LAS VEGAS — IBM, STMicroelectronics, and Shaspa have announced a collaboration to tap cloud and mobile computing for manufacturers and service providers to provide new ways for consumers to manage and interact with their homes’ systems using multiple user interfaces such as voice recognition and physical gestures for a “smarter” home.

A smart home network creates a gateway that can connect a homeowner’s computer, mobile device, or even a television with a smart meter, HVAC, lighting, appliances, and sensors within the home as well as services from outside the home.

The companies anticipate that this smarter home initiative could allow consumers to use any device capable of running apps to manage a variety of personal activities such as viewing their home’s energy consumption; controlling security, HVAC, and lighting systems; activating home appliances such as washing machines; monitoring health and assisted living conditions; or engaging in e-commerce. For example, a person with limited mobility could gesture to the TV to turn up the heat, unlock the front door, or check vital signs. According to the companies, this project represents the future of electronics technology as sensing devices and equipment respond to user needs and requests.

“Thanks to emerging cloud services we are entering a new era in which the role of the personal cloud is expanding into daily life and the smart home to improve energy efficiency, health and wellness, and home entertainment,” said Bruce Anderson, general manager global electronics industry, IBM. “This collaboration is a great example of how cloud computing can be used for business and industry innovation versus solely for IT efficiency purposes. In the future, cloud-enabled electronics will sense what people want, evolving from seeing-to-noticing-to-remembering personal needs and histories.”

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Publication date: 2/4/2013