Automation has been around since the beginning of imagination. Having things open and close, go on and off has been romanticized on the big screen and put into remotes to act as magic wands.
In the past several years Automation has turned the corner and we are on the edge of a revolution.
Today's “smart phone” has taken over most of the applications that we require in our every day lives. It also is now able to control most of the devices in our homes. Without a learning curve, and preferential additional expenses our lives are simplified with a touch on an app.
Automation has been creeping into our lives for several years. Lights go on when you approach the front door. Water goes on when you put your hands under a faucet in a public bathroom and toilets flush after you get up from the seat.
Motion detected lights are affordable and can easily be built into a fixture which makes sense for a safety device. Up to now, they can in fact be a little annoying inside a private home. The benefits of automatic faucets and toilets are worthy in a public setting however have somewhat little practical use in a private home.
The cost and priority technology involved with automation systems limited their growth and use to high end costly applications.
Several things have happened behind the scenes that have changed the whole automation revolution.
- Common use of Wi-fi
- Standardization and acceptance of Z-wave technology
- Major manufacturers getting aboard automating their products
- Advances in smart phone capabilities
Automation is now standardizable , uniform and most important - Affordable. Since major manufacturers are investing in automated devices using this non prioritized technology, competition has lowered costs and stimulated advances and growth.
The hub of a z-wave system, A controller is only $99. This can control the locks on your doors, turn heat on/off and control the temperature, lights go on/off and dim, fans to go on/off at certain times as well as any other mechanical device in your home or office. There are several on the market and the consumer is not limited to any one manufacturer.
With all the bells and whistles, and concepts from Science Fiction, there is little need for a learning curve for this automation. Anyone from 5 to 105 can almost instantly be able to operate all the devices that are automated in the home. Everything is handled on an app on your phone.
Simple changes is also a key factor of automating your home now. An outlet or switch is easily replaced with a z wave relay or switch. The cost difference is small and the benefits are significant. A thermostat is easily retrofitted with one that is z-wave capable. Electric appliances, fixtures, fans, heaters or surveillance cameras all can be integrated in your total automated system. Whole events can be orchestrated where several items come on, go off , in conjunction with other devices or at different times.
What also is great about this new technology is that it operates "side by side". You can handle every device conventionally or on the phone; turning on and off switches, changing temperature, locking doors and every action will be registered on the phone application.
Where the beauty of the system comes to full appreciation is when you are not at home. You will get an alert and see who is delivering a package, be able to open the door for a health care provider when you are in another state or country, turn up the heat or off the lights when you are sitting in the airport waiting for your plane to take off.
Peace of mind, security and convenience. Automation opens the door to improving our complicated busy lives.