What is Smart Home & Home Automation? Hint: It’s a way-of-life on the brink of the “Technology Revolution.”
It’s not that Disney show from back in the 90s, it’s actually really a thing now. If you’ve ever heard the terms Smart Home, Connected Home, Home Automation- you’re getting warmer…
Smart Home is a collection (key word- “collection”) of devices that communicate back and forth to each other, with one main controller-device actually being the hub. Some homes have multiple hubs, and I really believe the goal of all tech-giants is to get the most integrations wrapped into their platforms (Alexa, Homekit, Smartthings/Samsung, Google Home). It’s some kind of pursuit of one system to solve-it-all… We are falling a little short on this race because rather than just holding-hands and keeping the consumer in mind- it feels like many are trying everything to hit that critical-mass and take the lead. Alexa is doing a good job at Amazon, but Google is catching up quickly with the voice-controlled hub. Ahhh, I digress…
The hub is somewhat like a router and how it sends and receives data from computers on a network. Although in this case- you actually have physically devices of which they send data and ping back and forth individually (to turn on/off, etc) or to create some kind of a recipe or scenes that are basically just multiple devices working sequentially or concurrently together depending on how they are setup.
Smart Home is a lot more fascinating than I am making it seem because the words are so dry as I endlessly stare into this bright screen at 5:59am on a Monday morning….
However, I really could type about it endlessly at any moment- because there are so many things it can solve! I was so stoked the day I was able to get my first light bulb to turn on remotely. Then when I was able to get that same light bulb to change colors (one of the more prominent and popular Philips Hue features) and then when I was finally able to pre-heat my BBQ from the grocery store because I’d figured out how to make it “smart.” This is where things get a little wishy/washy…
You see… the whole concept of “Smart Home” is to make our homes smarter, more automated… To save us all “time” in our oh-so-busy day that keeps getting more-and-more marginal… As we get older… But what I saw during my adoption and noob-days- was a lot of manually controlled household products. This term automation gets throw around like nobody’s business. To me, this is not what I evnision as a Smart Home.
This is what I envision as a Smart Home. Follow me closely- on this visualization, so loosely etched into a description of the way my mind maps my ideas:
You get home and its evening time- oh look, the front porch light is on, how welcoming. You see- it turned on automatically using geo-fencing technology and was able to tell where you were on your path to coming home… As you drive up your driveway, your garage door suddenly opens (from sensing it with a couple Bluetooth beacons and sensors, it then closes on up and you put it in park). You then, go inside your house and it is so cozy and warm and you can’t even remember the last time you had to set your thermostat… Because it’s calibrated to your working hours and knows what to set the temperature at before you even get home. Your TV then flips on to your favorite station, and music in the background concurrently turns on as well- due to a couple recipes that were created as triggers (following your doorway sensor triggered as you enter the hosue from the garage)… Your sprinklers then turn on outside because you had to set them to turn on only after night and after you get home each night. They turn off on their own as you sleep at night, always before sunrise… Everything “works” on it’s own, but is simply calibrated to you, your lifestyle and your family. A smart home doesn’t make you do the work, your smart home simply works for YOU.
Trust me, I could go on-and-on with the creativity and innovation that Home Automation truly encapsulates into our everyday lives. However, it’s definitely not for everybody. If you’re a big believer and follower of conspiracies. You’re definitely never going to like the concept of cloud-to-cloud data transfer periodically throughout the day of your sensors, lights and triggers- magically creating event logs for you to go back and check whenever something goes wrong. For those though that do love Smart Home and all that it encompasses- you’re definitely in the right place (and going to have a MUCH more comfortable life as you age, trust me). Just stick around for the good stuff- because it’s only going to get better, trust me.