Related link: http://www.smarthome.com/pr04-8.html
The home automation world has a love-hate relationship with X10 technology. It has been around for 30 years, and has some obvious problems, but it’s the de-facto standard. With millions of units sold, dozens of manufacturers supporting it over the years, and a huge collective knowledge base of how to work around its quirks, its going to be tough for a competing technology to knock it off its throne.
But that hasn’t stopped lots of upstarts from trying. Currently, the most promising is Zensys’ Z-Wave. It’s wireless, has support from several industry players, and everyone is pretty much hoping that it will gain enough momentum to be worth investing in.
Recently, Smarthome Inc has entered the fray too. They’re introducing Insteon (”instee-on”) and it looks very interesting. According to their website, Insteon combines traditional power line control with wireless networking. That is, it’s backwards compatible with existing X10 equipment, and it uses mesh-networking to communicate with Insteon-capable devices.
That’s a sweet combination, and a very smart move. In order for any new home automation technology to get enough traction to really take off it has to appeal to those who are already automating their homes. And today, that means you have to work with X10. Requiring customers to adopt a new approach that abandons their current investment, as so many others have tried, is asking too much. It just might be that Insteon has found the approach.
What’s your reaction to Insteon? Yawn, or Yahoo?