A new interactive tour of today's (affordable) automated home from SafeWise walks you through realistic home automation options for the average American homeowner.
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The images below let you explore the home and the possibilities for automation on a room-by-room basis. If you take the tour at SafeWise, hover over each of the plus signs, wander through the different rooms of the house and learn how home automation takes the mundane, day-to-day activities involved in managing your home and leaves them to a computer.
With home automation, you can control just about everything in your home (well, not your family members). However, smart home automation is great for indulging your inner control freak. From the controlling lights, locks, security systems, appliances, entertainment systems, climate and carbon monoxide detection, you won’t have too much trouble customizing a system that simplifies life little by little.
A smart home is the perfect tool for managing your family's power consumption and making your entire home more energy efficient. You’ll be able to automatically switch off lights and appliances when not in use or during specific times of the day. And, you can finally stop heating or cooling an empty house all day long and opt for a smarter approach to indoor climate control.
In the kitchen, you can automate fitness and health through your refrigerator. Do this by tracking and syncing your weight loss progress across devices to keep you motivated.
Not only can you turn your lights on or off without getting up from the couch, but you can control their color and brightness from anywhere with an Internet connection. Switch on your front porch light and the path lighting along your front walkway before you leave the office, so you're not fumbling around in the dark when you get home.
As far as music is concerned, living in a home with people who don't share your musical taste can be a pain. Listen to something different in every room, as your home automation system can easily integrate satellite radio and streaming music services for your family's entertainment pleasure.
Living Room Automation
In the living room, you can explore inter-device communication options, robotics (teach your home when and where to clean itself), remotely open and close your curtains with motorized control and make use of device location features (for when you lose your keys, again).
There's no better place to automate and simplify your life than your comfort zone - the bedroom. Turn your lights on and off without having to get up, control the thermostat from under the covers, avoid any carbon monoxide nightmares with alerts when CO levels rise and even monitor your own personal piggy bank!
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Monitor the amount of energy your bathroom appliances are using, control lights remotely, turn off your straightener from the office and take advantage of moisture sensors that can alert you to standing water which could cause structural issues or mold.
Outlet controls allow you to integrate any of your home's older lights or appliances into a new automation system. Turn lights on and off remotely. Manage smaller, window-style air conditioner units. Monitor the amount of energy these appliances use so you'll know whether it makes sense to upgrade to more energy efficient models.
Front Yard Automation
As far as the exterior of the home goes, you can add roof or sidewalk heaters to prevent icing and snow build up, close the garage door from work, unlock doors for a friend remotely, take advantage of a water management system to help you save money and install doorbell cameras so you don’t have to deal with the vacuum cleaner salesman.
Your pets will appreciate the sweet life that home automation has to offer as well. You can connect a food dispenser to make sure they’re being fed when you can’t make it home, lock and unlock the dog door at certain times and add cameras to keep an eye on your front and backyard. You can install glass break sensors on all ground level windows and even adjust pool or hot tub temperatures remotely so they’re ready when you get home from work!
Home automation systems are so simple now that just about anyone can take advantage of it to simplify their lives and enjoy what was once a luxury of the wealthy and tech-savvy. In another 40 years, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!