Femtocell-enabled home energy management solution


ip.access, the leading developer of femtocell and picocell solutions, and AlertMe.com, the pioneer in home energy management systems, have created a demonstration showing how femtocells can be integrated into smart home energy management solutions. 

With femtocell integration, the AlertMe Energy service can automatically detect when phones enter or leave the house and can therefore power down lights, televisions and other home appliances automatically when the house is empty. The service can also switch the services back on again when the residents return.

The ip.access femtocell powered service also enables mobile phones to control electrical devices in different parts of the house using a series of commands and automatic triggers.

Smart energy metering and control is the subject of extensive EU regulation over the coming years, and services such as AlertMe Energy, which allows electrical appliances in the home to be controlled via the Internet, are set to become a part of everyone's lives in the near future.

ip.access has combined the AlertMe Energy service with its own femtocell technology. The solution works by allowing electrical appliances to switch on and off automatically in response to the presence or absence of phones in the home. The "presence" information is routinely gathered by the femtocell but is normally only used to route cellphone traffic and set tariffs.

The AlertMe integration enables this presence information to be used to set personalised light and power preferences which are activated automatically when a subscriber arrives at home. Pre-set electrical outlets can also switch off automatically to save energy a few minutes after the last person has left the house.

The demo also shows how supplementary services codes on the phone can be personalised through the femtocell when the phone is at home, allowing the phone to be used to switch appliances on and off remotely. For example, a subscriber could type *1# on their phone to switch off the downstairs lights and power after retiring upstairs to bed.

"One automatic trigger could be to switch the kettle on as soon as you arrive home," said Dr Andy Tiller, VP Marketing at ip.access. "But there is a lot more to this than just tea and convenience.

"Using a femtocell to personalise supplementary services codes is a new and unique idea," he said. "It enables the mobile phone to become a powerful controller for all kinds of applications in the home. And because it's a network-enabled feature, it works with any handset – there are no applications to install."

According to AlertMe.com founder Pilgrim Beart, "The mobile phone is increasingly the remote-control for your life. Most people carry their handset everywhere they go, making it an ideal control device for the AlertMe Energy service. And because everyone already has a mobile phone, there is no extra cost involved."

The demo also shows how the AlertMe Hub (the central device that receives instructions via the Internet and controls the electrical plugs in the home) can be integrated inside a femtocell Access Point, receiving its power and Internet connection through the femtocell. In this way, a mobile operator could offer a smart home energy management solution as an integrated option to its femtocell subscribers.

ip.access will be showing the demonstration at the Femtocells World Summit in London from 22-24 June.

High-speed and low-power electronic circuits on carbon material


Using a heated atomic force microscope tip, researchers have drawn nanoscale conductive patterns on insulating graphene oxide. This simple trick to control graphene oxide's conductivity could pave the way for etching electronic circuits into the carbon material, an important advance toward high-speed, low-power, and potentially cheaper electronics. For more info please hear this podcast from MIT.

High-Level Synthesis Blue Book


The High Level Synthesis Blue Book is a comprehensive guide for designing hardware using C++. It is targeted to RTL designers that are currently using, moving, or planning to move, to an HLS design environment. Check the blog post by Thomas Bollaert and More here. The High-Level Synthesis Bluebook is available online by clicking here. Author Michael Fingeroff will also be hosting a free webinar on June 23rd where he will be presenting the book.

Networking your way to success


Many people think networking just means building a trail for learning the latest office gossip, or to socialize with people who share their interests or with head hunters who can help them in a future job search. The truth is that successful people, in our case engineers engage in a more important type of network building process.
The faster you realize that the information overload of today's society means that fewer people know all you need to know to get your jobs done. A successful engineer should know that it is vital to develop quickly as many dependable paths to the experts, who will help you complete the tasks critical to the bottom line. The goal should always be to minimize the Skill or knowledge deficit that every engineer discovers as he or she meets up with a new job. The networks of these kind of people most frequently have the right experts in them, and they are faster. These experts will provide the right answer the first time. In contrast an average performer get wrong answers more frequently either because they ask the wrong people or because the experts with the right answers are not in their networks. So they spin their wheels or go down blind alleys or just end up making costly assumptions that leads them to failures. Successful networking is often accomplished in one-to-one interactions with the people you meet and entails building, maintaining, and operating within a group of experts who share knowledge for mutual benefit.

Additional resources:
http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Network-Your-Way-to-Success&id=12498
http://www.jobscareers.com/articles/networkingyourwaytosuccess.html

High-def iPhone 4


This new model available in black or white from June 24 has an unchanged pricing at $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model. Features include the A4 processor (heart of the iPad), Multitasking, retina display for high resolution viewing, HD video recording and editing, 3-axis gyro, tracking pitch, roll and yaw: perfect for video games, battery life of 7 hours theoretical talk time and 6 hours of 3G web browsing, dual microphone, an LED camera flash for the main camera, and a front-facing camera for 3G video calling and loads of new apps.
The most attractive is the 5MP main camera and the gadget's new high-resolution display, which offers 4x the screen resolution compared to the current model at 326 pixels per inch, denser even than the dots per inch of some printed material. It's also sharper than other recent smartphones and high-def laptops like Sony's Vaio P. On-stage, the demo of the iPhone 4 suffered problems with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Photo Courtesy: Apple!
BTW, this phone looks like a near cousin to the phone i currently have.. the Nokia N78 ;-). Check it out.

Featured articles, recommended by readers


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SNUG India 2010 Registrations Open


The conference schedule and the registration links can be found here. With a program that is focused on helping you deal effectively with every day design challenges, SNUG is committed to making the best possible use of your time and delivering practical information you can take away and apply to your current project as well as future designs. CLICK HERE to register in advance. If you cannot attend the full program, please register for the sessions that are most useful to you. The ‘Conference at a Glance’ will help you plan your time at SNUG.