At the CeBIT trade fair today PC Advisor was given a hands-on demonstration of the e-Domotica home automation and security system, which Netherlands firm Eminent hopes to bring to the UK this year.

Based around the EM6500 e-Centre - the hub of the system, control centre and screen - e-Domotica allows users to monitor and control lights, cameras, motion sensors, sirens, smoke detectors and so on from one point. More usefully, you can configure automated responses so that, for instance, if an intruder is detected by the motion sensor, the system knows to switch on the cameras, fire up the siren and send you a text message warning you of the possible danger.

Eminent e-Domotica

EM6500 e-Centre (and camera)

The various functions of the e-Domotica system can be controlled either directly via the screen or using a remote. Commands are then passed on to the accessory units wirelessly. When we asked about security and potential problems due to interference, Eminent told us that the system would use sub-gigahertz Z-Wave wireless, which tends to be unaffected by interference and offers strong reliability.

As yet e-Domotica can't be controlled using a mobile device, but Eminent representatives hinted that this might be a function they would look at including in a future version of the product.

Indeed, PC Advisor was told that the version of e-Domotica that will appear in the UK this year - and one will definitely do so, Eminent insisted - will almost certainly be version 2. Eminent hopes to have this ready in the next few months, and quoted a speculative launch date in the vicinity of May.

It's likely to cost around 900 euros for the e-Centre together with some cameras and other accessories; the screen unit alone will be about 500 euros. Additional cameras should cost around 120 euros each, while other accessories will be 60 euros.

So not a cheap impulse purchase by any means. Although Eminent representatives were quick to point out that home automation systems are generally far more expensive than this. The firm hopes to use e-Domotica to persuade home owners that these kinds of systems are more accessible - and comparatively more affordable - than they may think.

Eminent e-Domotica

Some of the accessories available for e-Domotica

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