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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited
A technology package that gives home-owners the same sophisticated control they take for granted in their cars was demonstrated at the Ideal Home Show at London's Earls Court in March/April of this year. The Techaus home automation system offers the home-owner control over security, lighting, heating, home appliances and home entertainment equipment. The Techaus system is operated with an infra-red hand-held controller, remotely by telephone or via the Internet, and is custom-designed for each home installation. The security system acts by contacting the householder by telephone, if it detects intruders, fire or water leakage. If the doorbell is rung, while the occupier is away from the property, the system will call the owner and allow them to speak to the caller over the phone or Internet. The system provides voice-mail for eight people, intercom and global appliance control. The lighting system both indoors and outdoors can be set to create a variety of moods. Lighting can also be activated for security purposes to create a "lived in" appearance. Movement sensors allow rooms to be lit when someone enters them. Curtains are controlled to open or close at times set by the home owner. Home heating is controlled by room sensors linked to an outside thermometer and to boiler control. The sensor learns the thermodynamics of each room and calls for heat to reach the desired temperature and timing programmed by the householder. Energy savings of 10-15 per cent over conventional systems are calculated. Similarly it is possible to control the cooling of rooms using a complete heating and ventilating control system. Data networks allow the convenient use of computers and printers throughout the property. The network can also distribute telephone, TV and camera signals around the home. The system also provides for the distribution of hi-fi audio and visual signals around the property. Audio or visual signals can be directed from any source, whether DVD, CD or video to defined areas within the house.