today announced that Ucentric’s home networking platform will support Proxim’s own HomeRF standard for wireless networking.
HomeRF is an alternative to other wireless standards — it operates on the 2.4 GHz radio frequency band, utilizing frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology. Operating at 1.6Mbps, HomeRF is considerably slower than Apple’s AirPort technology, which utilizes the 802.11b standard and operates at up to 11Mbps.
Proxim subsidiary Farallon began to support HomeRF on the Macintosh this past January with the introduction of the Symphony-HRF PC Card. The Symphony-HRF PC Cards enables PowerBooks to communicate on wireless networks using the HomeRF standard.
Ucentric has a bit more broad-ranged goal in mind than just simple wireless networking. The company has unveiled a “Home Networking Platform” that has been developed to connect existing household devices (including “legacy devices” like TVs and telephones) to each other and to the Internet. Developed for licensing by original equipment manufacturers, the Ucentric platform is based on a Linux operating system and includes a hardware reference design, application server, and a variety of home networking applications. Ucentric wants broadband service providers to deploy a complete home networking solution to interested customers based on its technology.
Ucentric takes a fairly platform-neutral stance on connectivity methods — it supports WAN connectivity including DSL, cable modem, fixed wireless, and satellite, and also supports LAN connectivity like Ethernet 10 and 100baseT, HomePNA, 802.11b, USB-based networking, and now HomeRF.
Ucentric CEO Rick Edson said that the company recognizes the many ways to network devices within the home.
“We are delighted to include Proxim’s HomeRF technology with our platform, as it helps us achieve our goal of giving people the freedom to connect their electronic devices to our home networking system in a convenient, wireless way,” said Edson.
Farallon promised Mac support for other HomeRF products “in the near future.” Other HomeRF-compatible Symphony products (not yet available for the Mac) include a USB adapter — a gateway for sharing broadband Internet connections.