Home automation – the trend for the future happening now
Home automation is one of those topics that gets thrown around by many different people. It’s clearly a trend for the future but is also creating confusion for home owners.
Home automation can be an amazing experience that gives you a warm feeling when you come home and everything works just the way you planned it. One of my favourite experiences is when I swipe my finger at the front door and the electronic lock clicks, the lights turn on and the home greets me with the sound of my favourite playlist. The music begins to play through the hallway and then follows me into the lounge as I unwind after a hard day’s work.
It’s amazing how I’ve asked many of my friends, relatives and customers the question “What does Home automation mean to you?” and they all answer in their own unique way. Some are confused and others jump out of there seat in excitement as they explain what they want it to be. Through experience I’ve seen that there is no right or wrong answer to this question and it is true to say that it is anything you want it to be or anything your imagination dreams of. Put simply, you touch a button or some other action occurs and something happens.
To some people home automation is as simple as few speakers by the BBQ with a wireless remote and to others it is a TV screen coming down from the ceiling when you enter the room while simultaneously the lights dim and the fireplace ignites, creating a romantic experience on a cold and rainy day.
A lot of people I have worked with before being converted had an impression that it is this highly complex system that needs a lot of time and energy to install and the knowledge to maintain.
This is definitely not the case but to work smoothly it has to be planned correctly from the start.
Asking yourself ”What does home automation mean to me?” will help you understand what it is you are trying to achieve or what you are expecting from your automated home.
I define home automation as the coming together of many components in a home, such security, audio, lighting and air conditioning, working together and automatically responding to events that occur. The event could be something as simple as pressing the doorbell or it could be the temperature of the lounge room rising beyond a pre-set point. So another simple way to look at this is once the event occurs a selection of predefined actions will occur straight after.
A real life example would be a visitor will press the door bell, which of course will ring, but when you include an automated solution as part of this it all changes. An automated solution could be something like this. The visitor presses the door bell and at the same time the music playing in the Lounge room will mute the system will announce “visitor at front door” or the door chime will sound then the music will continue playing. As simple as it sounds it can be expanded to include many other actions that you think will make life more convenient for you.
The combination of events and actions that can be thought of is endless and really up to your imagination.
The many different ideas by different people can make it daunting and feel complicated for the everyday person just trying to enjoy their home. The industry is struggling to understand why this topic is so confusing to everyone, and it’s not hard to see why.
The technology is growing so fast that consumers can’t keep up.
They are all trying to get their hands on this hot new technology but don’t know where to start.
We have all watched our fair share of TV where we have seen futuristic technology being displayed and used as part of day to day living, we have all looked at this technology being used and thought to ourselves at some stage "wow one day we will have this and it will be awesome". Although we are far away from some of these features we’ve seen, the technology we currently have access to will amaze you.
A good Home automation system will include a key number of components including security, audio, lighting and heating, ventilation & cooling (HVAC). Other options from irrigation to controlling of pool pumps and water features can also be included. There is no limit to what can be controlled or included.
A great solution would be one that has been designed and been planned early on in the building process and an outstanding project would be one that has not only been planned early but one that has taken many factors into consideration. There are general questions that play a big part in a successful project and are often missed or taken for granted.
The secret of all good home automation systems is the simplicity with which the technology is used. As technology improves it plays greater role in our everyday lives – iPhone, iPad, smartphone and faster computers with more memory - you'd expect them to be making life easier. But with so many different technologies and formats more often than not it makes life more cluttered and inconvenient. Wouldn't life be better if everything worked together with a touch of a button?