March 20, 2007 by Arlen Schweiger
Lifeware digital entertainment and automation solutions from Exceptional Innovation has launched Lifeware 2.0, which introduces a new, Microsoft Windows Vista interface while enhancing its performance managing a home’s subsystems through Windows Vista Media Center to create a comprehensive digital living experience, according to the company.
Lifeware 2.0 provides at-a-glance, gallery-style view of home subsystems—lights, thermostats, security, surveillance and more. By replicating the distinctive Windows Vista interface look, feel and navigation, Lifeware 2.0 presents a crisp interface that is intuitive, simple to learn and easy to use, the company says.
By integrating Lifeware into Windows Vista Media Center, consumers can have their entire music collection, complete with album art, all on screen. Users can enjoy slideshows of their digital photos, schedule and record their favorite television programs, call up home videos and watch DVDs. Lifeware also lets homeowners control a home’s lighting system, thermostats and security system, distribute music throughout the house, enact homeowner-defined Lifescenes. The software also allows consumers to enjoy the experience through multiple outlets such as a TV with a Media Center PC, Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender, from a home or office PC or notebook, a wireless device like an Ultra Mobile PC, or from a Lifepoint high-definition touch panel.
The key to Lifeware’s flexibility is its use of Web Services for Devices (WSD) to communicate between different home systems, the company says. Designed from its inception to support a wide range of controllable subsystems, Lifeware comes into its own in Windows Vista, which supports WSD natively.
Instead of writing proprietary drivers, Lifeware builds web service-based software bridges to all Lifeware Connected partner products that make each subsystem fit the flexible, cross-platform WSD standard, which enables rapid two-way communications that are reliable and robust. This open, standards-based approach to home automation creates a system that is both affordable and scaleable and can easily be expanded as new vendor partners are added, according to the company.
Features of Lifeware 2.0 include:
- 100% digital experience.
- Share digital content across your home network.
- Distribute audio where you want it, when you want it.
- Easy navigation for all users.
- Choose how you want to interact with Lifeware — mouse, keyboard, remote or touchscreens.
- Seamless integration with Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center.
- Multi-vendor hardware support gives you more choices among PCs and subsystems.
- Schedules for common home control and security tasks.
- Lifescenes set a mood using all of your home’s systems.
- Extend the experience around the house using Xbox 360s as Media Center Extenders.
- Scalability to meet your changing needs — big or small.
Lifeware pricing varies based on the scope of the installation.
Go to www.life-ware.com for more.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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