HOME AUTOMATION FOR THE NATION
The industry and the Internet have been buzzing about Home Automation for years, but most of us still have no idea what the heck it is or what it does. According to good ol’ Wikipedia HA is “the use of computer and information technology to control home appliances and features such as windows or lighting”. Sounds cool, but will it actually make life easier for us?
The big wigs at Google sure think so.
The Internet titan recently purchased Palo Alto Home Automation start-up Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Their product is basically a super smart thermostat that learns its users habits and adjusts in order to save energy while being able to communicate with users remotely. Imagine being able to customize your home environment from your Smartphone or Tablet? Cool beans. This purchase also means that Google is betting that in the not-so-distant future EVERY device in your pad will talk to each other over the Internet.
Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. We at Blu believe that if you know what you want to automate and how much you’d like to spend – you are well on your way to being part of the automation nation. Below are a few of the more popular automation options designed to save you time and money while being a little nicer to mother earth:
- Automate your lighting schedule to turn various lights throughout the home on and off, either on a set or scaling schedule, remotely, or when certain conditions are triggered.
- Set your home heater and/or air conditioner to keep your home temperate as needed, whether you are home or away.
- Open or close your blinds throughout the day to best either block or take in light for energy management.
- Open your garage door with voice commands.
- Manage your home’s security and surveillance system from anywhere you are via your Smartphone.
Speaking of smartphones, IPhone is once again leading the charge, with automation product lines from Belkin, and WeMo. These systems include compatible light switches, motion controller switches and even a baby monitor that connects to your home’s WiFi network and is controlled via an iPhone app. They are also changing front-door technology, replacing door keys with intelligent, sharable electronic keys. Lockitron, KeyMe and UniKey offer similar products, and they all let you answer the door from anywhere you are in the world! For your garden there’s Cyber Rain – an automated irrigation system that follows online weather forecasts and won’t engage when rain is predicted. That's both smart and green.
Automation forecasters believe that within 5 years, most of us will have voice controlled enviro thermostats, remote unlocking doors, uber efficient lights, and doorbells that ring on our phones. Yes, a life of convenience and efficiency will soon be just a click away. Now, if the Internet could just figure out how to unload the dishwasher we’d all be set.