From Coffee makers to refrigerators academics and manufacturers alike have attempted to jump onto the Internet connectivity bandwagon. Each making compelling arguments that such connectivity is inevitable and will be of significant benefit to the consumer and presumably to the service provider. We at the Network- Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) labs have begun to examine the Internet as an ubiquitous means for provisioning services to devices typically not identified with connectivity. We have started with the lowly home heating plant. It only takes a cold snap and a heating failure for one to appreciate the most important appliance in a cold climate – the furnace. We at the N-CART labs have developed a prototype system implementation and service model for the coupling of sensing with intelligent systems and wireless communications. We allow a common home furnace to communicate with its owner via email over the Internet or to broadcast requests for service via wireless pager. Our system is based on industry-standard hardware components cleverly coupled with custom software modules.
Proc. of the IASTED International Conference for Intelligent Systems and Control (ISC’01), Clearwater, Florida, USA November 19-22, 2001