I can remember throughout my younger years watching many a movie containing gadgets which automated things such as lights, sounds and window shutters. Video surveillance and the like throughout various Bond movies also seemed a regular occurrence.
Whilst I have no desire, nor reason to buy a pen with a hidden camera, more affordable and relevant technology around home automation is being developed and becoming available at an increasingly rapid rate. The main reason? Smartphone integration.
Traditionally, the main barriers to many considering automated home systems were the expense, the requirement for much of wiring to either be included in the initial build of the home or retro fitted to existing buildings, and ultimately, having a control system that was actually relevant to the user. To me, being able to turn on a fan or close a blind from the couch is far less helpful than being able to see what is happening at home when it is unattended, or remotely triggering an action over the internet.
The integration of these systems with smartphones for use as both controllers and receivers of information now makes these systems infinitely more usable and relevant.
If your main concern is home security, the recently crowd funded Canary home monitoring system is well worth considering. Perhaps remotely triggering lights or other power related actions through the Wemo and associated IFTTT recipes would be more helpful to you. Finally, a ‘smart’ thermostat system such as the nest, which intelligently learns and adjusts temperatures based on your preferences and whether the house is attended or not (also remotely smartphone controllable), may save you considerable money on energy bills.
Whichever way you look at it, these types of systems and many others will become increasingly integrated into our homes, both new and old, and are no longer out of reach for the average household. If you have ever considered some form of home automation, now is the time to have another look at what options exist.
Now if I can just tweak that IFTTT recipe to boil water and grind my coffee when the garage door remote triggers…Follow @petedenison
- If This/Then That (IFTTT) and the Belkin WeMo (radar.oreilly.com)
- Belkin WeMo Light Switch Builds Simple Home Automation into Your Wall (lifehacker.com)
- Canary brings the Internet of Things to home security (hackthings.com)
- IFTTT Puts the Internet of Things in Your Pocket (fastcompany.com)
- Automatically Turn On Your Lights When You Return Home (lifehacker.com.au)