An “affordable and practical” technology for making smart home services widely available to homeowners was introduced by Invensys plc at the recent Interactive Home Conference, held in Paris, France.

The product, named the ControlServer, allows consumers to access a host of smart home services. It is expected to be available over the next 12 to 18 months, the company said at the conference, which was sponsored by Microsoft Corp., France Telecom, and other industry leaders. Invensys plc is headquartered in London, England.

According to the manufacturer, ControlServer will enable homeowners to access and control all home systems, including appliances, entertainment systems, lighting, hvac, and security from user interfaces throughout the home, or from a distance using the Internet.

“We have designed the ControlServer to become a natural addition for every homeowner at a price that will be comparable to the cost of a VCR or television,” said John Sharood, vice president of Invensys Network Systems.

According to the company, using its product, even older-modeled electronic appliances can be retrofitted to make them network enabled.

Invensys also said it is partnering with emWare, of Salt Lake City, UT, to enable users to interact with smart home devices via traditional buttons or knobs, as well as web browsers, cell phones, or personal digital assistant (PDA) devices.