Sunday, 7 December 2014

Home automation is coming and it's going to be amazing!

Those of you that know me will be well aware of my obsession with home automation, and if I wasn't in student accommodation I would have as much home automation as humanly possible. 

However not everybody is in the same boat as me, many people don't really see the point. That's mainly down to the unfamiliarity of the concept, as there aren't really any mainstream home automation products. Even timed thermostats are fairly obscure to most people (a timed thermostat allows you to set the house to be a set temperature at a certain time so that you can let the temperature drop while the house is empty to save energy and then have it back up to the ideal temperature by the time you get back home). Although this is all about to change; if you go on any crowdfunding website eg kickstarter or indiegogo, you will find that a large proportion of the products out there are for home automation. At one point last year practically every other project was for home automation or a 3D printer!

So, what's the point of home automation? 

Home automation systems are designed to streamline your house into a time and energy efficiency powerhouse, which will not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but will save you money and will also improve your quality of living. Take lighting for example; we have been using light switches since 1884 and they have barely changed in their 130 years of operation. Sure ordinary lights work just fine, but why should we settle for fine when we can have better? WiFi controlled LED lights are undoubtedly the future of lighting, not only do they last well over a decade and use significantly less energy than even an energy saving light bulb; they can also be controlled by your smartphone, you can select any hue and intensity you can imagine, you can set a party mode that turns your living room into an instant disco or a movie mode to set that perfect atmosphere for your favourite films, you can have all of your lights turn on full brightness and flash when there's an intruder and many more. However that's not all, if you use other home automation hardware, such as motion sensors or full home automation kits like WigWag, you can do practically anything you can think of, you can check whether you turned your lights off from a different country, tell  your outdoor lamp to turn on before you show up so that you can easily find your driveway, you can have a lamp blink a different colour when someone rings the doorbell, you can have your lights turn on in tune with ambient light outside or in tune with sunrise/sunset, you can have them automatically dim as it gets late, you can have them turn on and off when you enter or exit a room and anything else you can think of!

And that's all just with lights! Imagine the possibilities if you also had automated curtains, central heating, appliances, cars, locks, TV and entertainment, basically anything that runs on electricity and even things that don't yet run on electricity can be connected to the internet and make your home even more amazing than it already is. As more and more devices become "smart" there will be  more and more possibilities available, the only limit to what home automation can do is up to your imagination. Imagine a fridge that automatically detects when you're running low on milk and sends your partner a text to remind them to pick some up on the way home, or a car that automatically tells your partner that you left work and when you'll get home. You could even have a fridge that detects what foods you're low on and automatically adds them to your weekly shopping list, which can then be automatically programmed to get them delivered to your door. The possibilities are pretty much endless, I don't think I can stress this enough. Want a sprinkler system that automatically detects the moisture of the soil and waters your plants at the perfect time? You got it! Want your online calendar to be always up to date with the calendar on your fridge? Piece of cake! i could genuinely go on and on and on about the possibilites (I admit that I pretty much already have, but hey!)

So, not only does this technology help save the planet and put money in your pocket it will also save your relationship because no-one will ever forget to buy the milk and improve  your life in immeasurable ways! 


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