mControl adds Vista Media Center support to home automation software
Embedded Automation has released a beta plugin for their budget home automation software that lets you control your lights, home security system, and personal video recorder all at once. The company's mControl software is basically a cheap version of the Life|ware software from Exceptional Innovation. While EI charges thousands of dollars for their software, you can get mControl for under $100.
So what exactly does the new mControl Vista Media Center Controller driver do? It lets you send and receive messages to your Windows Vista Media Center machine. That means you can have your TV playback pause any time the phone or doorbell rings. Or if you leave the lights on in another room, you can have a message pop up periodically reminding you to turn them off.
Currently it doesn't look like you can use the software to automatically dim your lights when you're watching a video and bring them back up when you hit pause. But that sort of functionality should be available in a future release.