Bill Gates and Hans Beckhoff Usher in E-home Technology with the Home of Today | Automation.com

Bill Gates and Hans Beckhoff Usher in E-home Technology with the Home of Today

February 082005
Bill Gates and Hans Beckhoff Usher in E-home Technology with the Home of Today
Beckhoff Home Automation controls “intelligent home”

MINNEAPOLIS, February 8, 2005 – On January 31 2005, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, helped herald in a new E-home technology system at the “Home of Today” event held at the 2005 National Garden Show in Munich, Germany. In collaboration with several partners, including Beckhoff, Microsoft created a fully networked house. The control concept is based on automation components from Beckhoff that integrate IT standards such as Microsoft operating systems and Ethernet connectivity.

At the Home of Today, Beckhoff Managing Director, Hans Beckhoff demonstrated the core of the E-home technology, the Embedded PC CX1000 with Windows CE operating system to Bill Gates. "Our PC and Ethernet control solution is an ideal platform for building automation,” Beckhoff said. “A modern home can have integrated IT, media and control functions which are user-friendly and cost-effective. This can now be achieved with our Windows-based PC Control technology in conjunction with the Microsoft Media Center PC. Our Bus Terminal I/O system can create a practical interface to domestic electrical systems."

The project aims to encourage the development of advanced IT integration for residential automation. Microsoft was the leading collaborator in the E-home installation and utilized its software technology for the e-infrastructure of the Home of Today. Among the many areas that could benefit from home automation include:

  • Switching and dimming of lights
  • Lighting control via DALI fieldbus system
  • Heating and ventilation control
  • Control of shutters, blinds, window and door drives
  • Control of garden irrigation, pond pumps
  • Secure home access systems with electronic identification

    Automating the Home of Today
    All data points in the Home of Today are connected directly to the Beckhoff Bus Terminal I/O system. Local I/O stations are distributed throughout the home and networked with a central PC via Ethernet. Control tasks are handled with the Embedded PC CX1000 from Beckhoff running Windows CE. The standard Ethernet network is used for PCs, telephones, home entertainment and as a fieldbus system for building control tasks. This eliminates the need for a second subsystem.

    All building control functions are displayed and can be activated via four integrated Beckhoff Control Panels distributed throughout the house. Messages can be retrieved via SMS, video, voice mail or e-mail via a touch screen interface.

    Beckhoff TwinCAT automation software acts as the home’s automation control center. Depending on the hardware and the application, Windows XP, Windows CE or the new Windows XP Media Center Edition can be used as the operating system. The control functions either run in the background or are based on the custom configuration of the user.

    This universal control technology can be deployed in a wide range of building automation applications, including offices, factories and domestic buildings. Intelligent homes offer new design possibilities for architects, contractors, construction companies and, ultimately, for home owners. What had previously been regarded as an exciting vision of the far future has become reality with the Home of Today.

    For additional information on Beckhoff Home Automation, Contact Beckhoff or visit their web site at www.beckhoffautomation.com .

    Beckhoff Automation provides advanced, open automation products based upon proven technologies so that customers can implement high performance control systems faster and at a lower overall cost than traditional PLC and motion control systems. Beckhoff’s “New Automation Technology” product range includes PC based control, industrial PCs, automation controllers, operator interface, I/O, servo drives and motors. With representation in 50 countries, Beckhoff is well positioned to provide global sales and service to its customers. Sales and service are handled directly, with no intermediaries involved to provide faster response and improved communications.
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