Just a decade ago, it seemed like a pipe dream. The internet had just entered our lives as a daily convenience, but it was restricted to desktop PCs and – if you had the money – laptops. But fast forward 10 years, and the thought of a ubiquitous internet that surrounds us in every step of our lives no longer seems like science fiction. We’re getting closer and closer to the automatic home, which will bring with it a variety of benefits.
From Science Fiction to Reality
Consider the following scenario: you are commuting to work, ready to start another week in your career. But after you leave your home, you realize that you left your lights on, and need to restock your refrigerator. A few years ago, that realization would have led to turning around and ultimately getting to work later than desired.
Already though, that is no longer the case. In fact, through automation, simply taking out your smartphone and turning off your lights or buying new groceries delivered straight to your home is becoming a reality. As our homes are becoming increasingly automated, the possibilities seem to become endless.
The Current Features of Home Automation
After reading the above scenario, you may wonder: what all in your home can be automated? The answer: almost everything. Here are just a few of the possibilities, as we move further into the digital age:
- Heat regulation. Adjust your thermostat so that it heats different rooms at different temperatures depending on the time of day. Then, use your mobile device to check and adjust individual room temperatures as needed.
- Light sources. Not only can you now connect your lamps to the internet, but you can attach sensors that enable them to turn on or off based on the darkness in your home. That saves both energy and effort.
- Your refrigerator. Be honest: did you think the refrigerator example above was odd? In reality, it’s far from that. Internet-enabled refrigerators can now automatically sense when you are running low on a specific type of grocery, and reorder that grocery for you.
- Sprinkler control. Everyone loves a beautifully-maintained lawn, but do you really have the time for maintenance? Most people go to one of two extremes: they don’t have the time to water their lawn, or they are overly cautious and end up wasting water by watering too much. Smart sprinkler systems now include sensors that check the dryness of your lawn, and only water it when necessary.
- Motorized window shades. A seemingly innocent automatic technology carries with it significant benefits. Especially if your windows are in hard-to-reach places, you want to be sure that you can still close them easily when needed. Some window shades also come with sun sensors that close automatically once it gets dark out, further automating the process.
Of course, the possibilities of home automation don’t end there. In fact, it’s not difficult to imagine a future in which every electronic appliance in your home has some type of smart function that enables it to perform its job. All you need to do is the calibration necessary to ensure it fits your specifications, and your appliance will do the rest.
We are quickly moving toward the reality of a truly automated home. But don’t worry about the machines taking over; you will still be in full control of the functionality, while your automation features help take care of the everyday worries.
Motorized shades, for example, may not seem like a big deal. Until you install them once and realize just how beneficial they can be to your health and stress levels. That’s the true benefit of an automated home.