Home Automation Trends

Gadgets that are décor-friendly

Author: Julie Wills - MarCom/Friday, February 24, 2017/Categories: Home Security

Not very long ago, the doorbell’s chime was perhaps the only visible home automation device. It was visible because it stood out. As the number of devices increased, however, it has become necessary for them to “blend in,” since interior aesthetics are of prime importance.

That’s why today’s gadgets come in a variety of shapes and styles for you to choose from. In fact, they look like anything but gadgets.

Zone-based thermostats

Energy efficiency is fast becoming a buzzword in homes. The savings are often significant enough to offset the cost of automation, and many times there are incentives to help you get started. Plus, you will be doing your part for the environment when you scale back on energy consumption.

With central heating and cooling, there is only one thermostat that ensures a uniform temperature throughout the home. But if you are going to be spending three hours working in your study, or reading a book / watching TV in the living room, is there really a need for the other rooms to be as temperature-controlled as the one you are using?

Zone-based thermostats save energy by reducing the amount of heating or cooling (or switching it off completely) in a room you are not going to be using. These thermostats can be controlled remotely, so you can change the level of heating/cooling to your preferences just before you walk in.

Electronic door locks

If you’ve ever lost your house key, or had to loan out a key to a neighbor to check on your home while you’re on vacation, you understand why electronic door locks are becoming so popular. Now you can just use your smartphone to easily lock or unlock the door.

Remote control also comes in handy when you’ve left your home, only to forget whether you actually locked the front door. Use your smartphone to check the status, and lock it if needed.

Indoor and outdoor video cameras

Video cameras are a popular addition to smart-home systems. They’re a proven deterrent to potential burglars, and you can potentially use recorded video to provide evidence if someone does break into your home.

But video cameras are also fun and practical. Use your smartphone to keep an eye on the kids while you’re out of the house, or take a few moments to relax during the workday to spy on your pets.

Video doorbells are the latest trend. Use them to see and talk to whoever’s at the door, whether you’re at home or away.

Security alarms

The old-style button-heavy “alarm panel” is almost a relic, giving way to a full-color touchscreen that can control not just your security, but other smart-home functions as well. If an alarm is triggered, live monitoring professionals can quickly send help from first responders if needed.

Wireless controls

Today’s home automation is easy to use, letting you control locks, lights, thermostats, and even your garage door with your smartphone or iPad. You can automate what you want and when you want, choosing the technology that fits your lifestyle.

Assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo are rapidly growing in popularity, and are able to interface with compatible home automation systems. All you have to do is give the command (“Google, dim the lights” or “Alexa, open the curtains”), and it will be done for you.

Voice controls are seen as the way forward. And voice recognition technology has improved to the point where your command of “Play music” results in the sound system playing your favorite playlist, while the same voice command from your spouse leads to his/her favorite music being played.

Generally, however, the trend is moving in the direction of getting everything on to one platform: your smartphone. Now, just use a smartphone app to signal that you’re coming home, and the lights or air conditioning will be turned on automatically before your enter, adjusted to your personal preferences.

Home automation technology used to seem like it was straight out of The Jetsons, just a cartoon vision of the future. But home automation is now a reality. The future is already here.

If you are ready to move into the future, and would like help getting your home automated, Consolidated Communications can assist. Go to consolidated.com/monitoring.


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