Cool Homes

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“Hello, TV? It's me, the refrigerator.� According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), home networking — the technology that facilitates communication among appliances, home systems, entertainment products and information devices so they can work cooperatively and share information — is catching on. An online survey of 1,100 adults reveals that Americans' interest in home networking is broadening beyond features that promote energy conservation and safety to include those that are just plain cool. For instance, 59 percent of adults with Web access are interested in a home networking feature that would turn lights on or off when a person enters or leaves a room. And 49 percent say they are interested in a device that would display the name of a telephone caller on their TV screen. That way, we can see who's interrupting Survivor without picking up the phone.

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Interest in home networking features among adult Internet users.

The ability to save energy by automatically changing your thermostat and water heater, based on outside conditions. 65%
A vacation setting for your lights that gives your home a lived-in appearance while you're out of town. 61%
Lights that automatically turn on or off when someone enters or leaves a room. 59%
The ability to watch a video on any TV in the house from a single VCR or DVD player. 58%
The ability to indicate on your TV screen who is calling when receiving a phone call. 49%
The ability to use existing stereo equipment to play music from the Internet. 41%
The capability to make a party mix of your favorite compact disks and save them for instant access. 33%
Source: Consumer Electronics Association
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