Enabling smarter homes for everyone

Back in 2006 when we were working on the ideas that eventually turned into Microsoft Hohm, we saw the need for a broader platform that would support scenarios such as patient health care monitoring, home security, home maintenance, home automation as well as home energy management. In fact, our team presented this concept at a Gartner Utility conference way back in 2007. At lot of time has passed and it’s a long story as to where we ended up with Hohm which is probably content for a future blog.  However, the vision has never died here at Microsoft.  In 2010 Microsoft Research postulated that The Home Needs an Operating System  that can simplify application development and let users easily add functionality by installing new devices or applications.

It is no secret that homes are ever-increasing hotbeds of new technology such as set-top boxes, game consoles, wireless routers, home automation devices, tablets, smart phones, and security cameras. This innovation is breeding heterogeneity and complexity that frustrates even technically-savvy users’ attempts to improve day-to-day life by implementing functionality that uses these devices in combination.  The connected home of the future that is easy and cheap to implement is a dream that many of us have shared for years.Lot

To simplify the management of technology and the development of applications in the home, Microsoft Research began developing an "operating system" for the home called HomeOS.  HomeOS provides a centralized, holistic control of devices in the home.  It provides users with intuitive controls to manage their devices. It provides developers high-level abstractions to orchestrate the devices in the home.

Recently, the HomeOS has made its debut in an initiative we call LoT (Lab of Things). 

What is the LoT? It’s a flexible platform for experimental research that uses connected devices in homes.  LoT enables easy interconnection of devices and implementation of application scenarios, using the HomeOS.  Please note that this effort is NOT for commercial use and is for research and experimentation only!

Specifically, the LoT enables easy:

· Interconnection of devices and implementation of application scenarios, using HomeOS

· Deployment and monitoring of field studies and analysis of data from experiments

· Sharing of data, code, and participants, further lowering the barrier to evaluating ideas in a diverse set of homes

We invite you to check out the LoT and the HomeOS but please, please, don’t call me for tech supportSmile  Enjoy! - Jon C. Arnold

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