Do you ever forget to turn off the coffee pot or your electric blanket? Have you ever returned home from a trip, and wished someone had adjusted the thermostat?
Always Thinking, which provides professional Mac development services, says it has the solution: Thinking Home for Mac OS X.
Winner of the 2000 Apple Design Award for Apple Technology Adoption, the US$39 program offers Mac home automation. With it you can store a schedule in an X-10 computer interface, such as the ActiveHome. Your lamps and appliances are then turned on and off via X-10 technology, according to your schedule. “Power users” can leave their Mac running full-time and leverage the flexibility of AppleScript to add intelligence to your system and expand its interaction with other applications such as e-mail and Web CGIs.
Thinking Home also offers built-in speech recognition, according to
MacTech magazine. For instance, you can operate your living room lamp by simply telling your Mac to “turn on the living room lamp.”
To help you get up to speed on home automation, there are 250-plus pages of Apple Help. Plus, a Sherlock plug-in is offered for finding online answers using the Google Groups search of the comp.home.automation newsgroup.
Thinking Home also runs on Mac OS 9 and offers a Desktop Remote contextual menu that lets you operate a “Desktop Device” directly from the Finder without launching Thinking Home. A Desktop Device is created by dragging a device from a Thinking Home window and dropping it in the Finder.
Thinking Home v1.1.5 for Mac OS X runs on Mac OS X and Mac OS 9. When used with Mac OS X, a Keypsan USB serial adapter (USA-28X, for example) is required. (USA-28 isn’t compatible yet with Mac OS X, though Keyspan models ending in “X” are supported.) Thinking Home supports the ActiveHome and IBM Home Director computer interfaces, as well as the CP-290 and FireCracker.