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issue: February 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

European Report
Appliance Suppliers and OEMs Work Together in Home Connectivity


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by Paul Roggema, European correspondent, APPLIANCE magazine

In the field of connectivity, hardware manufacturers that have been working on the KONNEX standard for communication protocols are now working in conjunction with CECED, the association of European home appliance makers.

The goal is to develop a standard that makes commands such as Start, Stop, "Set Spin Speed," and "Read Actual Temperature" uniform for all brands. However, the standard also needs to leave room for brand-specific features, as appliance companies still want to distinguish themselves.

Last December, CECED published CHAIN (CECED Home Appliances Interoperating Network). This protocol allows domestic appliances of all brands to cooperate in a single automated home system. There are commands for services such as remote control of operation, energy and load management, remote diagnostics, automatic maintenance, and web-based exchange of data, programs, and services.

The protocol was designed by the CECED Convergence Working Group, which issued an Application Interworking Specification in three volumes.

The technical layer of the communication is provided by the KONNEX field bus standard, which was developed in recent years and was built upon existing European standards for building automation. Of course, both developments must be synchronized; therefore, as an addition to the CHAIN standard, CECED and the KONNEX Association signed a contract to merge the command set into the current KONNEX standard, EHS 1.3a.

First results of the common expert workgroup are expected in the first quarter of 2004. Also, an additional workgroup is preparing an extension of the KONNEX certification to applications other than household appliances, so interoperability can be guaranteed.

 

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