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39CentStamp 03-07-2010 12:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus99 View Post

No one is going to build multi homed light switches for residential applications. The market will not bear it. Its like asking for dual power supplies in a toaster or FM-200 installed in a garage. Sure, they would be great but it will never happen in a million years.

This is what i was getting at with my comment about the "which remote should i buy?" forum at remotecentral. What we think should exist is a waste of time unless we have investors ready to bet on us. Even then though, (as mentioned above) don't you think that someone who already has investors has not thought about all of this?

The reality is that the HA control system company can't steer the other manufacturers in the direction they want them to go like MS does with PC hardware vendors (i read this in a post at RC i think). Hardware and software makers are forced to comply to MS and Windows because if they don't they wont sell anything. What can you do with a text editor if you dont write it to work for MS? You can sell fewer copies of it, thats what you can do with it. Crestron being the largest (my opinion) in the home automation game has as much if any control over Sony and Toshiba as a $5 universal remote control company that sells products at walgreens does.

Because Crestron (and other control system products) cant force these manufacturers to follow guidelines.. they do whatever they want. You will find companies who have DVD players with models like DVD-101 DVD-102 DVD-103 and every single one of them has a different set of IR codes and none will control the other. This is an example of one manufacturers DVD players. Now add in 10 more products and times that by the hundreds of companies and times that by the hundreds of models within each of those companies. And RS-232 is even more ridiculous.

Then you have to add in the reality that no 2 people in the world will use their lighting system (or whatever) the same way. A feature that adds $20 per switch may be something you don't need but your neighbor can't live without. The whole industry will forever be in a state of 'infancy' until there is a dominant company pulling the strings like MS. And IMO it wont ever happen. Unlike PC hardware and software there isn't a single company who controls the largest share of PC Operating System sales. Sony doesn't care if their products work with Crestron because they are moving boxes to the masses and the 0.1% of revenue they receive from people with Crestron systems isn't enough to keep their attention. To be fair.. Sony has probably had Discrete command sets for their products longer than anyone else. I was just using them as an example of mass market product manufacturers that we are forced to work with.

None of the hardware manufacturers are being forced to comply, they don't earn enough from our market to really care. The companies that are interested in our market are the companies who are building expensive lighting products and media servers etc. They are expensive because they are not selling millions of units each year.

I think i have sloppily touched on every relevant issue for why things cost what they do and why things wont change any time soon.

On another note.... Anyone interested in participating in my Mind Control project please PM me. I came up with the framework but now i need some creative people to help build imaginary products and feature sets for them

rtbatch 03-07-2010 07:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Would anyone care to comment on how to implement the proposed Residential HA Architecture (attached), using standards-based technology - bearing in mind the goals of resiliency and affordability.

 

HA Arch Rev1.pdf 120.255859375k . file

rtbatch 03-07-2010 08:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp View Post

This is what i was getting at with my comment about the "which remote should i buy?" forum at remotecentral. What we think should exist is a waste of time unless we have investors ready to bet on us. Even then though, (as mentioned above) don't you think that someone who already has investors has not thought about all of this?

The reality is that the HA control system company can't steer the other manufacturers in the direction they want them to go like MS does with PC hardware vendors (i read this in a post at RC i think). Hardware and software makers are forced to comply to MS and Windows because if they don't they wont sell anything. What can you do with a text editor if you dont write it to work for MS? You can sell fewer copies of it, thats what you can do with it. Crestron being the largest (my opinion) in the home automation game has as much if any control over Sony and Toshiba as a $5 universal remote control company that sells products at walgreens does.

Because Crestron (and other control system products) cant force these manufacturers to follow guidelines.. they do whatever they want. You will find companies who have DVD players with models like DVD-101 DVD-102 DVD-103 and every single one of them has a different set of IR codes and none will control the other. This is an example of one manufacturers DVD players. Now add in 10 more products and times that by the hundreds of companies and times that by the hundreds of models within each of those companies. And RS-232 is even more ridiculous.

Then you have to add in the reality that no 2 people in the world will use their lighting system (or whatever) the same way. A feature that adds $20 per switch may be something you don't need but your neighbor can't live without. The whole industry will forever be in a state of 'infancy' until there is a dominant company pulling the strings like MS. And IMO it wont ever happen. Unlike PC hardware and software there isn't a single company who controls the largest share of PC Operating System sales. Sony doesn't care if their products work with Crestron because they are moving boxes to the masses and the 0.1% of revenue they receive from people with Crestron systems isn't enough to keep their attention. To be fair.. Sony has probably had Discrete command sets for their products longer than anyone else. I was just using them as an example of mass market product manufacturers that we are forced to work with.

None of the hardware manufacturers are being forced to comply, they don't earn enough from our market to really care. The companies that are interested in our market are the companies who are building expensive lighting products and media servers etc. They are expensive because they are not selling millions of units each year.

I think i have sloppily touched on every relevant issue for why things cost what they do and why things wont change any time soon.

On another note.... Anyone interested in participating in my Mind Control project please PM me. I came up with the framework but now i need some creative people to help build imaginary products and feature sets for them

I think the issue is standardization around a control plane, mindful of repeated (Democrat vs Republican) standards skirmishes like Zigbee and Z-wave.

This, IMHO is where the leadership needs to come from. Until that happens, and large scale service / revenue opportunities arise that are attractive to global-scale companies HA will remain a cottage industry.

Regrettably, I believe the signal to noise ratio in this thread sadly reflects that fact.

Thank you for the thoughtful post,

rtbatch

weddellkw 03-07-2010 08:31 AM

You are suggesting that the functionality of someone's house should reside offsite, dependent upon their internet/cellular connection?



Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

Would anyone care to comment on how to implement the proposed Residential HA Architecture (attached), using standards-based technology - bearing in mind the goals of resiliency and affordability.


amirm 03-07-2010 09:23 AM

That was my thought as well. Putting aside that the diagram doesn't show what an automation system really does in the home, I sure don't want to pay monthly fees and have reliance on the Internet connection working for my thermostat to work. To with, I wanted to control my carrier Infinity heat pump with my automation system. Carrier provided a thermostat with cellular modem and a service where I would go on their web site and access my thermostat. The thermostat controller was $1,000 and there was month charges to boot! Putting aside the terrible thinking behind the idea, how on earth would I ever save enough energy to get my money back this way?

IVB 03-07-2010 09:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by weddellkw View Post

You are suggesting that the functionality of someone's house should reside offsite, dependent upon their internet/cellular connection?

Yeah, that's a horrifying idea. In addition to surely requiring monthly subscription costs, an idea that i'm sure will not be embraced by the billions that was previously stated.

Other than that, i'm not really sure what this architecture says except "stuff should be controlled via ip". Eh, ok, but it isn't. And I see no sign by the industry that it is moving that way. Indeed, the proliferation of Zigbee/zWave/UPB/Insteon/etc insinuate that folks believe there's a competitive advantage to a proprietary interface.

It doesn't mention wireless IP, so this doesn't seem to be mutually exclusive with the hardwired IP concept.

BTW, where's the magic quadrant? you know, something like the below. (not recommending either, just what i whipped up in 3 mins or less)


rtbatch 03-07-2010 10:12 AM

For those who have chosen to interpret my posts as arrogance, consider this perspective:

Residences are far less forgiving than (sophisticated) commercial buildings when it cones to infrastructure installations. Seldom can residential owners use raised floors, dropped ceilings, utility chases and under-utilized conduits to recover from bad infrastructure deployment decisions. To the contrary, we're looking at stapled wires, buried in thermal insulation, contained in unprotected spaces, covered by expensive to replace surface treatments.

Whether it's a large commercial building or small residence, infrastructure is an architectural decision one must live with (and possibly regret) for a long time. Few residential customers have technical grounding necessary to make fully informed decisions in this regard. Further, few home owners the luxury of depreciating the cost of their infrastructure investments or redoing them altogether.

Worse, given the fact that this market is still a cottage industry (with all the attendant instability resulting therefrom) greatly undermines a purchaser's ability to determine whether an HA expenditure will become a (deeply imbedded) asset or liability over time. Put simply, the mainstream is spooked about this market, and has every reason to feel this way.

I respectfully submit that one way to deal with this perception is to apply professional, architectural rigor to the matter of residential HA infrastructure. The lack of essential standards, and solutions that have not benefited from the attendant economies of global scale demand no less.

Given that, one would think that standing firm on affordability and resiliency at residential scale - by adapting best practice learned at global scale would be beneficial - even if some of those requirements (and accompanying observations) more fully illuminate the limitations of an adolescent market and the perceptions that are keeping it stuck there.

Fiasco 03-07-2010 10:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

Would anyone care to comment on how to implement the proposed Residential HA Architecture (attached), using standards-based technology - bearing in mind the goals of resiliency and affordability.

You have introduced fee based monitoring and "HA Service Providers" or HASP (And I thought HASP was a hardware lock dongle to prevent software piracy but you know more then the rest of us) and mention nothing of standards.

Your little one line diagram is an inferior solution to the system I already have in operation in my house. You really have no clue what your talking about and throwing out catch phrases like "control plane" ect isn't tricking anyone into believing you do (your self puffery technology strategist label aside).

It has been alluded to here by others but I will reiterate it. The biggest problem is economies of scale. Samsung doesn't give two squats that their RS232 protocol is obnoxious and nothing like LG's, or Pioneer's or Sony's. The market segment that even is aware of an RS232 ports existance on a piece of equipment is so infinitesimal that consumers interested in automation have zero impact on the standard. The consideration of the communication protocol might impact 1/10000th of a percent of total television sales for a manfucturer so the manfacturers simply don't care about creating a control standard.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 10:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

That was my thought as well. Putting aside that the diagram doesn't show what an automation system really does in the home, I sure don't want to pay monthly fees and have reliance on the Internet connection working for my thermostat to work. To with, I wanted to control my carrier Infinity heat pump with my automation system. Carrier provided a thermostat with cellular modem and a service where I would go on their web site and access my thermostat. The thermostat controller was $1,000 and there was month charges to boot! Putting aside the terrible thinking behind the idea, how on earth would I ever save enough energy to get my money back this way?

Given an appropriate control "language" you know, something like "HAXML," I see no reason why a HASP gateway couldn't cache HAXML to drive device behavior in the home. The cached programming is unlikely to be that volatile. Taking an example from iGoogle, the XML the defines your desktop experience resides on their servers. You just execute it locally within your browser. Keep in mind that a light-weight OS like Chrome, imbedded in an HASP gateway could accomplish the same thing - whether it was connected or disconnected from the network. A HASP cloud would be able to deliver huge economies of scale, because the cost of developing the HASP user experience that operates in that cloud could be amortized over a much wider installed base, rather than one that is repeatedly installed on premises.

How many terabytes of messages and files are delivered by and reside in consumer clouds. Your argument about security is specious (FUD). Sufficient safeguards could be put in place.

How about CEDIA demonstrating some serious thought / market leadership by drafting and submitting an HAXML RFC to the IETF. And maybe something like Zigbee, properly fleshed-out and submitted to the IETF could provide the delivery topology /protocol for such commands. Of course, no one is preventing the Z-wave alliance from drafting a similar submission.

And here's an idea for Dean at CQC. The IETF will accept appropriately considered / submitted RFCs from anyone. http://www.rfc-editor.org/indsubs.html Given the feelings he has toward better financed incumbents, maybe he should package the elegance of CQC into an HAXML RFC and go after Crestron with the power of a crowd. Perhaps the Jabber example would be instructive in that regard. It was ultimately good enough for Google to build into a global infrastructure (Gtalk) ;-)

This goal of creating a standardized "control plane" for HA is very achievable. Given that, not doubt some combination of global service providers and product manufacturers would deliver the necessary economies of scale, resiliency and security necessary to drive this market to maturity.

As global enterprises are rapidly realizing, the use cases for (and economic feasibility) of premise deployed infrastructure are rapidly diminishing. The residential HA market could benefit greatly from that wisdom.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 10:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiasco View Post

You have introduced fee based monitoring and "HA Service Providers" or HASP (And I thought HASP was a hardware lock dongle to prevent software piracy but you know more then the rest of us) and mention nothing of standards.

Your little one line diagram is an inferior solution to the system I already have in operation in my house. You really have no clue what your talking about and throwing out catch phrases like "control plane" ect isn't tricking anyone into believing you do (your self puffery technology strategist label aside).

It has been alluded to here by others but I will reiterate it. The biggest problem is economies of scale. Samsung doesn't give two squats that their RS232 protocol is obnoxious and nothing like LG's, or Pioneer's or Sony's. The market segment that even is aware of an RS232 ports existance on a piece of equipment is so infinitesimal that consumers interested in automation have zero impact on the standard. The consideration of the communication protocol might impact 1/10000th of a percent of total television sales for a manfucturer so the manfacturers simply don't care about creating a control standard.

I'm sure everyone on this thread would be thrilled to see your exemplary "architecture" and come to their own conclusions.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 11:14 AM

For anyone who is interested, take a look at XACML. It is an abstracted policy language that also defines how it is to be interpreted and processed. Also note the stakeholder / process through which it became a standard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XACML

The same thing could be achieved with HAXML.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 11:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiasco View Post

You have introduced fee based monitoring and "HA Service Providers" or HASP (And I thought HASP was a hardware lock dongle to prevent software piracy but you know more then the rest of us) and mention nothing of standards.

Your little one line diagram is an inferior solution to the system I already have in operation in my house. You really have no clue what your talking about and throwing out catch phrases like "control plane" ect isn't tricking anyone into believing you do (your self puffery technology strategist label aside).

It has been alluded to here by others but I will reiterate it. The biggest problem is economies of scale. Samsung doesn't give two squats that their RS232 protocol is obnoxious and nothing like LG's, or Pioneer's or Sony's. The market segment that even is aware of an RS232 ports existance on a piece of equipment is so infinitesimal that consumers interested in automation have zero impact on the standard. The consideration of the communication protocol might impact 1/10000th of a percent of total television sales for a manfucturer so the manfacturers simply don't care about creating a control standard.

I wouldn't call Global 500 companies that patiently wait until I'm available to advise them on infrastructure strategy puffery. They don't suffer fools gladly - and have a remarkable ability to distinguish between arrogance and no-nonsense competence.

Fiasco 03-07-2010 11:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

I wouldn't call Global 500 companies that patiently wait until I'm available to advise them on infrastructure strategy puffery. They don't suffer fools gladly - and have a remarkable ability to distinguish between arrogance and no-nonsense competence.

Neither does this board, thus the reception you received.

If you are working for these Global 500 companies why is it necessary to utilize an intermediary (AVSForum) in an attempt to effect change? If these companies are so desperately waiting on you to implement their technological infrastructure why the need for all the self puffery on AVSforum? Surely you can simply communicate your wonderfull unicorns and rainbows architecture directly to a manager that exercises control over communication protocols instead of positing it here to a bunch of anonymous usernames.

Can't you just speed dial the president of Samsung or DirecTV and tell them their RS232 protocol sucks? I'm sure they will bend over backwards to please someone of your obvious self importance.

amirm 03-07-2010 11:46 AM

Let me preface my response to you that I have fought your battle in this forum many times so please read my responses in that context . What I have learned is that you have to know the other guy's data better than he does or it is hard to have a proper argument. My beef with your diagram is that it is too simplistic with respect to the problem at hand, making it easy for others to attack it as they already have.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

Given an appropriate control "language" you know, something like "HAXML," I see no reason why a HASP gateway couldn't cache HAXML to drive device behavior in the home. The cached programming is unlikely to be that volatile.

That's fine but the question is, in what way moving the control to the cloud solves a problem? Are you trying to eliminate the cost of the controller in the home? If so, what samples all the inputs in the home from keypads to security sensors, encapsulates in SOAP or whatever and sends it up a web service to act on? The answer would be an intelligent box which can as well be the controller.

Quote:


Taking an example from iGoogle, the XML the defines your desktop experience resides on their servers. You just execute it locally within your browser. Keep in mind that a light-weight OS like Chrome, imbedded in an HASP gateway could accomplish the same thing - whether it was connected or disconnected from the network.

Current controllers do run light-weight OS already. In some cases they go further and provide real-time response. Maybe Chrome has real-time extensions but I have not heard.

If your idea is to standardize interface to the controller through a web service so any app can be written to control it remotely, then that is a good idea. But it simply gives you remote access, not local control.

Quote:


A HASP cloud would be able to deliver huge economies of scale, because the cost of developing the HASP user experience that operates in that cloud could be amortized over a much wider installed base, rather than one that is repeatedly installed on premises.

Not if it can't eliminate a dimmer in the home. Not if it can't eliminate the local data gathering and control box. Not if it is less reliable.

Quote:


How about CEDIA demonstrating some serious thought / market leadership by drafting and submitting an HAXML RFC to the IETF.

CEDIA's job is to make money for its members. Making stuff cheaper doesn't fit that model so I doubt that they will take any initiative against their own members.

You need a consumer advocate and CEDIA is not it.

Quote:


This goal of creating a standardized "control plane" for HA is very achievable. Given that, not doubt some combination of global service providers and product manufacturers would deliver the necessary economies of scale, resiliency and security necessary to drive this market to maturity.

I don't think the cost is in that area. The cost is in going from $2 light switch to $60 dimmer. The cost is having to spend days programming how you want the lights to come on and respond to sensor. There is a lot of hardware here that can't be eliminated that way.

The things you talk about would potentially provide more and better features but it doesn't solve the fundamental cost issues.

Quote:


As global enterprises are rapidly realizing, the use cases for (and economic feasibility) of premise deployed infrastructure are rapidly diminishing. The residential HA market could benefit greatly from that wisdom.

I don't know about that. I am still typing this on a laptop with local storage and ton of hardware. The first step for that trend to be true is the day I lose half of the hardware in every PC.

Could services then are an adjunct to local computing. I share some of my photos online which courtesy of Amazon S3 services has no storage limit. But it is still a pain for me to upload images and browse through them versus local storage so I use a hybrid solution.

Years from now, this will likely change but the predictions have been out there forever and have yet to come through in computers and will take even longer in home automation.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 12:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiasco View Post

Neither does this board, thus the reception you received.

If you are working for these Global 500 companies why is it necessary to utilize an intermediary (AVSForum) in an attempt to effect change? If these companies are so desperately waiting on you to implement their technological infrastructure why the need for all the self puffery on AVSforum? Surely you can simply communicate your wonderfull unicorns and rainbows architecture directly to a manager that exercises control over communication protocols instead of positing it here to a bunch of anonymous usernames.

Can't you just speed dial the president of Samsung or DirecTV and tell them their RS232 protocol sucks? I'm sure they will bend over backwards to please someone of your obvious self importance.

Why would I or an industry waste time with something as arcane as a protocol invented in 1962 that is an obvious drag on innovation?

Are you suggesting perhaps that the HA industry should be focusing on building an rs-232 cloud?

Anyone who understands global cloud architectures recognized that infrastructure competition is centered on achieving dominance as a "global control plane" that organizes / orchestrates the movement of information and the behavior of endpoints. That's where the value add / profit is and why Crestron won't open-source their control protocols.

Somebody will create an open HA "control plane" standard, and then this industry will transcend its perpetual adolescence. Stimulating discussion around that idea, and trying to approximate such a solution in my home seems well within the scope of this forum - even if the signal to noise ration is not particularly high.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 12:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Let me preface my response to you that I have fought your battle in this forum many times so please read my responses in that context . What I have learned is that you have to know the other guy's data better than he does or it is hard to have a proper argument. My beef with your diagram is that it is too simplistic with respect to the problem at hand, making it easy for others to attack it as they already have.

That's fine but the question is, in what way moving the control to the cloud solves a problem? Are you trying to eliminate the cost of the controller in the home? If so, what samples all the inputs in the home from keypads to security sensors, encapsulates in SOAP or whatever and sends it up a web service to act on? The answer would be an intelligent box which can as well be the controller.


Current controllers do run light-weight OS already. In some cases they go further and provide real-time response. Maybe Chrome has real-time extensions but I have not heard.

If your idea is to standardize interface to the controller through a web service so any app can be written to control it remotely, then that is a good idea. But it simply gives you remote access, not local control.


Not if it can't eliminate a dimmer in the home. Not if it can't eliminate the local data gathering and control box. Not if it is less reliable.


CEDIA's job is to make money for its members. Making stuff cheaper doesn't fit that model so I doubt that they will take any initiative against their own members.

You need a consumer advocate and CEDIA is not it.


I don't think the cost is in that area. The cost is in going from $2 light switch to $60 dimmer. The cost is having to spend days programming how you want the lights to come on and respond to sensor. There is a lot of hardware here that can't be eliminated that way.

The things you talk about would potentially provide more and better features but it doesn't solve the fundamental cost issues.


I don't know about that. I am still typing this on a laptop with local storage and ton of hardware. The first step for that trend to be true is the day I lose half of the hardware in every PC.

Could services then are an adjunct to local computing. I share some of my photos online which courtesy of Amazon S3 services has no storage limit. But it is still a pain for me to upload images and browse through them versus local storage so I use a hybrid solution.

Years from now, this will likely change but the predictions have been out there forever and have yet to come through in computers and will take even longer in home automation.

Amirm,

What a great post. Worthy of the best of AVS forum. I hope to reply in kind. May take a little time, but it will be time well spent :-)

Thank you,

rtbatch

PS. Sorry to hear that Cedia is a guild. Sounds like what the HA industry needs is an "agile" OASIS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organiz...tion_Standards

Dean Roddey 03-07-2010 12:47 PM

Quote:


As global enterprises are rapidly realizing, the use cases for (and economic feasibility) of premise deployed infrastructure are rapidly diminishing. The residential HA market could benefit greatly from that wisdom.

This is another one of those trendy statements that sounds nice until you actually think about it a bit. Pretty much the one and only thing you could move offsite in an automation system is the software, and the small box it runs on. That's the tiniest part of the whole system generally, and in return for that tiny change you take a huge hit in response and reliability and security.

And actually I think the whole cloud hype is the same old hype that's been going on for decades. The actual situation will likely work out that some fractional amount of stuff will lend itself to a cloud-like situation, which is already the case of course, I don't have a copy of Google or AVS here in my house. Most stuff won't lend itself to that, and the PC will remain the primary tool in the home and the business.

I mean it's not like the centralized computer with semi-smart terminals is new or something. It's so 60s actually. Obviously there'll be some people who have very light needs such as just e-mail, for whom some very limited device will be a good deal for them. And there'll be various other scenarios where it'll be worth replacing a PC.

But I'm not worried about PCs going away any time soon. No matter how fast your internet pipe is, speed and latency are not the same thing. And latency will kill the cloud scenario for many types of applications. Home automation is one of them.

IVB 03-07-2010 01:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

I wouldn't call Global 500 companies that patiently wait until I'm available to advise them on infrastructure strategy puffery. They don't suffer fools gladly - and have a remarkable ability to distinguish between arrogance and no-nonsense competence.

good god; just when i thought rtbatch was turning the corner arrogance-wise, I see a statement like this. Yes, i'm sure all the CIOs are lining up waiting for you. (btw, CIO stands for career-is-over, as nobody would dream of asking them what to do for the future business strategy. IT's inherent job is to react to business strategy, and determine how to best support it.)

Buddy, you're revealing that you're more of a techie hacker than I could ever dream of being. I'm on the biz-side and have either been a management consultant (@$410/hour with 2300 billed hours/year) or client-side, and I can guarantee you this: No succesful company in the history of histories has ever patiently waited for a techie guy to determine what business model they need to follow, and how they should go to market. Hell, the techie guys should be lucky if we even ask their opinion, as engineering does not drive sales & marketing, it never has, and it never should. Large successful companies do not build things for the sake of building them, they do not care about the technical elegance of the solutions, because that does not guarantee success. There are bazillions of examples of the superior technical product being defunct because the company thought otherwise.

In the end, there is only one metric: are your sales & market share growing or collapsing. Nothing that you have said will have an immediate impact on sales or market share. If you want my company to move to an open standard, you need to show me how being a first-mover will get me a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, the first movers typically sink all the $$ into R&D and public awareness/etc, and get the most diluted value as the second mover takes advantage of the first movers work.

Even if there's an "industry coalition", i'll only support that position if someone shows me how it'll reduce costs or increase sales/market share. Or if the government makes me.

I hate to burst your bubble, but that is how the business side (aka, the folks who run the companies) works.

Fiasco 03-07-2010 02:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post

This is another one of those trendy statements that sounds nice until you actually think about it a bit. Pretty much the one and only thing you could move offsite in an automation system is the software, and the small box it runs on. That's the tiniest part of the whole system generally, and in return for that tiny change you take a huge hit in response and reliability and security.

And actually I think the whole cloud hype is the same old hype that's been going on for decades. The actual situation will likely work out that some fractional amount of stuff will lend itself to a cloud-like situation, which is already the case of course, I don't have a copy of Google or AVS here in my house. Most stuff won't lend itself to that, and the PC will remain the primary tool in the home and the business.

I mean it's not like the centralized computer with semi-smart terminals is new or something. It's so 60s actually. Obviously there'll be some people who have very light needs such as just e-mail, for whom some very limited device will be a good deal for them. And there'll be various other scenarios where it'll be worth replacing a PC.

But I'm not worried about PCs going away any time soon. No matter how fast your internet pipe is, speed and latency are not the same thing. And latency will kill the cloud scenario for many types of applications. Home automation is one of them.

You are absolutely right.

Remote access is only viable on two fronts. Monitoring and issuing control commands. If control processing is handled outside of the home the homeowner is now a slave to that connection. If it is severed control is lost. Further, the market is small enough as is. A huge chunk of the US is not on broadband with satellite internet being the only viable alternative beyond POTS. Imagine the latency in reactions to control inputs.

Fiasco 03-07-2010 03:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

Why would I or an industry waste time with something as arcane as a protocol invented in 1962 that is an obvious drag on innovation?

Why would they? They do! There isn't a media, security, lighting or HVAC system in my home that doesn't have a RS232 port. RS232 works. It's on a ton of devices. By and large it is what we have to work with.

The date something is invented has little to do with it being a "drag on innovation". ARPANET originated in the 60's. It took decades for that to mature into a must have household feature. There's no shortage of devices out there (GlobalCache, Moxa ect) that convert serial to ethernet/ip so RS232 in and of itself is not the problem.

I see labor as a huge cost of automation. Something as simple as a consistant 232 protocol among television manufacturers would shave considerable time of installation and setup (which could be done now via firmware updates to existing equipment).

Quote:
Are you suggesting perhaps that the HA industry should be focusing on building an rs-232 cloud?

I don't see the point of your abstract Home Automation "cloud" at all except it's impact as a trendy buzzword.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 05:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiasco View Post

Why would they? They do! There isn't a media, security, lighting or HVAC system in my home that doesn't have a RS232 port. RS232 works. It's on a ton of devices. By and large it is what we have to work with.

The date something is invented has little to do with it being a "drag on innovation". ARPANET originated in the 60's. It took decades for that to mature into a must have household feature. There's no shortage of devices out there (GlobalCache, Moxa ect) that convert serial to ethernet/ip so RS232 in and of itself is not the problem.

I see labor as a huge cost of automation. Something as simple as a consistant 232 protocol among television manufacturers would shave considerable time of installation and setup (which could be done now via firmware updates to existing equipment).

I don't see the point of your abstract Home Automation "cloud" at all except it's impact as a trendy buzzword.

Fiasco,

I couldn't care less about improving an obsolete, brain dead protocol. If IP evolved like RS-232, we'd still lbe sitting at teletype machines. I spend my days on the front lines of very real cloud wars, although they may be no more visible to you than the drones flying over the heads of the Taliban.

Clouds are not a buzzword, but rather the future direction of information and control system architectures. Do you think smart grids are going to be built out of rs-232 devices? Nope. Neither are the homes of tomorrow, which I'm trying to cost effectively approximate in an adolescent market cast in jello.

If AVSForum could upload a .pdf of 532K (an incredibly stupid 500K filesize limit) I'd send you and the thread a compelling read. Yes, the white paper I am referring to is about commercial buildings, but the same concepts are and should be applicable to residential HA.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 06:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

good god; just when i thought rtbatch was turning the corner arrogance-wise, I see a statement like this. Yes, i'm sure all the CIOs are lining up waiting for you. (btw, CIO stands for career-is-over, as nobody would dream of asking them what to do for the future business strategy. IT's inherent job is to react to business strategy, and determine how to best support it.)

Buddy, you're revealing that you're more of a techie hacker than I could ever dream of being. I'm on the biz-side and have either been a management consultant (@$410/hour with 2300 billed hours/year) or client-side, and I can guarantee you this: No succesful company in the history of histories has ever patiently waited for a techie guy to determine what business model they need to follow, and how they should go to market. Hell, the techie guys should be lucky if we even ask their opinion, as engineering does not drive sales & marketing, it never has, and it never should. Large successful companies do not build things for the sake of building them, they do not care about the technical elegance of the solutions, because that does not guarantee success. There are bazillions of examples of the superior technical product being defunct because the company thought otherwise.

In the end, there is only one metric: are your sales & market share growing or collapsing. Nothing that you have said will have an immediate impact on sales or market share. If you want my company to move to an open standard, you need to show me how being a first-mover will get me a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, the first movers typically sink all the $$ into R&D and public awareness/etc, and get the most diluted value as the second mover takes advantage of the first movers work.

Even if there's an "industry coalition", i'll only support that position if someone shows me how it'll reduce costs or increase sales/market share. Or if the government makes me.

I hate to burst your bubble, but that is how the business side (aka, the folks who run the companies) works.

IVB,

You couldn't be more wrong about me, or more cliche'd in your perceptions. The CIOs deal with make a lot more money than you and are very much on the hook to employ information technology to accelerate innovation and create genuine competitive advantage. This very genuine dilemma is acute. These are the people I advise as a business strategist and trusted advisor.

I respectfully submit that having thoughtful discussions about cloud architectures and network middleware as HA control structures would be far more intersting and valuable discussion in this thread - especially since the HA industry is about to be greatly disrupted by these developments.

Unfortunately, I happen to be contemplating installing a control infrastructre in my house in the middle of this disruption. If you care to speak to that issue, I'll be listening.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 06:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post

This is another one of those trendy statements that sounds nice until you actually think about it a bit. Pretty much the one and only thing you could move offsite in an automation system is the software, and the small box it runs on. That's the tiniest part of the whole system generally, and in return for that tiny change you take a huge hit in response and reliability and security.

And actually I think the whole cloud hype is the same old hype that's been going on for decades. The actual situation will likely work out that some fractional amount of stuff will lend itself to a cloud-like situation, which is already the case of course, I don't have a copy of Google or AVS here in my house. Most stuff won't lend itself to that, and the PC will remain the primary tool in the home and the business.

I mean it's not like the centralized computer with semi-smart terminals is new or something. It's so 60s actually. Obviously there'll be some people who have very light needs such as just e-mail, for whom some very limited device will be a good deal for them. And there'll be various other scenarios where it'll be worth replacing a PC.

But I'm not worried about PCs going away any time soon. No matter how fast your internet pipe is, speed and latency are not the same thing. And latency will kill the cloud scenario for many types of applications. Home automation is one of them.

Dean,

Respectfully, you couldn't be more wrong. A good deal of the time I spend every day is focused on issues of security, resiliency, QoS, regulatory compliance, privacy and the cost benefit of on-premise vs in-cloud architectures.

Cached HAXML on a HASP gateway or some equivalent could more than satisfy your concerns. Devices that are defined and controlled by such technologies are being built and deployed today to create smart / connected buildings (and soon residences). If you were to study this, and recast your business strategy accordingly you might be surprised by the opportunites that present themselves to your company.

But please don't try and convince me to embrace your flat world thinking. You and the HA industry are being majorly disrupted, you just don't know it yet.

Unfortunately, I'm trying to make an informed (purchasing) decision in the middle of this disruption. I'm all ears if you choose to offer some fresh insight on that subject.

IVB 03-07-2010 06:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

IVB,

You couldn't be more wrong about me, or more cliche'd in your perceptions. The CIOs deal with make a lot more money than you and are very much on the hook to employ information technology to accelerate innovation and create genuine competitive advantage. These are the people I advise as a business strategist.

Hmmm. I have a 1pm meeting tomorrow where the COO & I are showing the CIO the latest business roadmap, to see what his reactions are. I think i'll just walk in with a blank look on my face and say "eh, what I have to say is unimportant - where do YOU think we can have the biggest business strategic impact. Oh, and you're now responsible for executing on those business strategies, not me. Never mind that I'm the one who oversees the business areas and is getting bonus'ed on those strategies, never mind that techie stuff that you're doing."

yeah, that'll get me real far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

I must admit I am deeply amused by this 30 year old emerging market, especially as a technology strategist / architect for an even bigger company than yours ;-)

Oh wait, now you're a business strategist. I thought you were a technology strategist & architect. Two completely different areas of expertise.
Quote:


I respectfully submit that having thoughtful discussions about cloud architectures and network middleware as HA control structures would be far more intersting and valuable discussion in this thread - especially since the HA industry is about to be greatly disrupted by these developments.

Unfortunately, I happen to be contemplating installing a control infrastructre in my house in the middle of this disruption. If you care to speak to that issue, I'll be listening.

We've all been trying to talk, but you've been doing your damndest to not listen. In the end, i've had a fully functioning system in my house that hasn't had to be touched in a major way for 2 years now. We can either talk about how things are right now and what to do to implement a reliable system, or we can have a fantasy about how it should be with technologies that aren't in use by any vendor out there. One is useful to you right now while you're building a house. One will be useful for the house you build in 10 years.

rtbatch 03-07-2010 07:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

Hmmm. I have a 1pm meeting tomorrow where the COO & I are showing the CIO the latest business roadmap, to see what his reactions are. I think i'll just walk in with a blank look on my face and say "eh, what I have to say is unimportant - where do YOU think we can have the biggest business strategic impact. Oh, and you're now responsible for executing on those business strategies, not me. Never mind that I'm the one who oversees the business areas and is getting bonus'ed on those strategies, never mind that techie stuff that you're doing."

yeah, that'll get me real far.



Oh wait, now you're a business strategist. I thought you were a technology strategist & architect. Two completely different areas of expertise.


We've all been trying to talk, but you've been doing your damndest to not listen. In the end, i've had a fully functioning system in my house that hasn't had to be touched in a major way for 2 years now. We can either talk about how things are right now and what to do to implement a reliable system, or we can have a fantasy about how it should be with technologies that aren't in use by any vendor out there. One is useful to you right now while you're building a house. One will be useful for the house you build in 10 years.

It's very simple, I want a system that will be useful in my home, ten, not two years from now. No IVB, business and technology strategy are inextricably interwoven. I move fluently between both worlds. Its the siloing of the two that are at the root of many firms innovation dilemma. The CIOs I work with are diligently working to bridge that gap. They have my respect, empathy and devotion, not contempt or condescension. I reserve that for others more deserving.

IVB 03-07-2010 08:05 PM

You can keep trying, but I really do have a 1pm meeting tomorrow, I really do have a business roadmap & 10 point strategy to show the CIO, I don't work in IT, and I'll repeatedly demonstrate why business strategies to gain market dominance have little or nothing to do with IT. Of my 10 points, only 1 is driven technology, and it basically says something like "overhaul technology architecture & re-engineer processes to reduce internal administrative costs of building our widgets".

Quote:


business and technology strategy are inextricably interwoven. I move fluently between both worlds. Its the siloing of the two that are at the root of many firms innovation dilemma.

Really? Among many other companies, I used to work for one of the 3 largest womens cosmetics company, before that one of the 3 largest apparel manufacturers, and a major toy manufacturer. How exactly will have an awesomest technology strategy make more women buy perfume? More consumers of all shapes/sizes buy more jackets & sneakers? More kids want .

You need to stop working for CIO's, it's making you think that technology is the answer to all of life's problems and that if you can use a cooler way to build something, the market will follow. It won't.

Just like the "point" of this thread; your HA-technology-centric ideas (OASIS, open standards architecture,etc) won't get Lutron to embed an IP-controllable switch into their lighting control system. Building a switch that's more efficient, finding lower cost suppliers for the various bits of their supply chain, getting a larger '% of book' for their distribution channel, expanding their brand reputation & point-of-sale recall for consumers, now THAT'S business strategy and that's what will drive Lutron's strategy.

I'm sorry, I really am, but unless you're in the high-tech sector, nobody is going to give a rats ass about what technology doohickey you put into something, or use to build something. They just want that something. The dot-com days are over, that bubble burst a long time ago.

AnthonyZ 03-07-2010 09:09 PM

IVB, why bother? We're fighting an uphill battle. The genius has spoken and made it clear that those of us who have been involved for years know nothing compared to some guy off the street who's been on AVS Forum for under a month, never so much has put his hands on a single HA related product, actually believes that offsite/cloud computing produces zero latency and apparently believes that he's OWED the system he made up in his own mind. C'mon, listen to the guy. He's just cryptically alluded to the fact that we're gonna have our entire, dumb little world turned upside down by standards he can't explain or justify. Admit it, IVB, we've been schooled by our superior. rtbatch, what will I be eating for breakfast in the morning?

Boogereater 03-07-2010 09:47 PM

"It's very simple, I want a system that will be useful in my home, ten, not two years from now"

Then I would suggest you look into embedded automation systems vs. the systems you have been mentioning in your posts. There is a major difference between automation and control. Simply put, with automation of lighting, HVAC, etc. one doesn't need to interact with control interfaces.

Regarding the magical cloud, I would agree that the migration of interfaces is going in this direction. The recurring revenue and service opportunities are the main factors driving this adoption.

IVB 03-07-2010 09:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbatch View Post

Fear not. My HA budget is $10 - $15K, a very respectable amount of money (except for investment bankers). Of course, I'm excluding, AV servers / equipment. But for the HA controllers, lighting controls and communication backbone (and a few itouches) that should be more than sufficient. The rest is sweat equity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogereater View Post

"It's very simple, I want a system that will be useful in my home, ten, not two years from now"

Then I would suggest you look into embedded automation systems vs. the systems you have been mentioning in your posts. There is a major difference between automation and control. Simply put, with automation of lighting, HVAC, etc. one doesn't need to interact with control interfaces.


Aren't those systems a helluva lot more than $10K?

IVB 03-07-2010 10:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyZ View Post

IVB, why bother?

Why else does anyone do anything on the internet? Procrastination.

I'm currently supposed to be filling out a final powerpoint slide with specific requests for the CIO and the head of customer operations. But I worked for hours yesterday on this strategy stuff, and I want some space before thinking about it again. I have 30 favorite shows taped, 180 DVDs and BluRays ripped, 25 Netflix WatchNow in my queue (all available via SageTV on the bigscreen), and the only thing I can find to watch is "US Marshalls". I watched "Fletch" last night, so "Fletch Lives" is a little much.

I keep thinking that this'll give me the motivation somehow to work on it, but it hasn't yet. I think i'll get up at 6:00am, get to work by 7:00am, and work on it then. At least I can pretend I did something within the vicinity of my required workload today.


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