Photos via Jaymi Heimbuch
Over at the Z-Wave Alliance booth at CES was the Electronic Housekeeper, a device that made its rounds in the green blogosphere a month or two ago. It was one I wanted to check out, as it seemed to be an easy way to integrate device automation and energy awareness into homes. Here's a video demonstration of the touchscreen device.
My overall impression - it's nothing special. Devices like this are becoming a dime a dozen and the Electronic Housekeeper didn't seem to have any features that would get people really excited about automating their home's electronics, or more importantly, monitoring the use of those products to minimize electricity use.
The big issue manufacturers of these devices are having is putting them in a product that people want, along with other features they find of value - such as getting news and weather as this system can do - so that the energy efficiency element of the product is simply another feature they get to enjoy, and not a hassle they'll soon forget.
Unfortunately, I didn't see anything especially exciting about this product.
However, it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, a competitor of ZigBee (the assumed standard of the smart grid industry), which uses a special technology that allows devices and systems in a home to talk to one another. So, if you're interested in home automation and home power monitoring, you may want to check out this and other products in the Z-Wave Alliance.
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