As I wander further into the reality of home automation and home intelligence, there are a few stones left unturned from my past two posts. The first is the growing intelligence of home automation. My preferred (and installed) tool in this space is the Control4 system. Control4 creates a central hub, that is then able through software and hardware manage everything in your house.
Your cell phone or tablet becomes the interface by which you interact with the Control4 system. Or, you can wall mount tablet’s that are permanent connections to your Control4 hub. Wait, not a fan of tablets or cellular phones? Then you simply add the Control4 universal remote. Now you can control your home from a single remote. In fact, you can control everything! We’ve added every single media device in our home to our Control4 system. Before the change in Sonos (their 7.0 release removed some automation functionality), we could play any media device in every room that had a Sonos speaker. We can still play everything; it is just that now some of the devices have to be “manually” stopped in the actual Sonos software.
You can also automate lights, ceiling fans and other devices including your home thermostat, your home security system and the previously mentioned automated door locks (Yale). You can even automate the functionality of your garage doors. Have you ever driven away from home on a trip only to think did I close the garage door? Now you can check on your phone. And if the door says open, you can close it no matter where you are!
The automation I’ve talked about produces part of the vision for tomorrow, the responsive home. I know people want to call them intelligent homes and so on. But it, your home, has to be able to hear you first. If you don’t own an Amazon Echo, then shouting “Alexa” randomly will only upset everyone else that has one. First, you build a responsive home; then you begin the concept of having it learn and adapt to what you need and want!
Once you have a responsive home, you can start adding smart appliances that learn. Coffee pots that know when to turn on, when to ask for more coffee beans and so on. Refrigerators that you can connect to that know everything you used last week. Makes shopping lists must get faster when you know what was consumed!
The “responsive” home of tomorrow, will become the smart home of five years from now. Start, as I advised in my first post on the topic earlier this week simple. Build slowly and most importantly be comfortable with what you are doing. The most intelligent home makes your life easier, it shouldn’t make you wish nostalgically for a simpler time as you unclog the automated drain, again!