Mobile Home

The BBCs excellent “ClickOnline” program on BBC News24 this weekend featured a piece on a home in Finland that was controlled by a mobile phone through a GPRS modem. You can watch the streaming video from the link below…

“It’s a beautiful Helsinki morning, and you’ve decided to pop out for the day to do a bit of skiing. You’ve packed a lunch, you’ve fitted your snow chains, and you’ve fed your pet reindeer. And you’re half way to the piste when a thought suddenly strikes you… did I leave the oven on!?

Here in Finland, that kind of paranoia could soon be a thing of the past, when everyone has a place like the house that Markku built, because even when he’s out he can control every electrical appliance through a web portal on his mobile phone”… Markku Peittola, Development Manager, APTUS: “I can control all my lights, front door, burglar alarms, fire alarms, adjust the heat in every single room.”

The secret is a GPRS modem in the closet, which receives the instruction from the phone. This routes the on/off command to a chip controlling the power supply to the relevant appliance.

But data doesn’t just flow one way. Thermostats send inside and outside temperature information to Markku’s phone, sensors tell him if the doors are locked, and a motion sensitive camera alerts him if it detects anyone sneaking up the garden path.

Jukka Eklin, MD, Linet OY: “When the motion detector detects that there is movement outside the door of the house it activates the camera. The camera then sends pictures over an ADSL link to a service provider, and then asks the mobile phone user to connect to that website and download the pictures it has been sending him.”

Nowadays we all have busy lives, rushing here and rushing there, and sometimes it’s easy to forget the basics, like locking the door or setting the alarm. These systems represent the next logical step in connectivity – a mobile phone that connects you directly to your home and all the appliances in it.


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