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Thalia Products Handhelper Module Preview

Tue Apr 25, 2000 - 1:58 AM EDT - By James Hromadka

Handhelper Module

Handhelper Springboard moduleDo you remember that announcement about Zilog working on home appliances that could connect to each other?  There was to be a Springboard module that allowed Visor owners to control all of these appliances.  We now have some new information on the Handhelper Springboard module, as well as some of the appliances that you will be able to control.  I may have to buy a house just so I'll have an excuse to use it all!

The end product is called Thalia Products (thinking and linking intelligent appliances).  Thalia Products is a new company created by appliance maker Sunbeam that uses Home Linking Technology™ (HLT)™ to allow appliances to communicate via electric wiring or radio signals.  What makes HLT special is that no computer is needed for the HLT appliances to talk to one another; the HLT appliances should be competively priced in relation to normal appliances.

Bedroom appliancesHere's an example of how Thalia appliances can work.  Say, you normally get up at 7:00 AM but need to get up at 6:00 AM for a special meeting, so you change your TimeHelper™ alarm clock.  This changes your entire routine for the day.  Other HLT appliances pick up on this change, so your HLT-Smart™ coffeemaker that starts 10 minutes before your alarm goes off changes itself to the new time.  Your Sunbeam Blanket with a Brain® electric blanket (that turns itself off 10 minutes after your alarm goes off) also adjusts itself accordingly.  So instead of having to adjust three different things, you only need to change one.

Here are some other uses for the clock which are listed in the company's press release:

  • When one of the HLT™ products needs your attention – for example, if you forgot to put water in the kitchen coffeemaker – the TimeHelper™ clock in your bedroom alerts you with a message.  And in the case of an emergency – when an HLT-Smart™ Sunbeam smoke alarm sounds anywhere in the house – the TimeHelper™ alarm sounds at the bedside.  Not only does the Thalia™ TimeHelper™ clock “sound the alarm,” it also displays the location of the active smoke alarm, helping you react appropriately from the first instant.
  • A modem on the TimeHelper™ clock will enable it to call out to the Internet during the night, so that when you wake up in the morning, you’ll be able to read today’s weather forecast on the clock face, or even read the morning’s news headlines.

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