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Published on July 22nd, 2014 | by Jake Richardson


Nest, Samsung & Yale Launch New Home Networking Technology

July 22nd, 2014 by  


An open platform that allows multiple home devices to interact with each other has been created by the Thread Group, and it includes partners such as Samsung, Nest, Silicon Labs, BigAss Fans, ARM and Freescale. It uses IPv6 technology with 6LoWPAN as the foundation, and is designed to be used with home technology such as climate control, energy management, lighting safety, appliance, security and more.

“We wanted to build a technology that uses and combines the best of what’s out there and create a networking protocol that can help the internet of things realize its potential for years to come,” according to their website. Thread is not the only group to create such a system. The AllSeen Alliance was established last year by major players such as Sharp, Panasonic and Microsoft for a similar purpose.

Meanwhile Apple also has their Homekit, which would allow a user to employ an iPhone or iPad to interface with a home automation system.

The Internet of Things

For some, the ability to control their home appliances and climate through a mobile device is very appealing. There are all sorts of things, like being able to look inside a refrigerator or freezer from a remote location to check the contents that could save not only energy, but also food and time.

For example, some freezers and refrigerators are overly full, but the food is old and unlikely to ever be consumed. Still, it remains inside, which requires energy to chill and keep it frozen.

Would it be possible some day for food expiration dates to be automatically entered when the food items are swiped at grocery store bar code readers, so that information can be sent to a mobile device? Alerts could also be set up so that before food is set to expire, owners can get messages that it needs to be consumed or removed. So not only would you reduce energy usage by not cooling expired food, but you’d also save money by reducing food waste, which in turn means less trash heading to the landfill.

It isn’t just the capacity to manage multiple devices; it is also the dashboards and their analytics that are exciting. Having intelligent home automation systems might usher in a new interest in energy management when users  see how much data is available to them. People could be coached and encouraged to reduce energy usage, and just knowing what appliances use the most power could lead to a reduction in their use.

Home networking technology is not new; people have been creating and tweaking their own systems for years. What we can do with home networking is what’s really exciting, and the growth of data-driven home management holds a lot of potential that is only expanding.

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  • JamesWimberley

    The critical sentence: “It uses IPv6 technology..” The open standard for networks. Proprietary alternatives to the Internet protocol are dead ends.

  • Offgridman

    There seems to be a message in this article that reverses what to me has been common knowledge. While I won’t deny that food needs to be used before it gets to old, they say that you are wasting energy by leaving it in there to need more energy to keep cooling it.
    While previously I have heard that refrigerators or freezers that are full use the least amount of energy because they aren’t having to work to cool off the air that was let in to take up the empty space when opened.
    So with an item that you are going to have to dispose of wouldn’t it be better to leave it there until replaced. Or are newer refrigerators and freezers now better able to cool off the warm air let in by opening than to maintain the temperature of an item already in there?
    Another way to put this question is am I wasting my time keeping the dead space in my deep freeze filled with frozen jugs of water to reduce its overall usage of energy? Or should I keep doing this? I only get into it once or twice a week to move what we are going to use to the refrigerator or its freezer. But didn’t think it was a good idea to leave the deep freeze 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 empty as we use items up through the year.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’d suggest you switch to jugs of air rather than jugs of water.

      The air is going to take less energy to cool to freezing when first placed in and will displace just as much “leakable” air in the freezer.

      Plus it’s easier to store empty milk jugs/whatever than ones full of water.
      Some smaller containers filled with water work well for ice if you’re heading off on a picnic/whatever. But aside from that I’d say go empty.

      • Offgridman

        I just have to say Wow! Don’t know why I never considered that as an option other than just following my parents and cooperative extensions advice on the water jugs for the past forty years. But I can’t see where you aren’t right that it will achieve the same desired affect.
        That’s two I owe you for today, am starting to get seriously in debt. 🙂
        Now can you figure out why in the article they are saying that it is a waste of energy to keep taking up that dead space in the fridge with old food?
        Have a good one, while it is fun hanging out on the web like this sometimes, wish this rain would quit so I can get back to what needs doing.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “it is a waste of energy to keep taking up that dead space in the fridge with old food? ”

          Well, microbes are eating that food and converting food calories to heat calories. I’m sure that’s what they’re thinking about. ;o)

          “For example, some freezers and refrigerators are overly full, but the food is old and unlikely to ever be consumed. Still, it remains inside, which requires energy to chill and keep it frozen.”

          Takes more energy to cool it down initially but after that you’re talking air displacement and thermal mass.

          I think they’re smokin’ crack….

          • Offgridman

            “I think they’re smokin’ crack…”
            Well at least they are posting articles to get by.
            That has to be better than the d___ methheads around here that take off with anything that isn’t nailed down, and I really think that they have forgotten how to read and write.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Well, leave some spoiled potato (heavy on the mayo) salad laying around. That will slow them down for a while.

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