OSGi World Congress Next Month

Submission by Simon Jones – The House of the Future: networked via the OSGi Platform

The inHaus Project in Duisburg is test-bed for OSGi Service Platform – San Ramon, California / Munich, Germany – The networked life and working environment is one of today’s hot topics, with “Smart Homes” undergoing trials in several countries around the world.

A leading example is the Innovation Centre Intelligent House (inHaus) in Duisburg, Germany, where everything is networked, from solar panels on the roof, to the garden sprinkler. The concept of inHaus is to create functionality through the networking of every single device in the home, with the common thread being the OSGi Service Platform. Many of the domestic and automotive innovations developed and trialled at inHaus will be unveiled to the public during the OSGi 2003 World Congress, which takes place in Dusseldorf, Germany, next month.

The goal of Smart Home technology is to save energy, increase security and comfort levels, and to make it possible to integrate new technologies into domestic life. At inHaus, intelligent technology is at the forefront: for example, sensors measure the temperature, humidity and air quality, windows are automatically closed in the event of rain, and the central heating switches to economy as soon as occupants leave. Meanwhile a number of household devices can be controlled via the television remote control, or the computer – such as the coffee machine, the dishwasher, and the bathtub that can never overflow, and will even send a message to a mobile phone to announce that it has been filled as programmed, with the water at exactly the chosen temperature. The tub’s technology even over-rides erroneous selection of a scalding water temperature.

At inHaus, which is sponsored by a total of 16 project partners, including Miele, Sony, the Fraunhofer Institute, Deutsche Telekom and Volkswagen, home entertainment is also taken to a new dimension. Each device can be used in almost every room in the house, for example, television programmes or DVD movies can be projected on to a bedroom wall. The car of the future is also part of this network, through the wireless sharing of multimedia files between home and car hi-fi systems.

The goal for scientists at inHaus is not only to improve the quality and quantity of leisure time in the home, but also to automate service and repair work on all household appliances, with each device able to report potential problems, and to schedule preventative maintenance.

The project is now mid-way through its five-year term and much has been achieved since inHaus was inaugurated, according to project manager Klaus Scherer. “In perhaps 10 years, it’s possible that everybody will be able to benefit from an intelligent house,” he says.

People who are interested in learning more about the OSGi Service Platform that is powering inHaus, and the latest progress in cross-linking a wide range of intelligent appliances, should plan to attend the OSGi 2003 World Congress. The event, taking place from 21 to 24 October 2003 in Dusseldorf, Germany, is the industry’s biggest gathering of experts in this field.

Online registration, and further information about the event, is available at www.osgiworldcongress.com.

At the Congress, attendees will hear progress reports on commercially compelling OSGi implementations from a wide variety of organisations and companies, including those from three vertical markets reflective of markets currently served by the OSGi Alliance: automotive electronics, smart homes, and service providers. One full day of congress will be dedicated to special tracks focusing on the OSGi technology in automotive environments, in the home, and in networks. The agenda also includes an OSGi technology overview, and examinations of OSGi applications and deployments throughout the world.

About inHaus

The Innovation Center Intelligent House Duisburg, or inHaus, is unique in its theme and organisation, in that its total concept is the holistic development of new product innovations for the networked life. The inHaus project in Duisburg, near Dusseldorf in Germany, is comprised of a pair of semi-detached houses – one is the experimental home, the other serves as the workshop. In addition, a car and the garden of the house are also networked. A total of 16 companies are sponsoring inHaus in a five-year project run by Fraunhofer, with project direction provided by the IMS Institute of Duisburg. Further information in English about inHaus is available online at www.inhaus-duisburg.de.

The full list of base sponsors of inHaus is: Ackermann, Burg-Wachter, Fraunhofer Institute, Geberit, Henkel, Honeywell, Kaldewei, Liebherr, Merten, Miele, Siedle, Sony, Stadtwerke Duisberg, Deutsche Telekom, Viessmann, Winkhaus, Volkswagen.

About the OSGi Alliance

The OSGi Alliance and its members specify, create, advance, and promote an open service delivery and management platform and foster its wide industry adoption. The OSGi Alliance serves as the focal point for a collaborative ecosystem of service provider, technology, industrial, consumer and automotive electronics communities. As an independent non-profit corporation, the OSGi Alliance also provides for the fair and uniform creation and distribution of relevant intellectual property – including specifications, reference implementations, and test suites – to all its members.

The OSGi Service Platform is an extensible integration platform used to remotely and dynamically deploy, provision, maintain, and manage applications and services to devices in networked environments, such as homes, vehicles, mobile handhelds, and industrial settings.

Membership is open to any interested party, including Internet service providers, network operators, original equipment manufacturers, independent software vendors, end users, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organisations. The consortium’s Web site address is http://www.osgi.org.

The full list of OSGi Alliance members is: 4DHomeNet, Acunia, Alpine Electronics Europe GmbH, AMI-C, Atinav, Belgacom, BMW, Bombardier Transportation, BSI, Cablevision Systems, Connected Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Echelon, Electricite de France (EDF), Ericsson, Espial Group, ETRI, France Telecom, Fraunhofer, Gatespace AB, IBM, Institute for Infocomm Research, Jentro AG, KDDI R&D Laboratories, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, NTT, Object XP AG, Oracle, Panasonic Technologies, Philips, ProSyst Software AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, Siemens VDO Automotive, Sun Microsystems, Telcordia Technologies, Telefonica I+D, TeliaSonera, Texas Instruments, TLON GmbH, Toshiba.

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