Bluetooth Home Automation with a Twist

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Bluetooth Home Automation with a Twist

The new BK-UNV01 module from startup bluekey_controller.jpgBlueKey Wireless can turn most Bluetooth-enabled phones into home controllers.

Despite the prevalence of Bluetooth solutions on the market, the company believes this product is unique because of the company's robust on-screen programming interface.

The module and companion software debuted at the Electronic House Expo Fall 2008 in Long Beach, Calif.

The BK-UNV01 receives Bluetooth commands from compatible phones and other devices -- up to 300 feet away for Class 1 Bluetooth products -- and can trigger virtually any low-voltage device via seven onboard programmable relays.

The unit also has a serial interface for controlling more advanced control systems (one-way). Out of the box, it supports the Powerlinc serial-to-powerline module for controlling Insteon and X10 devices over the home's existing AC wiring.

Up to 16 mobile devices can be tied into the system.

BlueKey's Java-based application software loads onto a Bluetooth phone like any other application. It allows users to configure (with delays, if desired) each relay and label each command (up to 82) via an onscreen wizard.

Optional cellular and landline interfaces enable the BK-UNV01 to deliver status reports to the customer's phone when out of range. Eventually, BluKey will provide Internet connectivity as well.

BlueKey sells the BK-UNV01 module and software for $499 (including a license for one mobile device), but the company is focused mainly on OEM business.

More at CEPro.

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