Technology continues to evolve to make our lives easier, and home automation may be the next big trend.
With technology evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, we may not be far away from the futuristic homes featured in some of our favourite sci-fi movies and TV shows. While we can’t all have Iron Man’s J.A.R.V.I.S. running our place of residence, we can still unleash our inner Tony Stark with some of the features below.
At-home security has been around for some time now, but with introduction of smart home technology you can now monitor any cameras you put into your home from your smartphone. Sensors attached to these cameras can send alerts if they detect motion in a room of your home.
Another factor to smart home security is the new style of smart lock or electronic locks that you can place on your doors. With number pads and Bluetooth connect, there are a range available that have different functions and features. There are smart locks like the Quickset Kevo that are Bluetooth connected, and unlock when your smartphone or a key fob is placed on the lock to be read. You can also get locks that use a fingerprint reader like Covetek BioDoor, a keypad such as Lockwood Code Handle Keyless Lockset, or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) like Samsung Smart Mortise Lock.
The August Smart Lock system can actually sense the presence of you and your connected smartphone, locking the door when you leave and unlocking on your approach. If you aren’t keen on a complete renovation to integrate these new locks, the August Smart Lock can be installed over your current deadbolt. This could be particularly useful for renters who can’t change the locks.
Another factor you might enjoy in the new smart home of the future is the ability to automate and control your lighting from your smartphone. You can install sensors like those that form part of WeMo Motion Kit that allow for lights to automatically switch on when you enter the room and turn off after a period once you leave. A system like the Philips Hue, allows you to control all the lighting in your home, including the option to dim and brighten, from your smartphone or tablet.
Smart plugs allow you to get the benefits of automation and smart home access for all electrical appliances that are plugged into sockets around your home. They can be controlled by a smartphone app or attached sensors as you can do with in-built smart home products. They can also help with monitoring your energy usage so that you can save money whilst enjoying your new automated home.
Automated climate control
Standard air conditioners often have timers to help you choose when you want your system running. You can take this concept up a notch by adding this functionality into your whole home automation loop, allowing you to control your home’s temperature from your smartphone. Depending on the type of air conditioner you have you can either upgrade your thermostat or add a device to your air conditioner that will allow for wireless control.
For other heating systems, if you don’t have a reverse-cycle air conditioner, you can use the above mentioned smart plugs to wirelessly control your heater from your smartphone.
If you have window furnishings that you wish to automate, companies like Somfy can install automation controls for all your internal and external blinds and awnings, which can be easily controlled from your smartphone.
Smart entertainment system
A part of any good smart home creation is the ability to access all your entertainment needs from the palm of your hand. Multi-room audio and multimedia systems installed in your home by companies like Vision Living, allow your music or radio to follow you through your home. If you add system sensors to this, they will sense when you enter or leave a room to have your entertainment follow you through your home.
Fully integrated systems allow you to set up your favourite song to wake to, and rouse you from bed by gently increasing in volume. You can also include sensors that allow for music or even the sound of your TV to follow you from room to room as you go about your day.
If you aren’t looking for complete entertainment integration in your home, you can also just group all your entertainment appliance controls into one app, such as iRule. This allows you to build a universal remote on you phone to control all the entertainment systems in your home. You just need a gateway such as Global Cache, which allows your phone to speak to the appliance, or Wi-Fi enabled appliances.
Smart home bases
To help with integrating all the above products into one easy-to-access app on your smartphone or tablet, you can get a single home centre box. These are similar in look and feel to a modem or TV set-top box, and connect all your home automation products through your Internet connection.
Fully integrated smart home systems
If you are building or renovating your home, there are a range of companies that will integrate a home automation system.
- McCormick Concepts
- Smart Home Works
- Integrated Technologies Australia (ITA)
- Vision Living
- Telstra Smart Home
- Read our Telstra Smart Home
If you want to build the home of the future, getting complete home automation integrated into your building or renovation plans can allow you to control everything from one smartphone app.
Whether you want to just get a few parts of your home automated or go all out and make the smart home of the future, there are many options available for you to get in on this growing technology.