Home Automation Gadgets and News

Latest news and gossip on X10, Zigbee, Z-Wave, UPB, and Insteon. Home automation is growing and we have all the newest automation products and the best technology out there. We are your source for the smarthome.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Smarthome Begins Pre-orders for INSTEON SwitchLinc Dimmer

In some exciting news Smarthome is taking pre-orders of their next gen SwitchLinc 2-Way...Insteon SwitchLinc V2 Dimmer. I had called in for a bit of tech support and the guy mentioned SwitchLincs should be shipping sometime in July and that it went up on their website today. After some searching I found details on one of the pages.

The goods:
New design with "light pipes" instead of the green LED bar.
The set button is now on the bottom.
WHITE LEDS! This looks awesome.
Looks like the back is clear so you can see everthing on the inside.
Includes an ivory paddle if you just don't know what you want to buy. =)

The bads:
I haven't tested it yet.

I have to admit, I am a sucker and put in a pre-order for 2 of them. I got a starter kit a few weeks back and, on speed alone, it blows away X10. If these switchlincs work for me I might have to redo my whole house.

Have more info on these? email me... mike921 at gmail.com

Z-wave at Frys

So I went back to frys to pick up an insecure bluetooth usb adapter (go figure) over the weekend and the Intermatic display looked exactly the same as it did when I went 2 weeks ago. The only change was the amount of dust on the products. The most surprising part was the fact that all of the prices were still the same. My bet is that Frys will start slashing prices in another month.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bluetooth Secure? Think Again

Just reading about yet another security flaw in Bluetooth over at Engadget. Please tell my why would I want this to control my lights and security sytem in my house?

"A couple of researchers at Tel Aviv University have figured out a way to get around one of the main limitations of a hack developed last year—namely that you could only gain access to the target device while it was pairing with another Bluetooth-enabled device—by developing a trick for forcing a Bluetooth-enabled device to pair."

The other problem that this brings up is that there are only 10,000 pin combinations. I have linux network scanners that can filter through 10k name combinations in about 12 minutes. Good job closed loop security!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Intermatic's line of Z-wave devices now at Frys

Chalk one up for Z-wave. I was just reading about how Intermatic's line of Z-wave products called Home Settings is now available at everyone's favorite mail-in rebate store Fry's Electronics.

I was so excited I decided to make a trip down to Fry's in Westminster, CA and have a look. Turns out they have an end of an isle all to themselves featuring the full line of products. Lamp module, Appliance module, Wire-in switch, Outdoor module, 2 different remotes and a starter kit. Prices were $39.99, $59.99 and $129.99 for the kit. On the downside if I wasn't looking for them specifically I probably would have walked right by them. More news to come...