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Open Standards for the Automated Home

X10, KNX and DigitalSTROM

Open Standards for the Automated Home
As we describe in the overview article elsewhere in this issue, there are many different home automation systems available. A few of these are sufficiently open that it is possible to build DIY hardware; they also have the advantage of being supported by more than one manufacturer.

There are essentially just three common standards for home automation, although they could hardly be more different from one another: X10, KNX and DigitalSTROM. X10 was first on the scene, being developed in the 1970s; KNX is based on EIB (European Installation Bus), which was developed at the end of the 1980s, and DigitalSTROM is an initiative for a new open standard, which started in 2007. The markets of these three systems are also geographically rather disparate: X10 is chiefly found in the USA and fairly rare in Europe, whereas KNX is the clear market leader in Europe. It is hoped that the first DigitalSTROM products will come onto the market next year.

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