After Nokia sold off its home automation assets
to another Finnish firm by the name of There, the idea was that we'd finally see some product in the marketplace in early 2010. Well, here we are in the middle of April and there hasn't been anything made available just yet, but we'd chalk this up as a good sign: the so-called ThereGate -- the cerebral cortex of There's system -- just garnered FCC approval. As a refresher, this is a box that packs 6GB of internal storage (expandable with an SDHC slot), a 4-port gigabit router, 802.11n WiFi, and a GSM / 3G radio -- which is all interesting in itself, but the real magic comes into play when you notice that it supports the Z-Wave
short-range mesh networking protocol as well. Though There's focus is on "energy saving and efficiency" with support for things like power meters, the Z-Wave radio should allow it to interact with a variety of compatible modules to control lighting, security, and the like -- and naturally, There's Nokia roots mean that you'll be able to access the box remotely using your phone. We don't know when this will be released exactly, but it's got support for both European and US Z-Wave frequencies, so we might see a coordinated launch on both sides of the pond before too long.