The Automated Home is a Reality
Remember when you had to get out of the car to open a garage door? And you had to use a key on it? How about the clapper? Any remote-controlled gadget — from garage door to bedside light — was once a luxury, an extravagance, a novelty.
Just a few decades later, technology has evolved enough that “the automated home” is more than a fantastical exhibit at Tomorrowland. The everyday homeowner can automate their home now. With the right elements, you can control almost anything in your home with your smartphone. It's cool to run everything from an iPad, sure.
Beyond looking cool, there are benefits to automating your home. According to www.SecurityCompanies.com having an automated home:
“[Is] especially ideal for homeowners who frequently travel or spend long periods away from home.”
Changing lighting settings or checking your alarm system while you're away can actually protect your property. So what can you automate in your home?
With the touch of a finger, you can adjust your home’s temperature from your smartphone. The Hunter Universal thermostat has a slick looking console and a great iPhone app. You can tweak the settings or preset the programming for a week. At a price point of about $100, it's a bit indulgent, but if you really optimize your climate control it might eventually pay for itself.
The ability to regulate the environment within your home can have big advantages to overall costs throughout the year! And if you installed wide plank hardwood flooring in your home it can create a more consistent environment with less changes in relative humidity, which will minimize movement in your floor from season to season!
Streaming media players like AppleTV or Roku can be controlled with smartphones or tablets. If you're ready to take it to the next level, choose a cable service, like Xfinity from Comcast, that allows you to control your DVR remotely. Next time you're stranded at a meeting that runs long, you can be sure the DVR will record the newest episode of “Game of Thrones.” Or, if you've just remembered that the big game is on tonight, you can cancel the recording of a re-run and record that instead.
Forget CDs, tapes, 8-tracks and vinyl. Well, remember vinyl, but set it aside for special occasions. One hub stereo, with the right set up, can provide sound to every room in your home and even outdoor speakers. Sony and Bose have both had a lot of success in this market. Just be aware, that he (or she) who holds the smartphone can rule the whole home when it comes to your musical ensemble.
Well, at least your oven and fireplace. Samsung has developed an oven with nearly 200 meal settings that can be accessed with your phone over a Wi-Fi network. Although this new technology isn't available everywhere, it is hitting more markets soon. Running to the store to prepare for last minute company? Set the oven to preheat after you check out and you'll be ready to cook when you walk in the door. Escea, a company based in New Zealand, manufactures sleek, beautiful gas fireplaces. And you can control them with an iOS or Android app. Maybe you're not Prometheus, but that's still pretty cool.
The Automated Home is more easy than ever, although it will take time to learn about all your options – and set them up – for homeowners who want a cleaner interior and a more efficient home, with the potential to save money over the year and better protect your home, it is time well spent!
Have you implement some of these “automated home” product, gadgets or ideas into your home? What did you think? We'd love to hear your ideas and feedback!