Software Spotlight - Premise Systems SYS Software
Premise SYS Automation Software
By Ron Goldberg
Residential control and automation systems have traditionally been built using proprietary technologies. Dedicated hardware/software systems from companies like Crestron and AMX have long dominated this space. As a result, integrators and installers have always needed specialized training on these specific platforms, and once the consumer bought into a product line, he or she was locked in to that system.
Premise Systems "SYS" software can create and control highly sophisticated home automation systems that operate off a simple home server running the standard Windows platform. As a result of this switch from closed operating system to a relatively open one, SYS exponentially increases the realm of possibilities for C-tailers, installers and consumers. Theoretically, home automation systems could be much less expensive to implement, but at the same time, much more powerful. There could be a much greater pool of programming talent to set up systems, and operation for the end user would be simpler due to a familiar PC interface. These are heady goals, to be sure.
SYS software, which is currently in version 1.6, uses a common PC running any number of Windows flavors, including XP, NT, and 2000, as a home server. Once the server is configured and controlled by SYS, it acts as the central nervous system for the home automation scheme. In essence, the home server is given an IP address, much like any Internet-controllable device, which now puts the home "online" for user control.
The software is based on three integrated components. The SYS Server component actually runs the home by controlling the host PC, and can be largely invisible to the end user. The SYS Builder component is an integrator's tool that's used to set up the system, as well as diagnose and configure it remotely. Because the system is on an IP protocol, anyone with password access can control or edit the system remotely, from anywhere that there's Web access. The final component is called the Browser, and as its name implies, is a standard, HTML-based front-end that can be used any way that a standard Web browser can — from a PC, a laptop, a PDA, even a Web-enabled cell phone.