What’s going on with this world? Many companies these days are moving away from their decade-honed niche markets, or acquire other companies that have nothing to do with their direct line of business or (unfortunately) close their stores and/or businesses altogether.
I can understand Apple (a computer manufacturer) making its way into mobile phones business. These days cell phones are no longer just phones, they are micro computers with features that many computers of yesterday would envy.
But Nokia (a #1 cell phone/equipment manufacturer in the world) going into Home Automation business? Well, according to recently opened website Nokia is inviting 3-rd party developers to join its Home Control Center initiative.
Nokia Home Control Center is a solution based on an open Linux based platform enabling the home owner to build a technology-neutral smart home that can be controlled with a mobile phone, using a unified user interface. Nokia Home Control Center supports the most common smart home technologies, including Z-Wave as well as enabling the incorporation for proprietary technologies. Thus, it allows third parties to develop their own solutions and services on top of the platform, expanding the system to support new services and smart home technologies.
Could it be Nokia’s answer to rapidly increasing share of iPhone in the automation sphere? (see The Ultimate List of Home Automation Software for iPhone)
Nokia’s proposed solution is based on a “fully featured and extendable gateway” relaying Z-Wave commands acquired through Wi-Fi (802.11n) or GSM/GPRS connection from mobile clients (i.e. Nokia cell phones).
On the UI side, along with web access, they propose a “native client for Series 60 platform 3.1 edition”, which is Nokia’s home-grown UI interface that they put on top of Symbian OS in most (if not all) of their cell phones.
Time will tell how it all will play out. For now you can go and check the specs (PDF) of their proposed solution.
P.S. The market research that was the basis for proposed solution was conducted in Sweden. The survey showed “that one third of the population is very interested in smart solutions for their homes, another third is somewhat interested and the rest don’t want to see any more technology at their homes. The web and mobile phone were clearly the preferred solutions for controlling smart home systems when compared to wall panels and remote controllers.”