CastleOS Plans Windows-Based Home Automation Hub

Features Microsoft Cortana to enable voice control
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Boston – CastleOS launched home-automation software for Windows computers more than two years ago and now plans August availability of its first home-automation hub, which runs Windows 10 and the latest version of the company’s software.

The $499 CastleHUB is a computer-grade hub that but can be controlled from iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, and Linux-based smartphones from within the house or remotely. It runs Microsoft Cortana to enable natural-language voice control from a smartphone, Microsoft’s Kinect game accessory, or Android Wear smart watch. It packs Intel Celeron CPU, 30GB SSD, and 2GB RAM.

The hub, which does not require a cloud connection to control home systems, also serves as a home entertainment server via optional internal 2.5-inch hard drive or USB 3.0-connected hard drive. The hub also streams video via Microsoft apps, including Hulu and Netflix apps.

The hub controls home-automation devices that incorporate Z-Wave, Insteon, X10, WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, Lightwave, TCP, and Universal Powerline Bus (UPB) technologies. The company plans to add control of ZigBee, Lutron, RadioRA2, GE Link, KNX, Elk, Wink, Chamberlain, Somfy, and Universal Devices products, among others.

Notifications can be sent via text or email, and they can be voice announced through Sonos and other speakers.

The Hub will be available in August at CastleOS.com. Preorders can be placed for $429.

The device incorporates Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, HDMI, seven USB ports, and 4-in-1 card reader. It can be upgraded to 16GB RAM.

Because the hub doesn’t use a cloud-based server to execute commands, CastleOS said, users don’t risk their privacy, and there is no latency between the time a command is issued and executed, which the company said is “all too common with cloud-based systems.” In addition, if a home’s Internet connection goes down, the hub will continue to work, CastleOS said.

CastleOS’s home-automation software for Windows computers is currently available at Amazon for $199.

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