Honeywell has introduced its new Internet Control Module (ICM), a device that allows homeowners to connect Security and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems to a network and control them via an IP-based Web interface.
The small device can be integrated with the Honeywell APEX security system and the Honeywell Enviracom Programmable Thermostat (Model T8635L). The ICM, based on technology developed by In2 Networks, Inc. of Murray, Utah, is also compatible with other "Connect & Control Enabled" devices, including lighting products offered by Lutron Electronics, Co. Inc. (www.lutron.com).
"Sophisticated commercial products like this have been available from Honeywell for years," said Jim Filer, Honeywell Security and Customer Electronics. "Now, we are delivering on our 'One Honeywell' promise by linking products from two of our major Honeywell businesses, Security and Environmental Controls. And our residential customers are the big winners. They receive a revolutionary new level of safety and security. For example, when the security system detects a fire, it will immediately send a message to the HVAC control; the HVAC system will then turn off the fans and shut down. Previously, it was extremely expensive for residential customers to achieve this level of protection."
The Honeywell ICM, which can be installed quickly, requires no programming and can be plugged into new or existing systems. After installation, a network cable connects the ICM to the homeowner's computer network.
Because the ICM already contains the necessary software, no computer downloads are required. The computer network will automatically recognize the ICM and load the appropriate HTML control pages, which can be accessed from almost any computing device running a Web browser, including a PC, PDA, laptop, web tablet, etc. Users can simultaneously monitor systems on their computer screens, and the HTML pages display virtual versions of the systems' keypads, allowing for easy control.
"This device essentially turns a person's computer into a central control station for their home," Filer said. "It's a great convenience and it's also a major step forward in safety and security."