Latest in Home automation

Image credit:

Indigo 3.0, increased geekiness for your home


Once upon a time, my house was alive. It would wake me up with an hour-long procedure of ramping up the lights and using a zen chime at increasing intervals. Once the hour was up, it would check to see if I had opened the bathroom door yet and, if not, scold me with increasing levels of profanity for sleeping too late. It would read me the weather and top headlines while I brushed my teeth. It would turn lights on and off as I moved through the house. It had everything but an omnipresent, glowing red eye.

And it was grand, until a series of events (that I can now look back at and laugh) resulted in the PC it was all running on devouring itself and the connected backup drive. Now, in addition to an offsite backup system, I've got a lot of switches, sensors, motion detectors and the like and haven't had the heart to build the system again. But here I am with an extra Mini, and Perceptive Automation just released a new version of Indigo. My inner geek is just itching to restore my home to its former blinking, talking, almost-sentient glory.

Indigo is considered by many to be the best option for X10/INSTEON home automation on the Mac, competing with software such as XTension and Thinking Home. Back in 2007, Mat noted a lack of thermostat options that could prevent one from going completely geek on a house. Well, Indigo now supports the new INSTEON Thermostat Adapter, which can wirelessly control several Venstar thermostats. Assuming you don't already have a compatible HVAC system, you can add that to the (considerable) cost of futurizing your home.

Indigo has also added upload capabilities for the INSTEON PowerLinc 2414U (in addition to the existing support for the PowerLinc 1132CU) for people that would rather not leave their Mac running 24/7. Improved support for the iPhone and iPod touch, increased web server performance, a plugin architecture and a few other overall usability enhancements round out the list of new features, fixes and improvements.

Personally, I'm excited to give the 30 day trial a go. If my house approves, a license will cost $179.95. Existing users of version 2 will be upgrading for free, and owners of earlier versions can get the $89.95 upgrade price. If you're thinking that your house just isn't doing its share -- or just happen to have a lot of X10 switches around -- have a look. Also, be sure to check out High Earth Orbit's hefty Indigo widget.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr