2006 is definitely going to be the year of convergence – we’ve seen Microsoft release a new version of XP Media center edition this year and companies are now starting to get behind it in a big way. With the xbox 360 supporting media center extender functionality, the idea of having a “digital hub” controlling your home entertainment is slowly starting to percolate the public consciousness.
A nice twist on the conventional media center PC comes from SecurGen in the form of their IDVR. Not only is it a media center PC, but it can also integrate a home control system and the monitoring of up to 8 security cameras.
They don’t say what specific home automation software or controllers they talk to but the spec sheet does say that the PC can control your air conditioning, lighting and automated devices. I also like the idea of integrating web / security cameras with the alarm to get video footage of any intrusions stored (hopefully on a remote location – it’s not a lot of use if they steal the PC too!)