Home automation is one area where the end result is definitely a lot more exciting than the stuff that gets you there (except to those that actually make the stuff, of course). Case in point, the Pulse Controller, the result of a partnership between startup Aspalis SAS with Navicom. While a select few will no doubt be interested to know that it supports both the KNX / EIB and Z-Wave protocols (with addition protocol support planned -- ZigBee, perhaps?) and packs more processing power than most desktop computers did way back when, most will probably simply be satisfied when they can tuck the little box away and control their lights, window blinds, and other network-connected devices from a touchscreen, handheld, or personal computer. In addition to going after the residential market, Aspalis is also hoping the hospitality industry will come on board, though there's no indication when it'll be available or how much it'll cost.

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The Pulse home automation controller