

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Category: Society

Home, safe Home

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