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					                                             b r o a d b a n d p r o p e r t i e s
February 2007 • Vo1. 2 • no.9




                                                     M   a   g   a   z   i   n   e
                                       eMerging applications For a connected World




                                New Networks,
                                  applicatioNs aNd
                                devices help us
                                  maNage our homes,
                                coNNect to others
                                    aNd expaNd our lives
                                                                   : resid enti al a pplic ations




                                              Building urBan
               Magazine
eMerging applications For a connected World
        February 2007 • Vo1 2 • no. 9




    EDITOR                                    Communities with
    Masha Zager

    editor@killerapp.com
                                              high-speed networks
                                              By Mike Whaling, InfiniSys Electronic Architects
    DESIGN DIRECTOR

    Irving Grunbaum




                                              N
                                                         ow that the triple play        portunities.
    ASSISTANT EDITOR                                     of telephone, video and           Understanding the possibilities
    Geoff Daily                                          data services has become       of a robust vertical network requires
                                                         a basic amenity, property      a shift in mindset away from the sin-
                                              owners and developers are looking         gle-family home. For example, Veri-
                                              for new services to “wow” apartment       zon recently introduced a multiroom
    CONTRIbuTING EDITOR
                                              and condo dwellers. It’s no longer        DVR that lets users access saved
    Michael Render                            unusual to see security applications      shows, as well as music and photos,
                                              and community facilities delivered to     from any room. For residents of large
                                              residents over local networks.
    CONTRIbuTING WRITERS                      But developers who are serious    Developers can attract urban
    Kassandra Kania
                                              about using technology to at-     apartment dwellers with new
                                                                                networked services— like be-
                                              tract and retain residents have
                                              had to shift their mindsets and
                                                                                ing able to access their music
    Robert E. Calem
                                              expand the range of services
                                              even further.
                                                                                playlists and DVRs from the
    WEbMASTER, KillerApp.Com
                                              achieve                           fitness center.
    Doug Thompson                             communectivity
                                              Residents of urban condos and apart-      single-family homes, this new service
                                              ments live differently from families in   is exciting. For people living in small
                                              single-family homes. When it comes        apartments, on the other hand, multi-
                                              to technology, lifestyle makes all the    room DVR viewing capabilities don’t
                                              difference. With their diverse demo-      seem relevant at first glance.
                                              graphics, varying needs and different         But when the DVR is used to
                                              expectations, urbanites represent a       achieve communectivity, it suddenly
                                              separate, unique market.                  becomes desirable for residents of
                                                  Urbanites still belong to commu-      multiple-dwelling units. Residents
    KIllER App VENTuRES                       nities – it’s just that the communities   can access their password-protected
    Steven S. Ross, Senior Advisor            are vertical rather than horizontal.      personal content from the clubhouse
                                              Developers who think vertically – the     lounge or fitness center. Although the
                                              way urbanites live – can begin to find    technology infrastructure is already
    Himi Kittner                              opportunities for optimizing commu-       there and the concept seems simple
                                              nity connectivity … communectivity,       enough, most service providers aren’t
    president, Killer App Ventures            if you will. Understanding the need       thinking in these terms, and content
                                              for this communectivity is key to serv-   providers don’t want to face this real-
                                              ing the urban, high-rise market. When     ity … at least not yet.
    bROADbAND pROpERTIES llC                  developers address communectivity
    Scott DeGarmo, CEO, bbp llC               they can serve their residents better,    expanding services
                                              make their products more appealing        It’s a fact – the digital lifestyle is here
                                              and even discover new revenue op-         to stay. According to the Consumer

    2 KILLER APP MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2007
                                            : Resid enti al a pplic ations




Electronics Association (CEA), the        related products in student housing,       ment. Likewise, when he leaves the
average American owns 26 electronic       life-safety services connected to vid-     unit, the RFID key can send a signal
devices. As residents become increas-     eo cameras in active adult and senior      to change the thermostat to its “away”
ingly tech-savvy, they expect their       housing, touch screens to provide ac-      setting.
homes to be as connected as they are.     cess to valet and concierge services in        In addition, RFID could change
CEA’s research shows that consumers       high-end developments.                     the way residents track their workouts
are willing to pay for this high-tech         These amenities -- which
connectivity, with a typical Ameri-       provide additional ease and
can expected to spend over $2,000 on      convenience -- appeal to ur-        Developers who think verti-
home technology this year.
    Let’s start with the Internet – the
                                          ban, high-rise residents who
                                          are increasingly accustomed to
                                                                              cally can find opportunities
center of the digital lifestyle revolu-   “on demand” technology. The         to connect communities.
tion. Services that can be “stacked”      “anytime, anywhere” appeal of
on the Web include:                       popular devices like the iPod
• Home control and automation             can now be incorporated into urban,        in fitness centers. The entire workout
– Residents can modify their home         high-rise settings. For instance, fit-     could be recorded on the chip and lat-
temperature, security and other set-      ness center cardio equipment is of-        er synced to allow residents to moni-
tings online.                             ten equipped with CD players. As           tor their progress over time.
• Music downloads – Developers can        portable music players and Internet            Finally, consider the potential of
partner with subscription-based pro-      radio services like Pandora change         dynamic scheduling. By syncing cal-
viders, like Napster or Ruckus Net-       the way we listen to music, CDs will       endars of nearby businesses, appoint-
work, to offer residents individual ac-   continue to decline in popularity. In-     ment scheduling at the beauty salon
counts for music downloading.             stead of connecting a CD player to ev-     or fitness center could become much
• News subscriptions – Provide resi-      ery treadmill in the fitness center, de-   easier. Residents could view the ap-
dents with access to subscription-        velopers can give residents access to      pointment book at the beauty salon
based content from popular news pro-      their own playlists and personal mu-       downstairs and schedule haircuts via
viders, such as the Wall Street Journal   sic. Life Fitness recently announced a     Blackberry or Treo.
Online or New York Times Select.          new line of products that will feature
    For Internet service providers and    integrated controls for iPods. With        thinking outside the Box
property owners, the lack of network      just a little creativity and a thought-    We are surrounded today by high-
control is a source of concern. Today,    fully designed network, this and much      tech devices. From high-speed In-
wireless networks are installed at the    more can become reality.                   ternet at work, to flat-screen TVs in
discretion of each resident. To bolster                                              stores, to the digital signage that is re-
network security, owners must con-        endless possibilities                      placing static advertising, technology
trol who gets on the network. Access      As we look to the future, technology’s     is everywhere. It is safe to assume that
can be limited to residents and their     continued advancement will spur de-        residents – especially those drawn to
guests by pre-installing in-unit wire-    velopment of new amenities and ser-        vibrant, fast-paced urban centers – ex-
less networks. Residents consider it      vices for multifamily communities.         pect to have the same connected life-
an additional amenity, and owners         Just imagine the possibilities …           style at home. Developers who think
welcome the peace of mind.                    Intuitive appliances will commu-       outside the box, providing advanced
    Beyond the Internet, there are        nicate with the maintenance staff.         technology-based amenities and ro-
additional opportunities for technol-     For example, the refrigerator or stove     bust, high-bandwidth networks, can
ogy-based amenities. Some forward-        could send a warning if it needs main-     exceed these expectations and remain
thinking developers already offer         tenance. The result? Cost savings for      one step ahead of residents’ diverse
video intercom services. These sys-       the owner as late-night emergency          technology needs.
tems create a direct connection for       calls to fix broken appliances are
property managers to send notifica-       eliminated. And with appliances re-        about the author:
tions and messages to residents with      porting deterioration, energy efficien-    Mike Whaling is the Business Develop-
just the touch of a button. Robust        cy can be improved as well.                ment Manager for the InfiniSys Electronic
property networks can already sup-            Keys with radio frequency identi-      Architects, who provide technology con-
port this service; all that’s needed is   fier (RFID) chips will “know” their        sulting and design services to real estate
the interface for the resident.           owner and stay one step ahead. For         developers and property owners. He can
    By assessing residents’ technology    example, when a resident enters the        be reached at mike.whaling@electronicar-
expectations, developers can target       parking garage, his RFID key can           chitect.com or 386.236.1530. You can also
services to specific niches -- gaming-    turn on the thermostat in his apart-       read more at mdutech.blogspot.com.

                                                                            KILLER APP MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2007 3
                                                : V i d e o         S t r e a M i n g




streaming new York: governor
spitzer orders weBCasts of
puBliC meetings
By Geoff Daily


O           n January 1st, his first day
            as governor, New York’s
Eliot Spitzer issued an executive or-
der promoting webcasts of state pub-
                                           subject to the Open Meet-
                                           ings Law and specifies a
                                           timetable for ensuring all
                                           such meetings are broad-
lic meetings.                              cast on the Internet. By
    “In the order, it says that public     July 1, the meetings must
businesses should be performed in          actually be broadcast on
an open, public manner,” says Brad         the Internet.
Maione, Spitzer’s spokesperson.                “This is a big step in
                    “Governor Spitzer      New York,” says Maione. “We’re go-           about two years ago, there was a bill
                    has stressed since     ing to work with the agencies to iden-       but it never got out of committee,” he
                    the beginning of       tify the meetings and also the time-         adds. Granicus already provides the
                    the    administra-     table and how we’re going to carry it        technology for more than 100 local
                    tion that transpar-    out. It’s going to take some time to         governments in California to stream
                    ency and public        get it together, but once it does it’ll be   their public meetings via Internet,
                    accountability are     good for the public.”                        and Spengler anticipates statewide
                    very    important,         For companies in the business of         legislation to be enacted in the next
                    and this dovetails     webcasting, the order is a vindication       few years.
                    nicely with that.”     of their efforts. “It’s a great thing           While Spitzer’s order is limited to
                       The order is an
                    extension of New
                    York’s Open Meet-      By this summer, New Yorkers with broadband con-
                    ings Law, enacted      nections will be able to watch state public meetings in
                                           real time over the Internet.
                    in the mid-1970s
                    to ensure public
                    access to public
                    meetings. The law      to see,” says Tom Spengler, CEO of           state agencies, it may have a trickle-
calls for public business to “be per-      Granicus (www.granicus.com). “It’s           down effect to New York’s city and
formed in an open and public man-          the first time that I’ve seen nation-        county governments, spurring them
ner” and says citizens should be “able     wide where the executive office said,        to adopt streaming technologies. And
to observe the performance of public       ‘Hey, we’re going to make it a prior-        it also holds the promise of influenc-
officials and attend and listen to the     ity to make all of our meetings avail-       ing governments beyond the state’s
deliberations and decisions that go        able to the public through streaming         borders. “As an attorney general,
into the making of public policy.”         audio and video.’ This is what we’ve         Eliot did a lot of things that provid-
    Governor Spitzer’s order extends       been pushing for for years, so it’s re-      ed resources and expertise to other
the Open Meetings Law through the          ally nice to see the leadership at the       states, so I’m sure that states will take
use of broadband. In it, he spells out     state level make this big a step for-        a look at this and consider it for their
a plan for implementing this tech-         ward.”                                       own communities,” says Maione.
nology across all state agencies. By           Spengler says that legislation re-
March 1 of this year, every agency         quiring Internet broadcasts of pub-
and public authority must submit to        lic meetings has been proposed in            Geoff Daily is the assistant editor of
the Secretary to the Governor a plan       several other states but has not suc-        Killer App. He can be reached at geoffd@
that identifies all meetings that are      ceeded. “In California, probably             killerapp.com.

4 KILLER APP MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2007
                                                     : d i g i t a l          d i V i d e




BroadBand aCCess empowers
low-inCome Families
By Masha Zager



A
             lthough the Internet has     pression; others say their children feel     ternet access is often unavailable
             changed the world for ev-    less different from their peers in school.   in the neighborhoods where these
             eryone, it may be chang-         In interviews conducted by an in-        families live, especially in smaller
             ing lives most profoundly    dependent research firm, One Econo-          apartment buildings. Getting these
for low-income families. For the          my participants in San Jose and Miami        buildings wired for broadband has
middle class, it has simplified com-      credited Internet access with helping        required technical ingenuity, finan-
munication and access to informa-         them keep up with life in their home         cial expertise and political savvy.
tion. For low-income Americans, it        countries through newspapers, news               McConnell says that One Economy
has opened up whole new channels of       broadcasts and music; stay in touch          has developed two primary strategies.

                                    Cooperation between not-
communication and information                                                          One strategy is to link up with funding
that weren’t previously available.                                                     programs run by organizations such
    One Economy Corporation         for-profits, housing develop-                      as the National Equity Fund or New

                                    ers and telecom providers is
(w w w. o n e - e c o no my. c o m) ,                                                  York City’s De-
a not-for-profit that brings com-                                                      partment of Hous-
puters, broadband access, Inter-    helping to overcome the digi-                      ing Preservation
net content and technical train-    tal divide.                                        and Development,
                                                                                       which aggregate
ing to residents of low-income
housing, has found that its programs      with far-flung family members through        tax credits for
encourage these residents to take on-     e-mail, online chat or webcam; navi-         housing rehabilita-
line classes, improve the quality of      gate government bureaucracies; and           tion. Typically the
their schoolwork, apply for jobs, start   keep their children away from drugs          rehab projects in
businesses and do their banking and       and gangs. Others had become more            which One Econ-
shopping online. Their job perfor-        involved in community, school or busi-       omy participates
mance and ability to care for their       ness activities as a result of gaining In-   include funding
families’ health are also enhanced.       ternet access, and some had become           not only for high-
    Even more important, One Econ-        more politically active or better able       speed access net-
omy’s participants report feeling more    to advocate for themselves and others.       works but for com-
capable and less disadvantaged. Tech-         Dave McConnell, One Economy’s            puters, training,
nology not only empowers them to take     vice president for access services, says     technical support
action, but enriches their lives emo-     that broadband access multiplies the         and a private-la-
tionally. Some say that home Internet     Internet’s benefits for low-income fami-     bel version of One
access has helped them overcome de-       lies. “Low-income families will do more      Economy’s Web portal, Beehive.org.
                                          with broadband than with dial-up,” he            The second strategy involves lob-
                                          says. “One of their biggest problems         bying state governments to require
                                          is time – and it takes time to get food      developers to put high-speed access
                                          stamps, take care of medical services,       into low-income housing, or to provide
                                          and so forth….[Broadband is] easier,         incentives for them to do so. Over the
                                          less frustrating and always available.”      last three years, working together with
                                                                                       telecom companies, One Economy
                                           One economy’s                               has succeeded in changing policies
                                                                                       in 42 states. They have also educated
                                           two-track Strategy                          developers to understand that build-
                                              But delivering broadband to low-
                                                                                       ing high-speed access networks is
                                                            income     families
                                                                                       feasible and relatively inexpensive.
                                                                 hasn’t been
                                                                                       “We’ve changed the way tax credit
                                                                   easy. High-
                                                                                       financing works,” McConnell says.
                                                                   speed In-

6 KILLER APP MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2007
                                                   : d i g i t a l         d i V i d e




Mount Hope Reaches                         “The computer is my friend.” — Hien, a Viet-
out to Verizon                             namese-American retiree in San Jose who uses the
                                           computer provided by One Economy as a lifeline to
Visionary housing developers have
also taken the lead in bringing broad-
band to their developments. Mount          loved ones and to the wider world.
Hope Housing Company (www.moun-
thopehousing.org), a community de-         pecially businesses,” he says. “We’d       two local newspapers to bring commu-
velopment organization that rehabili-      like to have the network accessible.”      nity news online. “We’ve gotten very
tates and manages affordable housing           Hauser points out that, although       positive feedback,” Belle says. “Folks
in Bronx, New York, reached out to         tax credits were used in the first year,   who haven’t used this typs of technol-
Verizon to bring high-speed access to      the Mount Hope project was designed        ogy before are very excited about it.”
the buildings it manages. Mount Hope       to be self-sustaining in the long run.         Other applications are still in the
manages 34 small buildings scattered       Revenues from tenants and from             planning stages. Belle envisions online
over 49 square blocks, ranging from        neighboring businesses and property        discussion groups, programs to help
about 6 units to 50 units per building.    owners are expected to cover costs         residents with money management, and
     “Service providers don’t like to do   going forward. “It only works if some-     even internal applications like building
deals with small buildings,” says Kevin    one is making money on it,” he says.       security and work order management.
Donovan of Midtown Technologies,               Belle agrees, saying that paying           “It should have an enormous im-
the technical firm that worked with        for the service is important for users,    pact on people’s lives by expanding
Verizon and Mount Hope. (Midtown           too, even if rates are below market        their reach,” Belle says. “They can ex-
has also been involved in a number         level: “Our philosophy is, don’t give      plore the world without leaving their
of One Economy projects.) Dono-            things away for free – there needs to      neck of the woods, see things they
van devised a plan to bring Verizon        be ownership….If people are paying         couldn’t imagine, interact with others,
T1 service to Mount Hope’s largest         something for it, they value it more.”     and gather information in a large way.”
building and connect the other build-          To promote use of the data net-
ings through point-to-point wireless.      work, Mount Hope helps residents           Creating
“It’s far less expensive than going        sign up for Verizon service and offers     Sustainable Models
below ground, and just as effective        training through organizations such        These pioneering projects have
in terms of uptime,” explains Herb         as Per Scholas (www.perscholas.org)        shown that broadband can be as af-
Hauser, Midtown’s president. About         and Older Adults Technology Ser-           fordable and as useful in low-in-
1000 Mount Hope apartments now             vices (www.oatsny.org). Using a grant      come housing as it is anywhere else.
have access to Verizon broadband,          from Verizon, it also provides free or         Over the last several years, Mid-
with download speeds of 1.5 Mbps.          low-cost refurbished computers to res-     town Technologies and other integra-
     Shaun Belle, Mount Hope’s presi-      idents who sign up for classes. A “tech    tors have developed a set of methods
dent and CEO, plans eventually to          carnival” in September brought an          for bringing data networks into older
open up this network and allow lo-         enormous response from seniors who         buildings and overcoming design and
cal businesses and housing develop-        wanted to learn how to use e-mail,         structural complexities to distribute the
ers to tap into it, essentially making     online banking, and other resources.       network to apartments in cost-effective
Mount Hope the local ISP. “One of              Mount Hope also engaged One            and aesthetically pleasing ways. Mount
inadequacies in this area of the Bronx     Economy to create a local Beehive          Hope, One Economy and others have
is limited DSL service for anyone, es-                               portal with      devised innovative financing meth-
                                                                       i n for ma-    ods and found ways to help residents
                                                                       tion about     take advantage of broadband access.
                                                                       neig hbor-         With all of the knowledge and ex-
                                                                       hood edu-      perience that these organizations have
                                                                       cational       accumulated, there is reason to hope
                                                                       and medical    that the digital divide may become
                                                                       programs       a thing of the past. One Economy’s
                                                                       and com-       McConnell believes it’s time to move
                                                                      munity ac-      on to the next phase: “The demos
                                                                      tivities, and   and pilots are over,” he says. “We’re
                                                                      it has part-    going to scale and creating sustain-
                                                                       nered with     able models. We’re going to institu-
                                                                                      tionalize what we do in the afford-
                                                                                      able housing industry as a whole.”
                                                                             KILLER APP MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2007 7
                                           : B u i l d i n g          M a n a g e M e n t




the evolution of the genius Building
By Herb Hauser, Midtown Technologies
Broadband is the lifeblood of the Genius Building


T
            he Information Age, which      efficiency. Although energy was still      pants, Genius Buildings can articulate
            has brought us robust com-     inexpensive, automated energy moni-        their own unique consumption pro-
            munications, very rich en-     toring systems began to be installed       files, and in doing so, can have their
            tertainment and, of course,    as well. By the 1990s, buildings were      financial fundamentals adjusted on a
plentiful information, has also en-        being connected to multiple commu-         real-time, ongoing basis.
hanced our lives with the creation         nications providers.                           At the core of these characteristics
of the “Genius Genre.” This genre              The year 1997 marked a watershed       is, of course, the broadband informa-
includes cars that proactively report      event with Rudin Management’s in-          tion capacity that is available to the
their mechanical problems, heating         troduction of a comprehensively wired      building, and its subsequent utilization
systems that tell us about drafts in our   building at 55 Broad Street in New         and distribution within the building.
homes, and refrigerators that e-mail       York City. This bar-setting building,      Information has become the fourth
us with real-time shopping lists.          also called the New York Information       real estate utility, after electric power,
    Of all the emerging Genius devic-      Technology Center, was wired for all       HVAC (heating/ventilation/air condi-
es, none have the potential to change      forms of communication from all pro-       tioning) and water. Broadband is the
our lives so much as “Genius Build-        viders, including those that were sat-     lifeblood of the Genius Building; with-
ings.” Genius Buildings are more than      ellite-based. The building made use        out it the building
rest stops along the information super-    of fiber optics and prewired spaces        would simply be a
highway; they are the destinations to      as well as advanced security, envi-        static structure in-
which we are headed, the scenery that      ronmental and building management          capable of expan-
attracts us. They are the places where     systems.                                   sion or change.
we choose to live and work.                    Ten years later, the wired building        In order to
    What is a Genius Building, and         has begun its metamorphosis into the       maximize broad-
why is it the next evolutionary step in    “Genius Building.”                         band, two things
real estate?                                                                          must be present
                                           Characteristics of                         in the building:
Forerunners to                             genius Buildings                           bandwidth        and
genius Buildings                           Like their ancestors, Genius Build-        distribution.      A
The early ancestors of Genius Build-       ings are wired and designed to facili-     c omprehen sive
ings were buildings whose fire alarm       tate communications inside and out-        distribution net-
systems were wired to telegraph lines.     side the building. They are built with     work must be
When a fire was reported, a switch         a convergent infrastructure – a single     both wired and
was thrown and a prepunched card           infrastructure that supports many ap-      wireless,      since
sent a Morse-code message to the fire      plications including voice, video, data,   there are always
department. A little later, builders be-   security, building management, ener-       applications      or
gan to install telephone infrastructure    gy controls and operations.                locations for which wireless is the pre-
into new buildings and connect them            They are green – green as in their     ferred method of transport.
to telephone exchanges.                    relationship to the environment, and           With adequate bandwidth and
    As the 20th century progressed,        green as in the color of money. They       distribution, the task of converging
still more features were added to          are dynamic, not static, in the sense      applications can begin. Application
buildings: radio and television an-        that they are interactive with their       convergence begins at the physical
tennas, electronic security systems,       owners, managers and tenants.              layer of the infrastructure. The essen-
elevators that monitored load and              Finally, like their human occu-        tial rule is that the more applications




8 KILLER APP MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2007
                                        : B u i l d i n g          M a n a g e M e n t




that can share bandwidth on a single        tunities for developers. How can a          static, monolithic operations we are
infrastructure, the more efficient and      green building maintain the color of        used to seeing. A Genius Building
cost-effective the installation will be.    money?                                      may have a security system that uses
   In practical terms, this means that          Often, broadband can provide the        facial recognition to “learn” who is a
voice, video, data, security, building      bridge between the good intentions of       regular, who is a guest and who has
management systems, energy man-             a green building and the realities of the   been to the building but not sought
agement and other systems all utilize       real estate business plan. Any building     entry.
a common infrastructure. Some de-           that achieves a high energy-efficiency          In another example, Genius
velopers are not comfortable having         rating and/or can anticipate and fol-       Buildings can allow remote moni-
diverse systems sharing a common            low the climate so as to purchase ener-     toring of critical systems so that fa-
infrastructure, due to the potential for    gy in real time will be able to save and,   cilities-based staff can be reduced
global disruption in the event of a fail-   in some cases, earn dollars in the new      during evenings, weekends and hol-
ure. While these concerns are reason-       energy economy. But maximizing en-          idays. One day, Genius Buildings
able, they can be dealt with through        ergy efficiency and anticipating ener-      may even track individuals’ loca-
appropriate network design and back-        gy demand in real time is an informa-       tions during off-peak hours so they
up planning.                                tion-intensive operation. Broadband         can provide climate control only to
                                            can provide the real-time connection        the parts of the building that are ac-
Why genius                                  between the building, its external and      tually occupied.
Buildings are green                         internal environment and the systems            Finally, a Genius Building can
The issue of “Green Buildings” and          that produce and deliver energy. With       not only provide proactive mainte-
their role in the movement towards          the right information, green building       nance and trouble ticketing to man-
Genius Buildings warrants special           can work financially.                       agement, but can also learn about
consideration. Green buildings are in                                                   the ways in which its tenants and res-
vogue today. They are touted as energy      a Machine for learning                      idents use the building, and provide
efficient, environmentally sound, and       The interaction of the Genius Build-        meaningful and timely information
socially acceptable. But what actually      ing with its environment is only one        in order to operate economically and
is a green building? And how does           example of how these buildings func-        efficiently. By designing to Genius
greenness relate to Genius status?          tion dynamically, in contrast to the        status, the value of “Information as
    A building is considered green                                                      the fourth utility” can be realized.
if it is built from recycled materials,
uses low-volatility paints and glues,       Genius Buildings are:      about the author
recycles its black water, uses energy-      • Wired                    Herb Hauser is the president of Midtown
efficient glass and has high- efficiency
                                            • Converged                Technologies, LLC, (www.midtowntech-
                                                                       nologies.com) which helps real estate own-
                                            • Green
HVAC systems – to name but a few
features. While greening a building is                                 ers and telecommunications companies
an excellent idea in theory, the devil      • Dynamic                  build technology into properties. He will

                                            • Capable of adjusting
appears to be in the financial burdens                                 be presenting a session on Genius Build-
that these features place on a project.                                ings at the Killer App Expo & Conference
    Because green buildings are often         consumption in real time on April 30 in Fort Wayne, IN.
designed in a nonstandard fashion,
their design costs may be relatively
high. For example, it isn’t a simple
task to design a water reclamation sys-
tem to attach to the waste water sys-
tem and perform recycling functions.
But while green buildings pose many
design, financial and operational chal-
lenges, they represent a step forward
in our attempts to reach an accommo-
dation and balance with our environ-
ment.
    Green buildings would probably
attract more attention and be imple-
mented more frequently if they also
posed attractive financial oppor-

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Ces 2007: BroadBand Converges
with Consumer eleCtroniCs
By Masha Zager and Kassandra Kania
with additional reporting by Robert E. Calem


T   his year’s Consumer Electronics Show was all
    about connection – connecting devices, ser-
vices, networks, and people. Broadband content is
powering the drive to convergence.

The world’s largest technology trade      enormous: According to research
show, the Consumer Electronics            firm The Diffusion Group, the num-
Show, attracted record crowds to          ber of broadband-enabled televi-
Las Vegas in January. More than           sions will reach 162 million by 2011.
140,000 attendees flocked to the                                                   work together to make content from
show, which was sponsored by the          Sony Electronics made a splash           AOL Video available through Bra-
Consumer Electronics Association,         with its Bravia Internet Video Link,     via. Using the TV’s remote control
to find out what manufacturers are        which it announced at CES. Sony’s        and optional module, consumers
planning to offer this year.              Internet video-ready televisions can     can access the Internet and navigate
   Of the show’s 20,000 product           now receive streaming broadband          through menus to browse and play
launches and partnership anounce-         video, including high-definition         videos from AOL Video.
ments, a large number reflected the       content, via a small optional module
growing importance of broadband           that is easily attached and concealed    cultivating couch
content and of the new possibilities      behind the TV. This feature will al-     Potatoes
opened up by high-speed connec-           low most of its new televisions to ac-   Other companies also showcased
tions. When Dell Computer’s Mi-           cess free Internet video content from    their visions for bringing Internet
chael Dell spoke to an enthusiastic       providers such as AOL, Yahoo!, and       video content to TVs:
crowd about the need for ultrafast        Grouper, as well as from related com-    • Hewlett-Packard’s MediaSmart
fiber to the home and seamless net-       panies Sony Pictures Entertainment       TVs merge the PC and the TV with
working inside the home (see the          and Sony BMG Music. In fact, Sony        the ability to wirelessly stream digi-
excerpt from his speech on page 22),      Electronics and AOL announced            tal photos, music, and videos from a
he seemed to articulate what was on       at the show that the companies will      PC onto an HP high-definition LCD
the minds of many.
   This roundup of CES news high-
lights areas of interest to Killer App,
including new devices for watching
and listening to broadband content;
new ways to bring television content
to the PC; home networking; and
home monitoring and control.

Bringing Broadband
content to the tV
As we’ve reported earlier, electron-
ics companies are vying to bring
Internet content to consumers’ tele-
visions, using a number of different
approaches. The potential market is

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display. The latest models feature      Digital Entertainer HD is a set-top
1080p resolution and the new HP En-     box that connects to a home-theater
tertainment Services Portal, which      system to stream digital media from
provides access to online services      computers, network storage, and
with the click of a remote. Services    USB media players. It discovers,
include Snapfish for photo sharing,     organizes, and plays high-defini-
Real Networks’ Rhapsody for music       tion movies, TV shows, music
and, for movies, CinemaNow, whose       files and personal photos as
progressive download technology         well as Internet-based video,
allows consumers to begin watching      news feeds, weather reports
before the download is complete.        and radio programs.
• Sling Media, which became             • SanDisk is betting that
known for devices that transmitted      consumers will find it easier to
content from television to the PC,      carry a memory stick from the PC to
announced a new product called          the TV than to set up a new device      net video to the TV via the
SlingCatcher that works in reverse,     between them. Its USBTV will let        Akimbo Service. Akimbo subscrib-
delivering content to the television.   consumers transport downloaded          ers will be able to browse video up-
Bundled with every SlingCatcher         digital content from a personal com-    dated regularly from Yahoo! Video,
are two applications: SlingProjec-      puter with a small flash memory-en-     access titles for free, and watch them
tor, which wirelessly projects any      abled media player and then plug it     on TV.
Web site or digital audio/video for-    into nearly any TV to play.             • TVNGO’s middleware applica-
mat from a PC to the TV, and Sling-     • Akimbo Systems announced that         tion enables Internet overlay on TV
Player, which sends content between     its collection of video-on-demand       broadcasting. Using a remote con-
televisions. SlingCatcher is based      titles will be available to subscrib-   trol, the viewer can shift between
on the PC2TV chip from Quartics,        ers of AT&T Homezone, a video           broadcast channels and Internet
which has also been bundled into        and Internet entertainment service      content, and even blend Internet and
products from Addlogix, DM Tech-        launched in 2006 by AT&T. Inte-         broadcast content in a single frame.
nology and others.                      grating Akimbo content into the         • Satellite video provider DIREC-
• Netgear announced a collabora-        Internet-connected set-top box will     TV said that its DIRECTV Plus HD
tion with BitTorrent to promote         let consumers download and watch        DVR has been verified to work with
video downloads streamed to high-       thousands of programs and mov-          Intel Viiv technology. Customers
definition televisions through the      ies on TV using the Homezone re-        with a DIRECTV Plus HD DVR
new Netgear Digital Entertainer         mote control. The company is also       can send pictures and music from In-
HD (EVA8000) media receiver. The        working with Yahoo! to bring Inter-     tel Viiv PCs to their television sets.
                                                                                • RealNetworks announced the
                                                                                integration of its Rhapsody digital
                                                                                music service with TiVo’s DVR ser-
                                                                                vice. TiVo subscribers will be able
                                                                                to stream Rhapsody’s 3 million-plus
                                                                                songs to any broadband-connected
                                                                                TiVo box in the house, as well as ac-
                                                                                cess their personal music libraries.
                                                                                Any song they flag using their TiVo
                                                                                remote will also be available in their
                                                                                personal Rhapsody library when
                                                                                they access it from a PC.
                                                                                    One important PC-to-TV product
                                                                                didn’t appear at CES at all. During
                                                                                the same week, Apple showcased
                                                                                its much-anticipated Apple TV at
                                                                                MacWorld Expo in San Francisco.
                                                                                Originally introduced in Septem-
                                                                                ber as iTV, the new Apple TV lets
                                                                                consumers watch content from Ap-
                                                                                ple’s iTunes store on a television.
                                                                                Though its choice of content is
                                                                                limited, its choice of connections is

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very wide, including USB 2, Ether-     the computer.                               Slingbox got some more competi-
net, HDMI, component video, op-            NDS, in turn, is also working       tion with the announcement of sev-
tical audio and three popular wire-    with VBox to broadcast digital high-    eral new place-shifting devices:
less standards – 802.11b, 802.11g      definition television content to PCs.   • Axion previewed its new iPTV,
and 802.11n. Apple TV comes with       Showcased at CES, the VBox Cat’s        which consists of a base station and
an IR remote control.                  Eye Premium is an HDTV receiver         7-inch wide-screen wireless LCD
                                       optimized for reception of video,       display. The iPTV lets consumers
Bringing tV                            audio and IP data. Connecting to        watch home TV or Internet TV con-
content to the Pc                      the PC via a USB port or PCI slot,      tent anywhere in the world with a
Suppliers at CES also showcased        it provides digital set-top-box func-   broadband Internet connection.
a wide range of options that allow     tionality for the PC.                   • Monsoon Multimedia announced
viewers to stay glued to the tube,         Sling Media showed new tech-        the availability of HAVA, which al-
whether at home or on the road.        nology called Clip+Sling, which         lows the wireless streaming of video
Home PCs are looking and acting        lets Slingbox customers share short     content from any video source to
more and more like televisions, with   segments of programming – live or       multiple PCs in a home or business.
large screens, remote controls and     recorded – with other Slingbox cus-     Content can be viewed in full-screen,
software optimized for entertain-      tomers, as well as with a larger au-    DVD-quality video on multiple PCs
ment, while notebook PCs are being     dience. Clip+Sling will be built into   simultaneously, or viewed remotely
equipped to receive television pro-    both the desktop and mobile ver-        on an Internet-connected PC. Users
gramming over the Internet.            sions of SlingPlayer software. While    can control all the functions of the
   Cyberlink and DiBcom, for ex-       customers will need a Slingbox to       video source such as a TV or TiVo
ample, have teamed up to make the      publish clips, the content they post    from their PCs. HAVA allows TV
notebook computer into a mobile        online will be accessible by anyone.    content on the PC to be stored, re-
digital television – DiBcom’s dual-        Sling Media also showcased          corded, and burnt onto DVDs and
antenna platform receives digital      several other new products: A cus-      enables the PC to operate as a per-
video broadcasts using either the      tomized version of the SlingPlayer      sonal video recorder with pause, fast
DVB-T or DVB-H standard, and           software is designed to take advan-     forward, and rewind functions. Win-
CyberLink’s PowerCinema soft-          tage of Microsoft’s Windows Vista       dows XP Media Center Edition PC
ware lets users play back TV con-      Premium operating system (for ex-       users can use HAVA as a wireless
tent. PowerCinema includes time-       ample, the full-screen viewing mode     tuner to add full multimedia capa-
shift playback, electronic program     based on Vista’s Aero Glass overlays    bilities to their PCs.
guides, scheduled TV recording,        SlingPlayer controls and customized     • Avid Technology announced two
and the ability to watch and record    TV remote controls on top of the        new versions of its Pinnacle PCTV
simultaneously. Cyberlink is also      Slingbox video stream); and Sling-      To Go: the PCTV To Go HD and
partnering with NDS, whose Video-      Player Mobile for Palm OS lets Treo     PCTV To Go HD Wireless. Both
Guard PC security device plugs into    smartphone users watch and control      offer high-definition and standard-
the computer’s USB port so that us-    their home televisions at broadband-    definition television viewing and are
ers can access paid TV content from    like speeds.                            Windows Vista-ready.

                                                                               tV or not tV?
                                                                               Other companies that exhibited
                                                                               hardware and software at CES are
                                                                               continuing to blur the lines between
                                                                               TVs and PCs:
                                                                               • On HP’s Digital Entertainment
                                                                               Center, users can record and view
                                                                               TV shows anywhere in the home
                                                                               and also view digital content such as
                                                                               photos, music and videos.
                                                                               • Sony is introducing a high-defini-
                                                                               tion living room PC with integrated
                                                                               Blu-ray Disc technology. In addition
                                                                               to watching high-definition movies
                                                                               on disk and recording, storing, and
                                                                               playing back personal content on
                                                                               high-capacity BD media, users can
                                                                               browse the Web with a wireless re-

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mote and keyboard from the com-           designed for Windows Vista. The            console, the Xbox 360, as set-top
fort of the sofa.                         service lets consumers use Extend-         boxes in those deployments. The
• Dell introduced Home Media              Media’s OpenCASE software to               Xbox 360 can act as an alternative
Suite, a bundle that includes a Win-      download episodes from Showtime            receiver and recorder. Xbox gamers
dows Vista desktop, a digital TV          series and play them on a home PC          will be able to play online, voice-
tuner, 27-inch flat-panel monitor,        or transfer them to a portable player      chat with other gamers, and watch
speakers, a full suite of entertain-      for viewing on the go.                     television, all at the same time.
ment software, a printer, and an          • Intel and CinemaNow also an-                Zodiac Gaming is reaching be-
802.11 pre-n router and powerline         nounced a download collaboration;          yond gaming with the launch of a
AV bridge. The suite lets users re-       movie download service CinemaNow           broad range of interactive TV appli-
ceive and record high-definition          is adapting its Burn-to-DVD feature        cations under the new name Zodiac
digital cable and stream it wirelessly    to work with Intel Viiv-based PCs,         Interactive. At CES, the company
to other parts of the home.               large-screen PCs that are operated         demonstrated iTV applications in-
• The new model of AMD’s ATI              via remote control from across the         cluding the INSTA framework for
TV Wonder digital cable tuner turns       room. Currently, the service only          iTV content, high-definition games
a PC into a personal video recorder       works with a standard PC interface,        and interactive platforms, and a
with Windows Vista Media Center           at a 2-foot distance.                      transactional application called
menus and interfaces. In addition to      • MediaZone announced a beta               “TVcallME,” which allows subscrib-
bringing premium HD digital cable         version of its shared streaming So-        ers to click a button from a standard
channels to the PC, it also supports      cial TV platform. The platform let         remote control in order to connect
over-the-air digital TV, analog TV        users chat with others watching the        with advertisers by telephone.
and satellite set-top box connectivity.   same television show and rate, com-
• Corel, which just acquired Inter-       ment on and blog about the shows.          Home networking
Video, announced the InterVideo                                                      With PCs, televisions, game con-
WinCinema, a software application         the Promise                                soles and other devices proliferat-
that turns ordinary PCs into Media        of iPtV                                    ing, sharing content and occupy-
Center PCs – complete with 10-foot-       Telephone companies that are go-           ing ever more central places in the
interface solution for watching TV        ing into competition with cable TV         home, the major unsolved problem
and videos, playing music, viewing        providers are increasingly adopting        remains home networking. As the
photos and listening to radio. Win-       IPTV (Internet Protocol Televi-            average American home comes in-
Cinema also enhances Media Cen-           sion), a technology that promises to       creasingly to resemble an enterprise
ter PCs with features like HD DVD         enable new interactive TV applica-         data center, will a dedicated IT staff
and Blu-ray Disc playback, TV sup-        tions but is still fraught with risk and   be required to run it? The consumer
port, DVD authoring and real-time         difficulties. Microsoft announced          electronics industry is working hard
MPEG-2 encoding.                          that telcos that are using Microsoft       to let families remain in charge of
• ExtendMedia and Showtime Net-           IPTV software to deliver video --          their own electronic destinies. New
works announced the first consumer        such as AT&T and British Telecom           devices are being designed ready
video download-to-own service             — can now use Microsoft’s gaming           for networking, and new networking

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technologies promise to tame the         devices, powered by Oregan Media           The biggest question of all is
electronic clutter.                      Browser software. Oregan Media         how devices will be connected. No
    Microsoft chairman Bill Gates,       Browser works on multiple operating    universal strategy seems yet to have
in his CES keynote, announced            systems and hardware platforms.        emerged. Networks using in-home
plans for Windows Home Server,                                                  fiber, coax, power line, wireless and
home networking software that will       Other home networking products         a new contender, ultrawideband,
be available later this year. When       included:                              were all showcased at CES:
implemented on forthcoming hard-         • HP’s new high-definition TVs         • Tenvera announced the Tenvera
ware such as HP’s MediaSmart             are designed to let consumers view     System, which connects consumer
Server and AMD’s Home Media              and share high-definition content      electronics through a high-capac-
Server, Windows Home Server              throughout the home. For example,      ity fiber network that allows video,
will help multi-PC households con-       the MediaSmart TV SLC3760N can         voice, and data to be transmitted
nect their home computers, digital       stream high-definition DivX-encod-     uncompressed, with no loss of qual-
devices and printers, and make it        ed content over wired or wireless      ity. Media servers, HDTVs, Internet
easier to share and manage digital       networks, from a home theater PC       service, PCs, and iPods can all be
media. The Home Server will also         or from HP Media Vault network         connected through this system.
enable centralized backup and re-        storage.                               • HomePlug Powerline Alliance,
store, as well as centralized trouble-       • AMD introduced the AMD           an alliance of technology, service
shooting for Windows Vista–based         LIVE! Home Cinema, a home en-          and content companies promoting
PCs.                                     tertainment system that consolidates   networking through existing power
    Amedia Networks took a some-         audiovisual devices and related        lines, said it had granted its “De-
what similar approach with its           remote controls into an all-in-one     signed for HomePlug AV” mark
Broadband Entertainment Cen-             “living room” solution.                to 14 products from 11 companies.
ter — an all-in-one gateway, home        • Verizon revealed the FiOS gen-       The latest round of HomePlug test-
networking appliance and personal        eration of its Verizon One commu-      ing is the first to identify products
media library. The Broadband En-         nications device, which combines       designed for a high-speed connec-
tertainment Center is designed to                                               tivity solution. Linksys was one of
replace the computer as the media                                               the companies announcing products
hub and central point of networking                                             designed for HomePlug AV. Its Pow-
within the connected home. Users                                                erLine AV Ethernet Kit connects
can store, organize, and search mul-                                            computers, networked entertain-
timedia content in personal media                                               ment products and peripheral devic-
libraries on the residential gateway,                                           es at speeds up to 100 Mbps, using
and then play that content on virtu-                                            in-home power lines.
ally any television, monitor, or net-                                           • Pulse-LINK introduced its CWave
worked device.                                                                  Whole-Home Interactive HD solu-
    Backup issues were also ad-                                                 tion, which lets consumers share
dressed by Proxure’s new KeepVault                                              high-definition content throughout
application, which uses Streamload                                              the home using a combination of
storage technology to enable Win-                                               existing coax backbone and wireless
dows PC users to back up media                                                  connectivity.
files online and access them from                                               • Ruckus Wireless introduced a
anywhere. Through KeepVault,                                                    miniaturized wireless multimedia
files are backed up to MediaMax,         a telephone, Internet modem and        adapter, the MediaFlex USB Don-
Streamload’s online media center,        wireless router with a high-resolu-    gle, to connect in-home multimedia
for access via the KeepVault inter-      tion touch screen that can be used     devices like set-top boxes and me-
face or any Web browser. Users get       for e-mail, text messaging and basic   dia center systems. The MediaFlex
25 GB of free online storage for         Internet lookup functions like news    Dongle is an external WiFi adapter
their media.                             and weather. The device will accom-    in a small form factor that enables
    Oregan Networks’ novel ap-           modate traditional and VoIP phone      whole-home video distribution.
proach to home networking uses           calls while streaming Internet mu-     • WiQuest Communications dem-
mobile handsets as portable media        sic to stereo speakers and preview-    onstrated home networking via
hubs. Home videos, photos and mu-        ing images from digital cameras or     ultrawideband, a radio communi-
sic stored on WiFi-connected hand-       camcorders. It will also play movie    cations technique that is based on
sets, such as the Nokia N80 and N90      trailers from the Internet, connect    transmitting pulses of short dura-
series, can be “pushed” onto media       to a printer and support up to five    tion and high bandwidth, using its
renderers, or Digital Media Player       handsets throughout the home.          WQST110/101 chipset in equipment
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                                                                                  How many consumers are ready
                                                                              to spend money on these systems to-
                                                                              day is another question. Parks Asso-
                                                                              ciates’ Bill Ablondi says, “The home
                                                                              control market has lacked consumer
                                                                              awareness, not technical capability.”
                                                                              But Ablondi believes the stage is be-
                                                                              ing set for broad-based adoption of
                                                                              connected home systems.

                                                                              At the High end:
                                                                              connectedlife.Home
                                                                              The system that made the biggest
                                                                              splash at the show was Best Buy’s
                                                                              ConnectedLife.Home, a $15,000
                                                                              package based on HP’s new z560
                                                                              Digital     Entertainment     Center
                                                                              (DEC), along with a Microsoft
                                                                              Xbox 360 as a media extender and
                                                                              Life|ware software from Excep-
                                                                              tional Innovation. Along with some
                                                                              networked appliances (lights, ther-
                                                                              mostats, cameras) and a TV as the
                                                                              command center, these components
                                                                              provide everything the homeowner
                                                                              needs to run a home – or nearly ev-
                                                                              erything. On top of the $15,000, ho-
                                                                              meowners must spend an additional
from Belkin, Hitachi-LG, Samsung Parks Associates forecasts a 10 per-         $19.95 a month for Internet-based
and Toshiba Wireless Connectivity cent increase in the home-control           access to the system’s controls.
Solutions.                            market this year and a rapid rise          Parks Associates’ Ablondi says
                                      over the next five years. No wonder     the price of ConnectedLife.Home
Home Monitoring                       connected-home vendors came out         precludes it from being “an impulse
and controls                          in force to CES.                        buy at the checkout counter.” In-
You’re at a business meeting, and         Their products certainly piqued     stead, he says, Best Buy is targeting
you have a strange feeling there’s consumer interest. The NextGen             home builders, remodelers and elec-
an intruder in your house….you’re home at CES drew crowds willing             tronic systems installers. Because
driving home from work and want to wait in long lines. A recent survey        the package does not require wires
to turn the heat up before you ar- by the Z-Wave Alliance, the consor-        to be pulled or walls to be dug out,
rive….you’re about to go to sleep tium backing the Z-Wave standard            the company is touting it as an ideal
and realize you forgot to turn on the in wireless home control, found that    retrofit solution.
dishwasher downstairs. Now there’s 72 percent of Americans wanted to
a one-click solution to each of these be able to see who was in the house     More options for
problems.                             when they were away, and whether        Home Monitoring
    A workable solution for home their children had arrived home              ConnectedLife.Home was by no
monitoring and control requires sev- safely from school.                      means the only connected-home so-
eral components: an easy-to-use in-       In addition, two out of five con-   lution at the Consumer Electronics
home network, a broadband Internet sumers wanted to be able to check          Show. Other Internet-enabled offer-
connection, intuitive and powerful whether they’d left an appliance on        ings included:
software and remote-control de- or a door unlocked. More than half            • Control4 announced Composer
vices, and standard protocols that thought they could relax better on         Home Edition, an add-on to its au-
manufacturers of lights, thermostats vacation if they could control lights,   tomation software that gives home-
and other devices can follow. The home alarms or appliances from              owners more flexibility in modifying
fact that all of these pieces are now Disney World. And millions thought      their home controls. For example,
falling into place bodes well for the they could conserve energy better       a user could program the system to
home-control industry; analyst firm with the help of automated systems.       automatically dim the lights before

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a movie or create a custom wakeup          form, a wireless whole-home au-          and lighting from anywhere via Web
scenario with lighting, media and          tomation system, with Intel’s Viiv       browser or mobile phone, and also
temperature control. With an Inter-        home entertainment platform and          to monitor their homes with live
net connection, Composer Home              Leviton’s Vizia –RF series of light-     video from HomeRemote Wireless
Edition lets homeowners customize          ing and home control products.           Video Cameras. The use of Z-wave
and automate their homes from any-         Lagotek provides a software-only         technology enables compatibility
where.                                     system that works with OEM hard-         with accessories including lighting
• iControl Networks announced              ware to give homeowners control          and climate controls, video cameras
version 2.0 of its iControl home           over home electrical systems.            for monitoring and security, garage
monitoring solution. The upgraded          • WiLife’s Video Security System is      door openers and many others.
iControl is Z-Wave-enabled, letting        a professional-grade video security
consumers use a wide variety of off-       system for homes and small busi-         new For Gamers
the-shelf cameras, door and window         nesses. The solution, which installs     Microsoft’s implementation of its
sensors, light modules, thermostats,       in about 15 minutes, offers free re-     IPTV software on the Xbox 360
smoke detectors, water and freeze          mote viewing from any Windows            wasn’t the only announcement of
sensors and other devices from             cell phone or Internet browser, mo-      interest to gamers, who are inten-
home improvement stores. (When             tion-based recording, customizable       sive users of high-performance
the devices are triggered, the soft-       alerts and mix-and-match plug-and-       networks. Other announcements at
ware proactively delivers real-time        play cameras. It uses HomePlug           CES included:
information via email or text mes-         powerline technology to transmit         • NDS teamed up with game de-
sages.) iControl says the new prod-        digital video over existing electrical   sign studio Rebellion to create a
uct offers a more intuitive Web por-       wiring.                                  three-dimensional gaming environ-
tal, a Web-based wizard for easier         • HAI’s Snap-Link is a USB key           ment for the popular Rogue Troop-
setup, an advanced mobile portal           that plugs into any computer and         er game, using NDS’s Xtreamplay
and an improved gateway design. In         directly communicates through the        technology. The game was demon-
addition to offering its new solution      secure Ethernet port on an HAI           strated for the first time on a digital-
via its Web site, iControl is conduct-     home control system. Homeowners          TV platform at CES.
ing trials with utilities, ISPs, telcos,   can use it to check and adjust lights,   • Linden Lab, developer of the
cable companies, MSOs and wire-                                                     popular Second Life environment,
less carriers.                                                                      released the code of its Second Life
• InGrid showed its Home Connect                                                    Viewer to the open-source software
service, a protection network con-                                                  development community. Develop-
sisting of a portable handset and a                                                 ers can now access the source code
broadband-enabled base station that                                                 to the Viewer, which is the free client
communicates with wireless window                                                   software used by Second Life sub-
and door sensors that report any                                                    scribers, or “residents,” to control
change in activity that the customer                                                their in-world avatars, chat with each
chooses to monitor. Broadband inte-                                                 other, create content, buy and sell
gration keeps the system always on                                                  objects, access multimedia content
and always connected to its moni-                                                   and navigate around the virtual en-
toring service, and all components                                                  vironment. Linden Lab is commited
can use telephone jacks for back-          security, temperatures, Webcams          to building the Second Life Grid as
up. Consumers can customize the            and more. No installation or on-site     an open, extensible platform for de-
system through a Web portal. An            computer is required.                    velopment, rather than a closed pro-
innovative feature allows consum-          • BuLogics displayed its latest de-      prietary system; this release allows
ers to link their systems with those       velopments for BaseCamp, a home          developers to make modifications
of friends and families, so that they      automation system for the mid-mar-       and enhancements in the Viewer,
can monitor each other’s properties.       ket consumer that uses the Z-Wave        and to add new features.
Like iControl, InGrid hopes to dis-        wireless technology standard. As a       • Headplay unveiled the Headplay
tribute its product through broad-         foundation for its new release, Bu-      Personal Cinema System’s final pro-
band service providers; a venture          Logics partnered with entertain-         duction-ready design. The system
capitalist investing in the company        ment, multimedia, home automation,       is a portable, visual headset and
calls digital home security “the next      and communications providers.            media center that delivers an im-
billion-dollar revenue opportunity         • Hawking Technologies announced         mersive, high-resolution, cinematic,
for broadband service providers.”          the release of its HomeRemote home       big-screen viewing experience for
• Lagotek announced the integra-           control system. HomeRemote lets          gaming, movie watching, and In-
tion of its Home Intelligence Plat-        users control household appliances       ternet use. Connecting directly to

                                                                           KILLER APP MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2007 17
                    :   c o n s u M e r            e l e c t r o n i c s              s H o W          2 0 0 7




game consoles, DVD players, iPods,      ba’s gigabeat portable MP3 player,             Car passengers can now also watch
PCs, and cell phones, the Personal      using Windows Media Player 11, as          TV from moving vehicles, thanks to
Cinema System can also read stored      a preferred device for its service.        DISH Network’s MobileDISH in-car
media on compact flash or USB.          • Opening up a whole new channel           satellite service, a programming pack-
                                        for music delivery, Dresser Wayne          age combined with antenna technol-
the sound of Music                      demonstrated how consumers can             ogy from RaySat. The mobile satellite
Music downloading was the first         pump music into their cars along           antenna mounts to a vehicle’s roof
popular application to make heavy       with gasoline. The Dresser Wayne           rack and provides hundreds of chan-
demands on Internet bandwidth,          Ovation2 iX fuel dispenser is an           nels of digital DISH Network satellite
and music remains a driver for the      Internet-ready, WiFi-capable gas           TV with programming for everyone
current wave of networking. Many        pump with a 15-inch touch screen           in the family (except, we hope, for the
of the home networking products         and speakers, which allows the             driver). The technology is compatible
described earlier in this article are   transfer of media content to other         with most cars, recreational vehicles
designed to bring digital music files   WiFi-enabled devices. As part of           and trucks, and DISH claims that it
downloaded or streamed from the         the demo, audio files were pur-            performs well at highway speeds.
Internet to high-quality playback       chased and downloaded from the                 Still other devices aren’t specifi-
devices elsewhere in the home.          Dresser Wayne fuel dispenser to a          cally meant for cars but will be ap-
    Some of the announcements spe-      compatible media device and then           preciated by those on the go. Nokia,
cifically focused on music included:    played through an Alpine Electron-         known primarily for its cell phones,
• Sony Electronics has a new device     ics stereo system installed in an au-      branched out into Internet enter-
designed to untether music and In-      tomobile.                                  tainment devices with a new tablet
ternet radio. With the VAIO WA1                                                    computer and camera. The Nokia
Wireless Digital Music Streamer,        the open road                              N800 Internet Tablet offers easy
consumers can listen to digital mu-     Dresser Wayne’s music pump was             wireless connections, a high-resolu-
sic and Internet radio stations over    only one indication of the Internet’s      tion display, stereo audio and sup-
existing wireless home networks or      intersection with car culture. Au-         port for a variety of Internet appli-
peer-to-peer wireless connections.      tonet Mobile debuted a new wire-           cations. The N93i camera lets users
A USB wireless network interface is     less service that turns the car into       shoot DVD-like quality videos and
included.                               a WiFi hotspot. The company also           record in stereo audio, and then up-
• Music service ZING Systems            announced an agreement with a car          load the videos to the Internet, us-
is giving consumers access to the       rental company to offer a portable,        ing an integrated personal video and
FON worldwide WiFi network from         wireless Internet service that will let    photo blogging service called Vox.
their ZING-enabled mobile music         passengers check email, surf the Web,
players. ZING says it is working to     play online games or communicate
create a new class of portable enter-   via any WiFi-enabled device. Opti-         About the Authors:
tainment players that use WiFi as       mized for in-car use, the service is de-   Kassandra Kania and Robert E. Calem
the key to discovering, sharing and     signed to work on 95 percent of U.S.       are freelance writers specializing in tech-
delivering music and entertainment.     roads, regardless of driving conditions    nology and contributing writers for Killer
• Toshiba America Consumer Prod-        or location. It ensures a secure, broad-   App Magazine. They can be reached at
ucts formalized its relationship with   band-level connection to any WiFi-         kkania783@yahoo.com and rcalem@op-
URGE, MTV Networks’ digital mu-         enabled device in close proximity to       tonline.net. Masha Zager is the editor of
sic service. URGE selected Toshi-       the vehicle.                               Killer App Magazine.

18 KILLER APP MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2007

				
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