It is quite possible that people today live busier lives than in any other time in human history. Because of this upward trend of business, a market for home automation has developed. More and more, homes are becoming more like the one that the Jetsons lived in. Smart devices that control and monitor functions of the home, from heating and cooling to security systems, are no longer science fiction or mere fantasy. These are now a reality of the highly advanced and yet ever advancing world.
What is Home Automation?
Home automation is simply self defined by its name, it is home automation. It is the doorbell with a ring activated camera attached to it that alerts you of a visitor, or potential intruder, no matter where you are. It is blinds that open first thing in the morning to invite the rays of the sun into your home. It is the fireplace that ignites to cozy up your home when the air drops to a certain temperature, and the now seemingly ancient garage doors that open upon your arrival or departure. Home automation is all about letting state-of-the-art technology handle the mundane tasks that we so often forget or are just too busy to do ourselves.
Home Automation Systems
Home automation systems, or hubs, are the brains of the "smarthome". The most popular one right now is the Amazon Echo and its voice activated guru, Alexa, who is there for you like a personal assistant. Alexa is capable of performing "If This Then That", or IFTTT functions, which are reactionary functions within the home. There are other hubs, such as the Wink Hub 2, which is strongly recommended by PC Magazine because of its broad range of connectivity to other in home smart devices. There are a myriad of remote controls, like the Logitech Harmony, that perform many of the same functions for those who would rather push a button than talk to a device.
Security System Automation
Home security has been maybe the most significant development of home automation. Having all of the cool gadgets in the world is a bit dubious if your home is unprotected.
Wifi cameras are the creme de la creme of automated home security. Some come with motion sensors that will alert your phone to unexpected movement within your abode. These cameras are not only good for keeping a watchful eye out for intruders. You can check in on your dog to make sure he isn't making a chew toy out of your shoes and watch your babysitter to make sure that she is paying as much attention to your children as she is her iphone.
There are security systems, like the ones made famous by industry leader ADT, which not only alert the police or fire department to your state of emergency, but also handle certain home functions. The ADT Pulse, for example, can communicate with nearly any Z-Wave powered device in your home. Your ADT Pulse System may even come with an Amazon Echo device.
Automated Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling are functions that typically make up a nice piece of any energy bill, but automated heating and cooling systems give homeowners greater control of HVAC functions and the toll they take on consumers' wallets. These devices allow homeowners to implement a set time for heating or cooling to activate and even send power usage data to your smartphone.
More Home Automation Products
Home automation doesn't stop with the devices that have already been mentioned. There are other products on the market that aim to make the conveniences of home even more convenient.
- Smart Lighting allows homeowners to decide not only the intensity of light emanated by a light bulb, but also the color of light.
- Smart Cooking is perfect for on the go parents who want to prepare home-cooked meals for the family without consuming much time. Many smart cookers, like the June Intelligent Oven, can sense what is cooking, and set the oven to the best temperature and time for whatever it is cooking.
- Smart Cleaning goes hand in hand with smart cooking. The iRobot Roomba is as cute as it is effective as it glides from room to room vacuuming carpet and hard surfaces alike.
The Future of Home Automation
Home automation is here and real, even if George Jetson is not. There are more automated devices coming to the market like a refrigerator made by Samsung that can tell you what you need to replace, and even keep you abreast of expiring foods. Even more so than new devices, consumers should expect that the devices already on the market are going to continually improve as companies seek to one-up each other and even themselves.