Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Personal Tech
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Microsoft Moves Forward on Networking Your Home
Microsoft Moves Forward on Networking Your Home's Things

By Barry Levine
July 16, 2013 11:00AM

    Bookmark and Share
"Past efforts of this kind have not been particularly successful," said analyst Charles King. He noted that, "for certain kinds of home devices, consumers just don't want more layers of complications." Even the simplicity of a single Microsoft interface controlling all those devices in the home, he said, could end up just layering another level of complexity.
 

Related Topics

Microsoft
HomeOS
Networking



Microsoft is moving along in its effort to network everything in your house. In the latest chapter, the company has added a new framework to its HomeOS project called the Lab of Things (LOT).

LOT, the company notes on its Web site, is a "shared infrastructure designed to help researchers develop and evaluate technologies in the home environment" using HomeOS.

LOT offers a common framework for writing applications and drivers, and provides such capabilities as logging application data from houses into Microsoft Azure, maintaining system functionality remotely, and remotely updating applications. LOT will also provide the data from field tests that Microsoft needs to find out how HomeOS is actually being used, and how effectively.

University Research

The Lab of Things resides on top of HomeOS in a PC-like abstraction for in-home hardware, and is intended to simplify the ability to code apps and manage sensors. Microsoft envisions homes running HomeOS on a dedicated computer it calls the Home Hub, which contains the apps for a given house and controls such devices as lights, TVs, game consoles, other PCs, appliances, printers, home security equipment and other electronics.

A beta of the LOT software development kit has been released, and Microsoft has been making the HomeOS prototype available to academic institutions in order to encourage "teaching and research on connected homes and devices." The universities conducting research on HomeOS include Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Washington, University College London, Southampton University and Lancaster University.

A key question is what problem Microsoft is trying to solve. On its HomeOS Web site, the technology giant points out that "it is impossible for most users to view video captured by the security camera on their smartphone when they are not at home." It notes that heterogeneity across devices and across homes makes it difficult to develop interconnected applications.

'More Layers of Complications'

But HomeOS is also being touted for purposes other than getting your security camera to talk to your smartphone. Microsoft has suggested there might be possibilities in home healthcare, energy management, and various kinds of home automation that add value not currently available.

Charles King, an analyst with industry research firm Pund-IT, pointed out that "past efforts of this kind have not been particularly successful." He noted that, "for certain kinds of home devices, consumers just don't want more layers of complications."

Even the simplicity of a single interface controlling all those devices in the home, he said, could end up just layering another level of complexity. For instance, King said most modern home security systems are already available with a smartphone application, and most appliances work fine as is. He also noted that Microsoft, which was late to the game for mobile, wants to make sure that it is relevant in any consumer environment going forward.

Since one of the major capabilities of LOT is the collection of data, especially by the participating universities, the major result of this project may end up being data about how users use their home electronics rather than commercial products themselves.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Personal Tech
1.   Internet of Things Comes to DIYers
2.   Social Media Haters Speak Up
3.   Nvidia Revamps Shield as Game Tablet
4.   Netflix Tops 50 Million Subscribers
5.   Verizon Boosts FiOS Upload Speeds


advertisement
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
Social Media Haters Speak Up
Survey says, now showing a little love.
Average Rating:
Netflix Tops 50 Million Subscribers
Marquee show helps boost earnings.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 
34 European Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
Criminals have been finding gaping holes in Android-based two-factor authentication systems that banks around the world are using. The result: 34 banks in four European countries have been hit.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.