Cisco introduces the Home Energy Controller – a fourth-screen tablet running Linux
We’re getting close to the “make it so” days where we can sit in one area of our house and have complete control of everything in it. Cisco is helping out by releasing a tablet that can easily be labeled Star Trek rather than high tech. Following on the heels of the Cius tablet announcement, an Android tablet with a strong focus on video-conferencing, the Cisco Home Energy Controller is a new fourth-screen tablet powered by Linux and an 1.1GHz Intel Atom processor. It’s mission? To boldly go where no other tablet has gone before…
Ok, melodrama aside it’s basically a Sony Dash that controls your home’s energy consumption. It’s a novel idea, especially considering the current technology revolves (literally) around watching a thin disk rotate on the exterior of your house hooked up to a meter. With the Cisco Home Energy Controller you can monitor your thermostat, electrical appliances and other electrical usage from the tablet over a 802.11n WiFi or ethernet connection. It will even scold you on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency (thankfully not in the voice of Ed Begley Jr.). Naturally this would require you to have appliances and home electrical just as advanced as the tablet, but think of the possibilities.
The Home Energy Controller has a 7-inch 800 x 480 resolution capacitive touchscreen and will support videos from Mediafly, have a dedicated app store and could possibly be used as a VoIP device. Forbes says the tablet will run about $900 per home installation and could possibly be subsidized in your power bill.
As a final note to all the Trekkies. I didn’t forget to make a Sisco/DS9 joke in this post. I chose not to. And I think the post is better for it.