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Toys Hardware

Internet-Enabled Thermostat 234

Posted by michael
from the getting-warm-in-here dept.
ptorrone writes "Engadget has a little write-up of what is supposed to be the world's first Internet-enabled thermostat from Proliphix, which has an Ethernet port and a built-in web server and can be controlled from virtually any standard browser. So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"
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Internet-Enabled Thermostat

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  • A better solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by SIGALRM (784769) * on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:46PM (#10033118) Journal
    Proliphix's Internet-enabled thermostat
    During those odd weather patterns, I've often thought it would be nice to adjust the temperature settings at home, or perhaps increase air circulation, etc. So I bought an OmniPro II home controller system [smarthome.com], which does this--and more (lights, security, etc)--remotely. So, the Proliphix isn't the first of its kind... but it's still a "cool" idea ;)
    • Re:A better solution (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mikael (484) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:50PM (#10033153)
      Cool! Now I don't even have to put down the laptop, get up and switch on the air-conditioning.
      All we need now is an intelligent fridge-freezer which can deliver cool drinks direct to my chair.
      • They're called "girlfriends"
      • Solved. (Score:3, Funny)

        by josh3736 (745265)
        You mean something like this [slashdot.org]?

        NOW all that's left is converting my leather Lay-Z-Boy into a toilet. Then I won't even have to care that my muscles are atrophying!

      • http://www.m5industries.com/html/portfolio/7up.htm

        It needs quarters, but can be used on the beach to make extra money.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Cool! Now I don't even have to put down the laptop, get up and switch on the air-conditioning.

        Yeah well, these devices are intended more for those people who actually get out of their parents basement once in a while... Look at this way: instead of guessing what time you'll be back home and returning to a cold/hot home or running the ac/heater unnecessarily, you can now set the control using your cellphone from 10 minutes away and come to a comfortable home without wasting any more energy than necessary.
    • by Angostura (703910) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:08PM (#10033258)
      And I always thought the point of a good old fashioned thermostat was to maintain a constant temperature without manual intervention.
      • I thought this too. Yet my family insists on turning all the thermostats in the house to 'off' in the summer, even though they will automatically keep the heat off until needed (oddly cold mornings are a real pain; be nice to have a device to turn the heat on for me when that happens).
        • oh suck it up (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MrChuck (14227)
          Yup. I'm one of those. Because on the nights that the windows downstairs are open and it cools off between 80 degree days and hits 60, the heat comes on.

          Do I *need* heat at 4:30AM when I'm snug in my bed?
          Sure, if it's winter. But when it's gonna be 70 by 8AM and 85 by 11AM, no. I can suck it up and survive the house being colder than I'd tolerate when it's generally cold.

          In fact, if I get my butt out of bed and close the windows while it's still 60, my house stays colder through the morning.

          Actuall

    • The latest terrorist attack by osama bin laden. A virus with AI that can torture you in the comfort.

      I am reminded of the concersation Londo had with the Technomages in The Geometry of Shadows [ic24.net]

      The Technomages are leaving while they still can, to the other side of the universe. Londo isn't having any of this and he persuades Sheridan to talk with them. Of course, Sheridan will need someone present who knows about them... and who better than Londo Mollari himself? [...]

      Londo turns up and sneakily places a

    • And it only costs thousands of dollars more than a regular thermostat! What a bargain!
    • Re:A better solution (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pharmboy (216950)
      Actually, I have been working with HEYU, BlueLava and some X10 modules for some time now. I even wrote my own dynamic dns scripts to make sure my DNS server has the right address for the home.

      Its easy to turn on any light, dim any light, etc. To control an AC would be pretty easy by using the X10 module to control a secondary relay/contactor (using a 120v/24v transformer) to turn it hard on/off. My goal for the AC was simply to turn it hard ON for half hour before I got home, regardless of temperature.
  • Ha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:46PM (#10033119)
    And people said we don't need IPv6.
    • anyone that puts their thermostat on the internet is just waiting to be 0wned!! IMHO, nearly all of these are going to be sold to someone who is technically competent, so there will be a NAT router with hopefully some IP rules for access.
    • Re:Ha (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Insightful how?? Are you really going to need 65536 hosts on a class B private subnet to control all of those home appliances?

      Come on people... mod in the real world.
      • Re:Ha (Score:2, Funny)

        by cyb97 (520582)
        640k oughta be enough for anybody...
        'nuff said
      • by MrChuck (14227)
        Right, and when IPNG was being discussed, 48 bit and 64 bit were likely contenders. Plenty of address space.

        Then folks from the utility industries got involved. A phrase I'll recall is "plan it so that every electrical outlet could have an address"

        256 hosts used to be enough.
        And who would want a computer in their HOUSE!?

        (and yes, I have the address space for 64k INTERNETS (that's 64k^3) in my chunk of IPv6 space. The goal is to deal with routing better than density. Most of the use is suffixed wit

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:49PM (#10033148)
    We can make hell freeze over...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:50PM (#10033152)
    Hey I got some a new windows installed today!

    Cool, double glazing?

    No.... longhorn..
  • Proliphix? (Score:3, Funny)

    by JessLeah (625838) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:51PM (#10033156)
    Sounds like a company that makes prophylactix... err, I mean prophylactics.
  • For 25 cents, you could buy a themal resistor from Radio Shack and just push it into your joystick port.
    • Not sure why the parent is modded funny... The statement is correct. The PC joystick port uses variable resistors for horizontal and vertical control. The typical port can handle two or four, so you can measure temperature at four different points in your house.

      You can probably also hack one of the newer USB joysticks and replace the variable resistors with thermistors, but I havn't tried it.

      Radio Shack charges closer to $1.00 than $0.25 though. Its called a "thermistor" and its part #271-110A.
  • Just think. With bluetooth you can have a toothbrush with TCP/IP and optical fibers that sends your dentist images of your teeth. You can send an e-mail to your bathtub before you leave work to have a pleasant 102 degree F jaccuzi bath ready for you. Your refrigerator can keep track of what you buy and order more when you run out.

    And yes, then skript kiddies will use exploit scripts to end up filling your refrigerator with pickeled okra or something, with computer and home security firms both jumping on t

  • Automated Windows? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:51PM (#10033160)
    What I've found in my family's ruleset for when we do and don't use our A/C system is that when we decide to disable the A/C, we immediately must open our windows to let in outdoor air... is there any system that could motorize the windows so that they'd open based on the same software that might decide that the outdoor air was too cool for A/C but too warm to let the house be allowed to retain heat by having the windows closed?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:57PM (#10033207)
      I believe Internet Explorer automatically opens up windows.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Instead of opening windows, you can let outside air in your system with a duct that leads outside, and two dampers with motors, one that shuts off the recirculated air, and one that opens up to the outside. This is done all the time in commercial systems. It's called an economizer.
      What we do is calculate outside humidity, space temp and outside temp, and using an enthalpy chart, decide when to open the economizer. The temp can be lower outside, but if it's too humid, the unit needs to work more to remove
    • by Solosoft (622322)
      Actually my dad works as a HVAC salesman. The one thing you SHOULD do when your done using your Central AC is leave the fan running. If you let those coils "drip dry" your going to end up with mold in there. Which can make you and your family very sick. People can come in our house with the AC on and normally are quite annoyed by AC and have no problem.

      Just a little tip :) Leave the fan running for ~ 20 - 30 minutes afterwords so the coil can dry. Also it helps circulate the air in the house too (moving
    • by maeka (518272)
      If you live in an area where the temperature swings enough day to night and you think that shutting off the A/C when you sleep is energy efficient - think again.

      The energy required to phase change water vapor when you decide to shut the windows next and turn on the A/C again is relatively huge and can easily offset a night's open-windowed energy savings if you live in an area with high humidity.
  • Not New... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jhouserizer (616566) * on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:53PM (#10033176) Homepage

    This is not even close to being the "worlds first".

    I interviewed with a company more than 6 years ago that was selling web-enabled thermostats, sprinkler systems, vending machines, etc. etc.

    • Definitely not new. One of the buildings I work in got Carrier's Comfort Net / ComfortLink controls for it chillers and heaters in 1994. And, yes, they are IP enabled, one VPN connection and I can check on the temp in the server rooms and adjust them as needed.
  • Neat... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by keiferb (267153) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:53PM (#10033180) Homepage
    ...but is it SNMP monitorable?
  • by SamMichaels (213605) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:55PM (#10033194)
    So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?

    So how long until everyone realizes that maybe you shouldn't give your air conditioner an external IP address?

    Do you have your network printer on an external IP address?
    • >Do you have your network printer on an external IP address?

      No, but I would if I had IPv6 og an extre IPv4 address. Instead I go through SSH each time I have to use it while not at home.

      It is connected via a CUPS server so I would not worry about giving it an external address.

      If someone really wanted to waste my paper they would just fax me.
    • So how long until everyone realizes that maybe you shouldn't give your air conditioner an external IP address?

      Do you have your network printer on an external IP address?

      So how long until everyone realizes that NAT and packet filtering are two totally different things? One provides security, the other one just mangles whatever packets come its way.

      If you have a working firewall, it doesn't make one bit of difference security wise wether you are using NAT or not using NAT.

  • by jenkin sear (28765) * on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:56PM (#10033199) Homepage Journal
    "
    How long before ... script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"


    So what happens when a virus gets into the seventy zillion unsecured windoze boxes out there, and drops every thermostat they can reach to fifty degrees in the middle of august? ConEd in NYC already has a heck of a time keepin gup with mid-day summer loads from all the AC units- you could easily knock out the entire east coast (again) if enough of these thermostats come online.

    hope they put at least a userid and a password on it, and set them randomly at the factory.

    • Now that's a good example of something that could really happen. Also if people leave these things public, there could be firmware exploits such as have been found in cable and DSL modem/routers. I imagine that a few synchronized on-off pulses would take down the power grid pretty quick.
    • So what happens when a virus gets into the seventy zillion unsecured windoze boxes out there, and drops every thermostat they can reach to fifty degrees in the middle of august?

      I'd be happy with that... but then again, I live in New Mexico, and it's usually in the 80s and 90s here until October or November. :)

  • by flakac (307921) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @01:59PM (#10033220)
    "So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?"

    And just why exactly do you think that these devices are going to be open to the internet at large? Just because some marketing dweeb decided to call it "internet-enabled", doesn't mean that it's going to be on the net. Face it, having an ethernet port and webserver is not the same thing as being connected to the internet. These devices are designed to be run on a local network, which is likely behind some sort of DSL/cable-modem router, which means that unless the user goes to great lengths to do so, the devices are not visible. If of course you decide to set up NAT to let other people get to your thermostat, then you should be ready to feel the heat...
    • by mborland (209597)
      These devices are designed to be run on a local network, which is likely behind some sort of DSL/cable-modem router, which means that unless the user goes to great lengths to do so, the devices are not visible.

      Whether they are directly accessible from the Internet is important, but still limiting access from a local net hardly makes it safe. They would be vulnerable to any trojan, virus or other malware that runs on any workstation on that local network and performs network discovery (which most worms an

  • It Has To be Said... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by galgon (675813) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:01PM (#10033229)
    But Can it run Linux?
  • Already here.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by mishmash (585101)
    Doing this over the phone has been possible for ages... with devices like this [smarthome.com].

    Also Dilbert's house [unitedmedia.com] is online.... And an Internet enabled washing machine [amazon.co.uk], and this internet enabled microwave [amazon.co.uk] are onsale in the UK.. Interestingly aren't available at amazon.com yet [amazon.com]
  • So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?

    My house came with a wireless gizmo that allows the power company to cut out my air conditioning during a peak power crisis. In return, I save a couple of bucks a month on my bill. (They claim that they haven't had to activate this system in many years. We'll see.)

    I wouldn't be surprised if these things were found to be totally insecure. Howeve

    • The power company would have to offer me more than "a couple bucks a month", to turn off my air conditioning during the periods when I need it most, which is to say during peak power use, which happens when it's really really hot outside.

      Power companies are (apparently) in the business of selling power. When people want to buy a lot of it, they should be celebrating and happily vending, not looking for ways to get their customers not to buy so much.
      • The problem with that is that they need to have the production capacity for when everybody wants it - expensive capacity that sits idle during non-peak times.
  • I don't see why a thermostat NEEDS to be network enabled.

    Not only is it not too terrible of an inconvenience to get up and walk to the thermostat, but now we have to protect our thermostat with a firewall??

    As it was mentioned earlier, I don't think it will be long before the kiddies start creating a windows exploit that attacks the thermostat. Imagine having your heat go out in -10 degree weather. This is a situation where a cracker could actually put someone's life at stake in the right circumstances.
    • I know of a local business that wired up their HVAC and security with a web interface. One port is open, 443, and you must authenticate with the web server. This works really well because they have public meeting facilities. Sometimes meetings don't get on the schedule, and someone ends up locked out of a room with the air conditioning turned off. Or a last minute meeting is planned, etc. A manager uses his palm pilot phone's web brower to admin the building remotely, from where ever he is (when at home
    • Shopping list: Norton AV for thermostat, Ad-aware for fridge, personal firewall for bathtub, VPN driver for airco...
    • it would be nice to be network enabled.. ..because it would be nice to control it over the network.

      this isn't by any means a 'new' thing though.

      *Not only is it not too terrible of an inconvenience to get up and walk to the thermostat,* you're not thinking very 'big'. i'd think that traveling several kilometers to the thermostat could be a 'bit too much', or driving 200km. it would be nice to have one of these things at the cottage/holiday house so that you could turn it on on the way to there(from your n
    • >I don't see why a thermostat NEEDS to be network enabled.

      Of course it doesn't need to be. But it'd be nice if I could change the temperature in my cabin up north a few days before I go up.

  • Very bad marketing! (Score:3, Informative)

    by RockyMountain (12635) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:08PM (#10033256) Homepage
    Proliphix's web site is an example of VERY bad marketing.

    At the right price, I'd probably buy one. Even if they don't sell them directly, surely Proliphix's web site ought to give some clue how or where to buy one. What retailers carry them? Who sells them on the internet? How much they cost? Something!

    There's a link labelled "DEALERS", but it only describes how to become a dealer, not how to find an existing dealer.

    I invested 5 minutes searching for this info, and found nothing. Even a Google search turned up nothing. During those 5 minutes, I stumbled over many competing products (not identical, rather more X-10ish, but still, other people who will gladly take the customers money before the customer ever tracks down how to buy a Proliphix.
  • by dindi (78034) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:11PM (#10033273) Homepage

    ingridients: old pc (i386 from garage sale)
    joystick port
    2 thermistors (2kohm if i remember right)
    linux distro (eg debian) -dos works too, but no tcpip stack

    old joystick

    preparation:
    1. open up joy, locate potmeters
    2. replace with thermistors
    3. install op sys with joy support
    4 calibrate thermistors (eg in +50c water and -10c fridge.
    5. read values, post it on website ...

    optional:
    parallel port device control - never did that (other than 8 leds connected for a load meter)

    on the other hand with a cheap pc+serial port + X1 you can really program some fancy llighting scheme and even heating stuff ....
    • Whenever I sit down to design one of these projects to reuse an old PC, I run up against power consumption. For instance, I had an old 486 with hard drives striped and ready to serve as a firewall. At 100 watts, a $70 Linksys would pay for itself in a year (firewall runs 24x7).

      Embedded rules for these kind of applications. If you want to have a really custom solution, the One-wire products are more interesting. Start with TINI [ibutton.com] (a "Java Stamp" with ethernet) and add One-wire [google.com] sensors and controllers.

  • I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by juuri (7678) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:13PM (#10033288) Homepage
    Seriously. Every time one of these topics comes up on the /. there are a flood of posts talking about how useless or pointless the invention is. Applying an easy stereotype I notice most of these comments come from posters who joined in the last couple of years.

    Has the general readership of /. really changed so much? Is it not appropriate to have a little lust and desire to see tech invade every portion of our lives? Wasn't /. itself about the new and exciting uses of technology and cool things on the net?

    More on topic, your thermostat will be networked one way or the other. Either you choose to do it, or your power company will within the next 10-15 years to help control power blackouts, surges and fluctuations. Some power companies already offer discounts for those in high heat areas if the end user allows the power company to turn off their AC during peak usage times.
    • I don't think it's new users being disinterested in technology as such.

      I think it's the fact that this `how pointless' attitude is fashionable with the mods, and the new users are looking for karma points.
    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Black Perl (12686)
      It's pointless because many of us are adjusting our temperature via the web already. RS232-Controllable thermostats have been around for years and can be controlled by every home automation software product available.

      The one I use [smarthome.com] can be retrofit to communicate over your existing HVAC wires to a central controller. I use Misterhouse [misterhouse.net] (open-source home automation software) to control it. Misterhouse has a web interface [misterhouse.net], but I rolled my own (BTW, I can also control my lights and my whole-house audio system, a
      • They may exist, but they look pretty darn pricey.

        Also, my experience with longer RS232 cable runs is that they get problematic.

        Ethernet has the advantage of being very mass market these days - small, inexpensive interfaces are easy now, and if you're already wiring your house with Cat5 ethernet, then you don't need to pull a bunch of parallel RS232 lines. You can also add small hubs or switches easily and spider the lines out, something that requires a rather pricey device to do with RS232.

        As to the con
    • Every time one of these topics comes up on the /. there are a flood of posts talking about how useless or pointless the invention is

      That would be because the device is useless and pointless. Or are you one of those people with a pet rock?

      More on topic, your thermostat will be networked one way or the other. Either you choose to do it, or your power company will within the next 10-15 years to help control power blackouts, surges and fluctuations

      Jimmy Carter, is that you?

      Hopefully, the loud and smug peop

    • A good point. The other thing that bugs me is the huge amount of cynicism/pessimism that is prevalent on every story. Did we reallllly need the snooty comment "So how long until everything in the home has its own IP address and script kiddies decide to get their kicks messing with your air conditioning during a heat wave?" Is the only way for your submission to get posted to employ a significant amount of bitterness?

      I know, let's all abandon our computers and networks then we won't have to worry about any

  • ...but the 40 below days you need to worry about. Seriously, you could kill people by messing with thermostats under such conditions. But I suppose that any house that would even have this feature would also probably be brand new and have insulation even thicker than my skull, so it wouldn't be tragic.
  • The whole comment about script kiddies is weak. Thats why we have private ip addresses and private networks. Make the home non-Internet routable and the ip concern is moot. Now....if there is some mechanism to provide outside access....then fine, but there is little reason for that.

    If that does come into play, then strong security solutions will be needed but opensource has proven that security can be had. Hell, have an itermiderary than cannot directly control the other devices but can send them requests
  • by NoMercy (105420) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:23PM (#10033335)
    Of all the things to wire up thermostats with, ethernet wouln't be my first choice, sure you can plug it into your existing network infastructure if youre totally un-concirned with security, but it means farily bulky cables and network hubs/switches to install just for temprature monitoring.

    Depending on the requirements, a ground + data/power could be used providing virtually effortless wiring with tiny cables, or for more demanding systems power+data, and thin 4-pair telephone cable for a full RS422/485 balanced-pair system for noisy envrioments.

    You can probably get such systems, and probably IP-enabled controll units for them, overall probably cheeper, easier and more secure.
  • by MisanthropicProgram (763655) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:23PM (#10033336)
    You know that the DOJ will want to be able to view your household temperature without you knowing it (PATRIOT ACT). You see, they'll check the temp to see how warm you're keeping your house. If it matches too closely with the temperatures of the climates of countries that host terrorism, you'll get a visit from the Feds. It'll be the same thing for web contolled lighting - gee, this guy keeps his lights on the exact same time as daylight in Irag, and the same temp. We need to investigate!
  • is if it runs in IIS and uses plaintext passwords!

    My heating bill would look like the Nat'l Deficit.
  • Now I can know how hot it REALLY is in those live orgy rooms...
  • If you put all your 'appliances' behind a NAT firewall, you are pretty safe from script-kiddies on the outside..

    True, a virus internally could wreak havoc, but I doubt that its going to be that much of a security risk.

    That being said, I think its silly in the first place just because you can stick a computer in something, doesn't mean you should.. But people will buy it..
  • by jobugeek (466084) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @02:46PM (#10033439) Homepage
    I'd say the majority of people with DSL/Cable in the US have user agreements stating no servers. Certainly this is a simple one, but a server nevertheless. Also, I venture a guess that most people have no clue how to set up their firewall to accept incoming sessions.

    As more and more home appliances become Internet accessible, it will be interesting to see how things like this take hold.

    • most DSL/Cable providers don't care if you do host a server, they just don't want you calling tech support because your web server isn't set up right or bitching that you "very important" server is offline due to an outage
    • I'd say the majority of people with DSL/Cable in the US have user agreements stating no servers. Certainly this is a simple one, but a server nevertheless.

      These stupid AUPs are loads of bull. Every TCP-based application is a "server". What makes apache or this thermometer more of a "server" than, say, a usenet client or outbound ssh session?

      This proliferation of "server" to mean "application we don't like" irritates me as much as "router" to mean "NAT box".

      -ben
  • Hi, I work for a company that does (technical) Facility Management for a lot of huge companies. We have our own system that allows us to attach any kind of analog signal (incl thermostat) to an internet enabled network. Or proprietary system is about 7 years old, but we also use of the shelf systems from:
    - Siemens (http://www.sgm.siemens.de/)
    - ABB (http://www.abb.de)
    and many big names more

    but the newest thing, I personaly like is this device from ICONAG: http://www.iconag.com/

    can connect even an usb camer
  • by acaben (80896) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `dleifnatsb'> on Saturday August 21, 2004 @03:25PM (#10033615)
    This is from their "Multi-tenant [proliphix.com]" page:
    To further save unnecessary expense, facility managers can remotely lockout each tenant by disabling the thermostat buttons from tenant interaction to safeguard against inefficient temperature overrides.
    • I'd prefer a "soft" lockout, with sauna-and-artic like temperatures restricted.

      Or could it have enough smarts to do something like :
      Calculate the average energy use in the building in a one week window.
      Set each tenants available thermostat range depending on where they fall with regards to the rest of the tenants -

      If they are above the average, restrict their available range of deviation from ambient outside, depending upon how much above the average they are.

      Likewise, expand their available range if the
  • by El Puerco Loco (31491) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @03:27PM (#10033623)
    Those guys had a link on their website where you could adjust their thermostat and turn their lights on and off in real time via the web way back in the year 2000.

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/10/23/1739 20 2&tid=144
  • by humankind (704050) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @03:55PM (#10033797) Journal
    These guys [lawineclub.com] have set up an interesting combo NOC/wine cellar and have the temperature and humidity monitored [lawineclub.com] and graphed using MRTG.
  • It looks like it controls the HVAC using 24V AC switching. Is that still used in the USA?

    Over here (Netherlands) any modern heating system uses a digital serial link between the equipment and the thermostat. The thermostat not only switches the heater on and off, but can also set the level (modulation), read back and display status information, set parameters like hot water operation mode etc.

    As it does not use straight on/off switching, such a system operates much more smoothly. Rather than cycling th
  • There are bazillions of Cisco and other routers and things with SNMP capability that read their internal temperature...
  • Zilog (remember them) have been selling one of these as a demo of their web server module (E-Z80, I kid you not) for at least a year. I know, cos I have one!
  • See also Residential Controls' RS232 serial thermostat [hometech.com].

    These guys put the control box down by the furnace itself, so instead of having to run wire to the display, you only have to run wire from your PC to the furnace. They fully document the text-based protocol too, so its easy to program for.

    I have one of these and it works fine. Also, no web server means fewer security worries.

    Post if anyone wants my Linux code snippets.
  • Is this a real product? I can't find a price or anyone purporting to sell it. The "installer manual" on their web page is nothing but a bunch of marketing drivel, the supposed web interface looks like something done in Corel Draw, and if you click on their "Press" link, its EMPTY.

    Also, there is no mention of an SNMP interface. I can see why someone might skip telnet, but why on God's green earth would someone build a web-enabled thermostat and not include SNMP? Can I get a "duh"?
  • by syukton (256348) on Saturday August 21, 2004 @08:49PM (#10035141)
    Everything which can be controlled locally should be controllable centrally/remotely, so they should all have IP addresses.

    Everything:

    Car breaks down on a road trip, it'll be a week before you're home again. Stop wasting energy: "Thermostat, decrease temperature 15 degrees"

    Ensure that your kids ate dinner as instructed while you work late: "Microwave, when were you last used?"

    The refrigerator should monitor everything that goes in/out (RFID or whatever) and can alert you when you're out. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to check the fridge from work so you know to pick up some orange juice on the way home?

    Everything.

    BUT! (there's always a but!)

    I'm not saying they should all have *PUBLIC* IP addresses. One device should, one fairly secure only-answers-to-the-right-port-knock-sequence device, which interfaces with all the other devices. There should be a way for the devices of your home to communicate with you (and you with them) in order to improve the day to day quality of life, but that communication needs to be secure. In order to facilitate this security, a firewalled "doorman" device would authenticate you before allowing you to see how many eggs are in the fridge.

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

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