Smart home monitors
The home of the future will have its own tablet computer from which you can monitor a growing set of digital, networked sensors.
LS Industrial Systems designed the LSMKE-D1 in-home display (below) to track energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. It also acts as an MP3 player, digital photo album and gives access to weather forecasts. It rides a Zigbee network and is powered by TI’s CC2530 SoC and CC2591, 2.4 GHz RF chips.
Ember’s Zigbee chips power a similar tablet that runs software from iControl (below). The iControl
OpenHome platform manages security and other home automation systems and is aimed at customers including broadband service providers who want to extend their networks in and around the home.
Even the lowly thermostat has become a networked device accessible from any Web browser. The Nest Learning Thermostat (above right) developed by Apple iPod inventor Tony Fadell and his new team at Nest uses six built-in sensors to detect light, motion and more. It automatically optimizes the use of heat and cooling systems based on patterns it detects in its ARM Cortex A8-based TI Sitara processor. It links both to the home Wi-Fi and Zigbee networks.