ISE 2016: RealKNX Brings ‘Virtual Reality’ to KNX Home Automation

Simply point a smartphone camera at a Sonos speaker, automated light or other smart device for two-way control and feedback via Bleu Comm Azur’s RealKNX.

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At ISE 2016 in Amsterdam, Bleu Comm Azur (ProKNX) showed us a new way to control KNX home automation devices through “augmented reality.” Simply open the new RealKNX app on your smart phone, aim the camera at a smart device such as a lamp or Sonos speaker, and control.

The system compares the image of the device with objects entered into the database, and pulls up the appropriate user interface for the device. Also displayed is real-time feedback from the object if available.

For example, find a Sonos speaker in the viewfinder and the currently playing song appears.

During ISE, Bleu Comm managing director Christian Kiefel captured a weather station in the camera’s sights, revealing the temperature, wind speed and other data available for that device.

RealKNX represents an earlier model of what can be achieved through augmented reality. Today, the user must snap their own pictures and assign the images to controllable devices in the database. The system cannot automatically recognize a Sonos speaker, for example.

In any case, photos must be taken in order to capture each device in its habitat.

“The background is very important,” Kiefel says.

Data is stored locally on a realKNX embedded miniserver.

RealKNX works with Bleu Comm’s own ProServ KNX controller, as well as systems from iKnix and Lifedomus.

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About the Author

Julie Jacobson
Julie Jacobson:

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson