Who doesn't long for a smart home system that gives you full control of your thermostat, lighting, AV, and security system from the convenience of your cellphone? While many proprietary and "standards-based" off-the-shelf solutions exist, things quickly break down due to the lack of interoperability, cost, or sheer complexity of medium-to-large home automation designs. Enter Nokia who just announced its Home Control Center, a platform open for third parties to develop "plug and play" solutions, all of which can be controlled via your phone or PC from both inside and outside the home. HCC will let home owners switch devices on and off as they monitor and control their electricity usage while providing access to objects such as temperature sensors, cameras, and motion detectors. Ultimately it will integrate more complex systems like security, heating, and ventilation. Although few technical details were provided, a research paper from last year that outlined Nokia's Smart Home strategy called for a 802.11n WiFi home gateway device (presumably from Nokia) with optional GSM/GPRS module integrating into a home network of Z-Wave and ZigBee-compliant devices. The system is expected to include pre-packaged Smart Home kits ranging from starter, security, energy, and baby monitoring when it goes retail (Europe first) by the end of 2009.

Update: Good news, remote access only requires a web browser. As such, you can use any cellphone with a decent browser to manage your home remotely.

Read -- Press Release
Read -- Product brief [Warning: PDF]
Read -- Research paper [Warning: PDF]