The increase in mobile technology has led to a similar increase in the things that can be done with that mobile technology. In the case of this article, that increase has led to a greater interest in the fields of home automation, and how it can be tied to the use of such devices. It helps that increases in technological ability in general have led to several items which are part of home automation – for example, table lifts – becoming more available and easy to use.
Perhaps the most common form of home automation is home security. Nearly every major security company has a way to automate security in some way, either by using a smartphone in lieu of a lock, or by issuing electronic keys, which can be controlled far more easily than physical ones. There are, however, many more uses for home automation – temperature control, windows, even coffee making…many things can be controlled via your smartphone.
Home automation has now extended into the realm of lights and ambience! New LED lights are being sold for your fixtures which can take a variety of colours and brightness levels. This system can be linked to a smartphone, allowing the user to precisely control the amount and type of light that they want. There are a number of ways this application can be used – to create ambience, to slowly dim the lights when people are getting ready for bed, to control the lights so that they aren’t using power during the day, but are on when they come home from work, or even to warn people that they are going to be late for work!
If you don’t want to go the completely automated route by having lights controlled by your smartphone, you can always try automated sockets and switches. These sockets are Wi-Fi enabled, allowing them to speak to your smartphone and other devices. They work by enabling you to choose when and how whatever they are plugged into switches on and off, by sending commands through whatever device they happen to be linked to. Using this technology means that you can switch lights and sound systems, among other things, on and off when you want to.
There are now ways to link your home sound system to your Wi-Fi, letting you control it with the push of a few buttons. If you choose a particular sound system, this gives you the option of being able to control it through your smartphone, giving you the means to control which music is heard in your house. One system in particular, the Playbar, has nine speakers, as well as amps and tweeters. These can be placed throughout your home, letting you choose what music you want to hear, no matter where you are in relation to your sound system.
The number of home automation kits is sure to increase in the future, especially when it comes to smart appliances such as fridges or washing machines. While we can currently use home automation to have lights and heating (and possibly even music!) on to greet us when we come home from work or a holiday, in the future we could potentially see shopping lists being automatically generated by the smart fridge in our kitchen, among other things.
While we can only control smart appliances through the buttons on our phones, Apple is currently working on a way to link those appliances with Siri, potentially leading to users having the ability to control their home through voice commands.