‘Perfect storm’ for home automation is brewing19th June 2015
For a long time, we've tended to associate home automation either with science-fiction movies or Bond villains' lairs. It always seemed slightly in the realm of fantasy, even though we've been told for years that it would become a reality very soon. As Brad Arthur, product manager at home automation retailer Smarthome, notes, we've been waiting about 30 years for these predictions to come to pass.
But now the situation may actually be changing and the promise that home automation would be "the next big thing" is now starting to be delivered. Why? Well, Mr Arthur believes the fact we routinely carry the automation technology in our smartphones and smartwatches is creating a "perfect storm" and paving the way for the technology to genuinely move into the mainstream consumer electronics market.
"Manufacturers are clamouring to get on board with this technology for the smart home," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"You'll set 'scenes' (or timers) that are built into the operating system. A bedtime scene might mean your bedside lamp will turn on, all the lights in the home will turn off, maybe the hallway light will come on for ten per cent so you've got a night light, the front door will be locked and your security system alarmed. That's all from touching one button on the phone."
Of course, the very idea of using technology to control all these various functions might be a little daunting and intimidating to those of you who don't feel comfortable with all the latest gadgets.
But Mr Arthur is keen to stress that "you don't need a university degree in programming" to get to grips with home automation. Indeed, once everything is up and running, the system should effectively run by itself, until those times when you might want to make some changes.
Sceptics might also be persuaded by the promise that home automation can save them large sums of money, as it means power will be used far more intelligently and intuitively. As a result, they can spend considerably less on their utility bills, as they won't be wasting so much electricity unnecessarily.
"Standby power in the home equates to about ten per cent of your yearly electricity bill," Mr Arthur noted. "Being able to build some smarts in there that says you're not home right now, you don't need all this equipment in standby mode. You come home at six, that's when I'm going to turn it on. You go to bed at 11, that's when I'm going to turn it off. There's some really practical money-saving and environmental things at stake as well."
Here at Energenie, we're keen to talk up our MiHome range – as it offers all this and more. Perhaps the key selling point when compared with other home automation systems is the fact it offers multiple smart home elements in a single system, that can be controlled via a mobile app that interacts with various internet-enabled devices. As a result, systems to control heating, lighting and other household functions are all compatible with each other, working together rather than treading on each others' toes. It's an exciting step forward that allows people to enjoy all the benefits of home automation even if they're not tech experts!