By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Rosebury, Australia — The U.S. Patent Office approved a patent for LeisureTech's A-BUS technology, which transmits audio, control signals, 24-volt power and status information down a CAT-5 cable to amplified in-wall keypads.
Current A-BUS implementations deliver line-level analog audio down a CAT-5 cable, but a LeisureTech spokesman said the patent also covers the transmission of digital audio over CAT-5. Multiple companies send digital audio over CAT-5, but it's not certain whether those companies' implementations would be covered by the patent.
New York — ControlThink launched a service that enables Web-browsing computers and most Internet-enabled cellphones to monitor and control a home automation system based on Z-Wave wireless technology.
The service, called ThinkConnect, requires the use a broadband-connected PC loaded with ThinkEssentials software or a ThinkConnect-enabled Internet gateway from such companies as Wayne-Dalton.
Subscription prices start at $9.99/year for monitoring and controlling a single device such as a thermostat or $4.99/month for all-device control.
Barrie, Canada —Two new $2,000-suggested multiroom-audio systems from Nexus expand the company's selection down to lower price points.
The C-4.4 four-source, four-zone system comes with four in-wall keypads connected via CAT-5 cable to a central 8x20-watt (at 0.1 percent THD) amplifier/controller.
The C-4.1 is a four-source, single-zone system intended for small homes and multiple dwelling units where sound might run over from one zone to another. It's also designed for both new-construction and retrofit applications. C-4.1 features an 8x20-watt amplifier/controller installed like a structured-wiring can in a closet or utility room. The can connects to in-wall keypads in other rooms and to a wall plate in the source-component room. The wall plate features four sets of audio-input and IR jacks to connect and control source components. C-4.1 can be used to upgrade an existing in-wall volume-control system because it sends control signals over the same four-conductor cable that carries speaker-level audio signal.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.