Remember those AirPanel “smart displays” Microsoft developed a couple years back? The ones Microsoft then killed… yeah. Well, I bought a few of the Viewsonic AirPanel’s for my home automation system and they work GREAT! Microsoft had a great product on their hands, they just targeted the wrong market. Instead of targeting the professional that is on-the-go, yet still in-the-home, they should have targeted the home automation industry.
At least Viewsonic didn’t let all their R&D money go to waste, they repurposed the V110 as the V210 panel and put the .NET framework on it so one can develop a custom interface/device. This is what MPlus did. They became a Viewsonic and Global Cache partner, developed a UI design application, wrote a server, and whammo-bammo they developed an easily customizable home controller system for the price of a low end plasma display. The T-5000 bundle includes enough to get started… the V210 display, a charging cradle, the MPlus client, and the server — you still need to buy a GC-100.
The MPlus Server Package is installed on a standard PC and can control up to 13 devices either by serial, ethernet or IR control. The device comes with a set of standard templates, which can be modified with the visual editing tool, “The Tweaker”. Integrated weather service, email notification and the user definable browser portal “On the Town” are included in the package. With HVAC, Security, Irrigation and Camera control options being released at a later time.
I like the idea… I thought I was the only one heading down this route (My Attempt At Home Automation Using .NET and Flash). I was in New York a couple weeks ago and went to the Samsung Experience center and noticed they have a home control system of their own. It integrates with your Samsung washing machine, Samsung coffee maker, Samsung refrigerator, etc. You get the picture… it only works with Samsung devices. Stupid, yes.
I hope this technology (the non-Samsung type) will become the norm in new construction within 5-7 years. Any home over 3000sq feet should come standard with a control system like this. It should be like todays new cars, you can’t get one in the $40k price range and not have it come standard with a 7″ LCD display Navigation system.