The term "home automation" comes with a myriad of stereotypes and preconceived notions about what it means. Some people think of home automation as a Jetsons-esque scape of buttons and robots, something years in the future. Still more call to mind a terrifying, Bradbury-ian future where humanity is usurped by their gadgets.
Not only are both of these realities untrue, but home automation can change your life for the better, once a few common questions are addressed.
"Home automation” refers to many items that can be installed in your current home, and have already been making your life easier. Any machine you can “set and forget,” like a washing machine, a dishwasher, even a coffee pot is a piece of home automation. Commonly, the home owner considers robotic vacuums and mops as the height of home automation, but the term also includes security systems, such as cameras, automatic locks, and sensors, smart refrigerators and other appliances, programmable entertainment and “listening” devices (like Echo Dot, and Alexa) that help make your life easier.
Why have something expensive that just sits there? I can open my drapes and fix my thermostat by myself!
True. I’m sure you can. But, can you do this all from work? Until teleportation or bilocation becomes popular, cheap, and…possible, having the ability to change things like your thermostat from an app can be a huge time and energy saver. Imagine how much you will save in cost, and add to the comfortability of your home. Especially in summer, when most of the country is scrambling to and from air-conditioned havens, energy bills will skyrocket. There is a temptation to leave the air on low until someone is in the house, and then blast it. With home automation, you can program your shades to open and close as the day progresses, keeping the hot sun out of the house and the home cool all day long! How nice would it be to have a lower energy bill in the summer, and not have to sacrifice your cold air?
The police can, or I can protect my house just fine!
Yes, but sometimes the authorities need help. There are multiple testimonies of homeowners just like you who have never thought a home surveillance system would pay for itself, but it does. Even just the added security of knowing that the person at your door is just the postal worker, doing their job, could mean the world of difference. Door sensors can track when a door opens. Window sensors can track when a window is open. Video doorbells and outside cameras can track who is around your property. Indoor cameras can make sure your family and friends are safe while they’re in the house. "Nanny cams” are devices that pay for themselves in their usefulness. Giving you and law enforcement added tools like video evidence of a crime, and good, reliable descriptions of any perpetrator, is invaluable to your peace of mind as a homeowner. No one can predict a crime will happen, but if it does, this is how you can prevent it or drastically lessen the fallout from it with good quality, real information.
These are only a few of the questions homeowners have, and only a few examples of what home automation does, and what can be done in the future. Over the next few posts, we’ll go over more home automation updates in greater detail together. For right now, stay safe, and don’t let the Ray Bradbury appliances win. ;)