Picture this: It’s been a long day. You’re arriving home late. As your car pulls into the driveway, your garage door opens, welcoming you home. Your smartphone connects to your home’s Wi-Fi, triggering a number of other actions — inside, your security alarm is disabled, the thermostat drops to 76 degrees, the kitchen and living room lights turn up.
Once in your kitchen, you hit a button on a touch screen labeled “couch time,” and bam — fireplace up, TV, DVR & audio on, blinds closed and lights down to 60 percent. Your favorite program queues up on your DVR and you settle in for the night.
Just as you’re getting through the previews, a motion sensor camera picks up movement at your front door. This automatically pushes the camera feed to your TV, and you can see that your food has arrived before the delivery guy even rings the bell. After you finish up, you decide to call it a night. You head to the bedroom without turning off anything. No worries; your home is smart enough to detect that you’re no longer in the living room and shut everything down for the night.
This may all sound futuristic, but it’s possible right now.
Home Automation Becomes Reality
Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and sensor technology, home automation is becoming more accessible. Actually, the above scenario just scrapes the surface of current home automation technologies that you can integrate into your home or office to enhance your living and working experience.
We’ve already witnessed virtually every home automation company on the market incorporate Android and iPhone into their systems, eliminating the need for additional touch screens to be installed throughout the home. Some never even provided touch screens for their customers, but rather utilized the user’s smartphone from the start to control their system.
Costs Drop, Adoption Widens
Due to these types of integrations, the line between entertainment and home automation is blurred now more than ever. This is good news for the consumer, because it means the price for home automation is going to continue to drop, offering low-budget options that can be installed in your apartment. This guy’s futuristic apartment setup proves that you don’t need a McMansion (or even a real mansion) to pull off home automation and entertainment that looks like it’s straight out of The Fifth Element.
Thanks to the rise of the Internet of Things, more cost-effective options for integrating these scenes are becoming available. By pairing devices such as indoor and outdoor lights, security cameras, thermostats like Nest and of course, your Hopper DVR, with voice control software and hardware like Amazon Echo, Google Now, Siri, Cortana or Mycroft, you can imagine how easily you could turn your home into an experience that rivals Star Trek’s Enterprise.
But whether you want to impress your friends with the latest in home automation technology, run a more energy-efficient home or feel safer knowing that tasks like arming the alarm can be automated and remotely controlled, chances are there’s a cost-effective solution available to you today.