Appliance Control: Making Things Do Stuff

For most people, home automation begins and ends with the principle of appliance control. When any household device such as a video or TV is controlled by something other than a button on its front panel or its original remote control, it is deemed somewhat magical and a topic of further inquiry, particularly if the control is done remotely. Lights and toasters don’t need to be controlled by a wall switch, and your TV doesn’t need to be fed signals from your PVR, DVD player, or satellite receiver. Each device has its own idiosyncrasies and control methods, and each has specific functionality ...

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