July 3, 2009 The first home in the UK which can learn from its residents and take decisive action and text if it is being burgled or the door has been left unlocked, will be unveiled the week of July 3 in Cairo.
InterHome, a model for a home developed by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, incorporates modular custom design units and draws on standard home automation systems which have been adapted so that the house ‘learns’ and ‘adapts’ to its users’ lifestyles.
The prototype of the home, which has been developed in a doll’s house, integrates embedded devices with the industry standard X10, so that it provides convenience and security to the home owner and also enables them to reduce energy so that they make savings of up to £300 a year and contribute to reducing greenhouse and carbon emissions.
InterHome incorporates an intuitive touch screen user control panel that also allows the house to be monitored and controlled using web browsers, windows mobile and any SMS-capable mobile phone.
The house will be unveiled at the finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup which will be held in Cairo from 3-7July. “InterHome improves on its competitors by being modular, adaptable and able to ‘learn’ our routines,” said Johann Siau, Senior Lecturer at the University’s School of Electronic, Communication & Electrical Engineering. “The technology enables the system to learn rapidly when we need the lights on or whether we are at home or at work and how the house needs to be at certain times of the day. If we forget to lock the front door or turn off the lights, it can text us and our response can reprogramme the system.
Through this approach, InterHome can eradicate wasted energy within UK homes and make a difference to CO2 emission statistics when installed in enough houses.
The prototype is now ready to be adopted by industry and the team led by Johann Siau, has been approached by several industry companies and are in discussion with the Building Research Establishment. The other members of the team are Ellis Percival and Carol Chen.
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