University Research Throws New Light on 'Intelligent' Life; Wireless Technology Just around Corner

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), December 27, 2005 | Go to article overview

University Research Throws New Light on 'Intelligent' Life; Wireless Technology Just around Corner


Byline: BY ALAN WESTON Daily Post Staff

IT SOUNDS like something out of a science fiction film - a home in which domestic appliances can both operate and communicate between themselves.

But experts at Liverpool John Moores University, who are developing "intelligent" electronic gadgets that will do away with the jumble of wires and cables that clutter up most people's homes, claim it will become a reality in only a few years' time.

Wireless communication is being hailed as the next big development in the technological world that will have an impact on everyone's lives.

It all works by sensors that can pinpoint exactly where you are in the house.

At the simplest level, it means lights will be able to switch themselves on when someone enters a room.

Another example is garden sprinklers, which will be networked and form close relationships with humidity sensors and real-time weather readings received via the internet, to make decisions on whether the sprinklers should be turned on or off.

This will have the effect of optimising and reducing water consumption and costs.

A team of 14 computing science experts in Liverpool are now investigating how to build systems that will connect everyday domestic appliances - such as televisions, stereos and computers - within the physical fabric of the home.

These intelligent systems eliminate the need for wires and cables because they work by harnessing the power of wireless and mobile technologies.

Researcher Paul Fergus estimated that this new integrated system will become more and more common by the end of the decade.

He said: "Imagine a future when all you have to do is plug in your new DVD and it will be automatically configured to play on any TV in the house, or when you can seamlessly switch from watching a video on your 3G phone to viewing it on your plasma screen. …

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