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IBM Delivers Its New Home Director Home Networking System

IBM Home Networking Technology Is Now Available

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Research Triangle Park, NC - 24 Sep 1998: ... IBM today announced the introduction of its IBM Home Director home networking solution -- the first effort of its kind by a major technology company to deliver a compete home network controlled from a PC or television screen. IBM and its partners in the home construction industry are now delivering this leading-edge technology to new homes throughout the United States.

Through the creation of a new Authorized Home Systems Integrator program, IBM has developed a unique distribution channel that provides local installation, service and support for IBM Home Director systems. Combined with the innovative design of the Home Director solution, the average home buyer is now able, for the first time, to purchase a home networking system that is customizable for their needs - yet does not require a special hardware configuration.

"In developing Home Director, we looked at how traditional home systems were being installed and identified the key aspects that deliver the greatest benefits to home owners," said Mary Walker, General Manager of IBM Home Networking. "Prior to Home Director, systems with similar capabilities were created on an individual basis with little standardization and often required significant technical knowledge to operate. IBM has not only created a system with improved reliability through a pre-fabricated solution, but also a system that is flexible and designed with the average home owner in mind."

Home Director integrates the functions of household systems including security, lighting, heating and air conditioning, network-enabled PCs and PC peripherals such as printers, modems and storage. This functionality enables a multitude of activities; from turning off a light left on by the children at the other end of the house to using the arming of the security system to activate a routine that will turn off lights and adjust the thermostat. All controlled through a simple, easy-to-use interface on any television or PC in the home.

"IBM is the first major technology company to address home networking with a total solution for the new home buyer," said Tricia Parks, president of Parks Associates, Dallas, Texas. "Beyond just delivering technology expertise to the area of home networking and automation, IBM has developed a first of its kind support system that means the Home Director owner is never more than a phone call away from a local support person. That's the key to success in this market."

The IBM Home Director system consists of two key components: the IBM Home Network Controller and the IBM Home Network Connection Center. The IBM Home Director system is an intelligent home networking and control solution that uses the power of the Home Network Controller and the connectivity of the Home Network Connection Center to facilitate communication between the various systems that exist in the average home. Connecting these systems through the Home Network Connection Center gives the homeowner up to 16 separate video feeds, a local area network for up to four PCs, up to four separate telephone lines, lighting control through the existing power lines, video monitoring through up to four remote in-home cameras and control of intelligent devices through low-voltage wiring.

In order to ensure consistent installation and service for Home Director home networking systems, IBM has developed the IBM Authorized Home Systems Integrator Program. To become an Authorized Home Systems Integrator, companies and individuals must meet qualification requirements developed by IBM, receive training from IBM and agree to act as a local installer, integrator and service representative for Home Director. Presently, IBM has authorized integrators across the country and is in the process of broadening this base.

In addition, IBM is working closely with many builders and developers across the United States to help develop communities that will be "powered by IBM." As part of this endeavor, IBM is helping to define the technology infrastructure that will connect Home Director homes to their surrounding communities. Complete communities of this nature will start appearing in the near future.

Although initially targeted at the new home construction market, IBM Home Director can be retrofitted into most existing homes. For more information on IBM Home Director, IBM's home networking products, or the location of the nearest IBM Authorized Home Systems Integrator, visit the IBM Home Director Web site at http://www.ibm.com/homedirector or call 1-800-426-7144.

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Editor's Note: IBM news releases are available on the Internet via the IBM home page at http://www.ibm.com/Press.

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