Nokia wants to automate your home

Nokia is developing a new way to control home automation systems using mobile phones.

Nokia is developing a device to link mobile phones to home automation systems. Using a mobile phone consumers will be able monitor and control security, heating, and ventilation systems via its gateway Home Control Center, Nokia announced on Thursday.

With appropriate equipment, users will be able to see who is ringing the doorbell at home, via the mobile phone. They can then talk to the person, and for example open the door to a handyman, according to Nokia.

Nokia's first systems are expected to become commercially available by the end of 2009, said Toni Sormunen, director for the Smart Home Program at Nokia.

The heart of the Nokia system is the Home Control Center (HCC), a piece of hardware which will act as gateway between different systems for home automation and the mobile phone, or any device that is equipped with a browser.

Phones will talk to the HCC via an Internet connection or Wi-Fi. Nokia has developed a native client for phones running its Symbian S60 software, and a browser-based client for other devices.

Using the native client users will be able to plug the phone into the HCC with a USB cable, and everything is installed automatically. The native client will also be more responsive, and users won't have to log in when they access their HCC, according to Kari Rantanen, director of sales and marketing at Nokia's Smart Home Program.

The HCC will then be able to talk to security, heating, and ventilation systems via home automation systems. Nokia will initially support only one, Z-Wave, but is opening up its system to enable partners to implement support for other home automation technologies such as ZigBee or KNX (Konnex).

It chose to start with Z-Wave because the number of available products. The members of the Z-Wave Alliance have already introduced 300 products to the market, according to Sormunen.

It will also be up to third parties to integrate different solutions with the HCC, using an SDK (Software Development Kit), which at this point is only available to selected partners under a non-disclosure agreement, according to Rantanen.

"Partnering is very important. We understand our limitations; we are good at creating communication technologies, embedded devices and software platforms," said Sormunen.

Nokia is currently working with German energy company RWE to distribute the system. Their first joint product will focus on home heating management, and be sold by RWE to its customers by the end of next year.

The system will consist of a central control unit together with remote-controlled thermostats for radiators. The user interface will be the PC and the mobile phone. In addition, a separate display will be available, according to Nokia.

Nokia is also working with a number of other companies, including Zen-sys, the inventor and manufacturer of chips for Z-Wave, and Delta Dore, which develops energy management, safety and control systems.

"This is an interesting market," said Sormunen. "There is a consumer interest and need, and the technology is maturing." Equipment prices are coming down as the technology becomes more common -- but success won't come overnight; it is still a few years away, said Sormunen.

The Finnish phone giant is far from the only company that wants to be the center of home automation systems.

"Nokia have been quick on its feet, but there are other companies who are doing similar things," said Johan Stråkander, marketing manager at Swedish company Manodo, which has developed a home automation gateway of its own.

But Nokia entering the market is giving it stamp of approval, according to Stråkander.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Nokia

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?