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International CES 2000 Report
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2000 International CES Report


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"Wave" Home Automation
Imagine my surprise when a representative from ZiLOG approached me about their new product – knowing what I dealt with – even though we weren’t close to their booth. Well, the diversion was certainly worthwhile as they were demonstrating an innovative product that, when combined with a Visor PDA (personal digital assistant) could revolutionize home automation. The base technology is a small snap-on adapter that provides 900MHz RF capabilities. A bulky prototype was being demonstrated, however they had a mock-up of what the final product would look like (pictured).

What can you do with this marvelous little piece of equipment? Well, through either a console box or a PC and utilizing X-10, IR and other control protocols, home automation could become as simple as 1-2-3. Your PDA could become the ultimate remote control with macros and other capabilities that could be used throughout your house. A digital-quality cordless phone or intercom. Connectivity to your PC from up to 1 mile away. This is a really versatile technology that could be adapted to many different uses. For instance, ZiLOG envisions being able to drive past a restaurant broadcasting a signal and seeing, on your PDA, how long the wait is. Or whether a grocery store has stock of a particular item.

Could this be a pipe dream? Maybe. However ZiLOG certainly has the vision and technology to pull it off. I for one was quite impressed. No retail availability or pricing was announced.

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