The EUREKA ITEA software Cluster ANSO project is working to integrate domestic networked multimedia, home control, and communications devices. The digital home project wants to create intelligent sensors, actuators, wireless networks, and terminal devices that will seamlessly blend into living spaces. The researchers say it may be possible to incorporate all of the features of a home's electronics into a single device that also can work with the next-generation of smart appliances. "The main problem now lies in the overabundant and overwhelming variety of incompatible standards and technologies in home automation, communications, and multimedia systems," says project leader Tommi Aihkisalo, from the Finnish research institute VTT. "There are dozens of home control and automation networks and protocols available and even more in the field of multimedia and communications," Aihkisalo says. "All these technologies are competing with each other and are incompatible — lacking intercommunications abilities."
ANSO is promoting open interfaces to replace proprietary and vendor-controlled systems and has developed an applications platform and related software technologies that permit access to applications that combine home automation, communications, and multimedia. ANSO evaluated market and end-user needs and found that a variety of standards would have to coexist, which is why the project focused on a unified middleware solution for interoperability.
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