~e; programming building codes

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 21 Jun 2002 17:13:02 -0500
Cc design-l@lists.psu.edu

  [click 'demo' for a slideshow of pictures and text)...

The Programmable Building
Demo  July/August 2002
(linked from the wirednews site)


The MIT Media Lab's Neil Gershenfeld tours the building of the 
future, where interchangeable power sockets, switches and appliances 
snap into the walls-then plug into the Internet.

Neil Gershenfeld thinks every light switch, power outlet, doorknob 
and thermostat should be on the Internet. That way, says the director 
of the MIT Media Lab's new Center for Bits and Atoms, everything from 
climate control to security could be coordinated through a single 
Web-based interface. Such a system would simplify both construction 
and building management by doing away with the separate, incompatible 
control technologies currently needed to keep a large building 
comfortable and safe. What's more, he says, embedding computing power 
in all a building's systems and components could offer unprecedented 
flexibility and efficiency. Reconfiguring an office space, for 
example, would no longer mean an expensive and time-consuming 
rewiring job; switches, light fixtures and other components could be 
moved around on power tracks and reprogrammed at will. But there's a 
catch. "The Internet, as we use it now, doesn't work for every light 
switch and outlet," Gershenfeld says. Standard networking technology 
is too expensive and complicated for such massive deployment. So 
Gershenfeld's team is developing cheap, simple Internet devices able 
to network themselves with a minimum of human intervention. 
Technology Review senior editor Rebecca Zacks got a look at the 
technology in Gershenfeld's lab, where he demonstrated a whole new 
way to turn on the lights.

  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization