We are living in a time when Alexa and Siri are available 24X7 to help us automate our lives. Is it good or bad? We don’t know, but the technology to automate our lives is here to stay. It is going to touch almost every aspect of our lives including automating houses and workspace.
Home automating can be a daunting task and requires meticulous planning. As a result, several multinational companies have ventured into the home automation business. It has become a multibillion-dollar industry.
If you are planning to automate your home, then this is the article for you. It provides and covers, comprehensively, various aspects of an automated home. Lets’ begin with some of the pertinent home automation questions:
- What is automation?
- What is the need for automation?
- What are the things that can be automated at home?
- What are the advantages and drawbacks of automating the home?
- Who are the main service providers in the home automation business?
What is Automation?
According to Wikipedia, automation is also called a labor-saving technology. Automation saves labor simply by reducing human intervention to perform any activity, process, or procedure. For example, an automatic washing machine does everything right from washing to drying the clothes. If you are interested to learn more about automation, then I would highly recommend visiting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automation for more details.
What is the need for automation?
Does “Time is money” ring a bell? If yes, then you know why exactly automation is important. We all are required to multitask due to the competitive nature of society. Time management is the key factor for a successful and stress-free life. The other factor is peace of mind. Have you woken up in the middle of the night wondering if the main entrance gate is locked properly or not? Or if the oven was turned off?
It is the quest for a stress-free life that has forced us to automate our routine work as much as possible. Just imagine a life where you need to worry about switching off the lights and other devices being used at home. You can control them by automating these machines and making them intelligent enough to understand their surroundings. So, one of the most important needs to automate houses is to be in control of the environment. The other factors could include savings, safety, and finally peace of mind as mentioned before.
What are the things that can be automated at home?
The next pertinent question to ask is “is it possible to automate home?” and if yes, then “What are the things that can be automated at home?”. The answer, in a nutshell, is pretty much everything at home can be automated. It is your decision to choose the level of automation. One of the most important things is to select expertise and technology.
Home automation technology has advanced to an unbelievable level. The features and functionalities offered by various home automation vendors are simply amazing. The list below summarizes some of the things that can very easily be automated at home:
- Entertainment system – You do not need to look for the remote control to browse through the channel list to change it. Home automation technologies are available that can play your favorite movie or channel just at the command of your voice. For example, Alex from Amazon can control your entertainment systems.
- Lighting system – Home automation leads to savings. Just imagine by automating the lighting system at home, you can have them turned off automatically when nobody is in the room. Moreover, you can control the intensity of the light depending on the timing of the day. There are so many home automation vendors providing this kind of smart lighting solution.
- Entrance doors and gates – Home automation leads to safety and security. The doors and gates at your home can be automated to allow only authorized access. They can be programmed to lock and unlock automatically using the sensor technology.
- Security devices such as cameras – Smart security cameras have become a necessity. They add an additional layer of security by keeping track of activities in the vicinity of your home. If you have a security camera installed as a part of your home automation, then they can be connected to your smartphones as well. This will keep you updated on all the activities within and around your home.
- Airconditioning systems – Several kinds of heating or cooling systems can be automated to cater to your requirements. They can be programmed to adjust according to the inside or outside temperature. They can be programmed to turn off automatically after a duration of time.
What are the advantages and drawbacks of automating the home?
Now that we have learned a little bit about home automation, and what all things can be automated at home, it is time to discuss the various advantages and disadvantages associated with it. Let’s talk about some of the good things first. Some of the advantages of automating the home are:
- Peace of mind – We all strive really hard to live a happy peaceful life, but our lifestyle ensures otherwise. We are always stressed over something or the other. Just imagine if you don’t need to worry about managing our home. What if you don’t need to worry about locking and unlocking the door every time you have a visitor? What if you don’t need to double-check if the lights and other electronic devices are turned off when not in use? It can take off a little bit of your stress. You can be at peace if your home is automated with the latest technology.
- Savings – It might sound contradictory but automating homes will lead to a lot of savings in the long run. There might be an upfront cost but consider that as an investment that will help you save in the future. It’s not just the monetary savings, you will be saving a lot of power and energy. The efficient utilization of power and energy is just as it will reduce the burden on nature.
- Security – This is one of the most important aspects that must be considered while deciding about automating homes. Technology is continuously evolving to provide various security mechanisms. Your homes can be safeguarded with automated security cameras and you can prevent any unauthorized access.
Let’s move on to some of the drawbacks of automating the home:
- Upfront cost – The technology to automate homes comes at a cost. The upfront cost will depend on the scope of automation and the quality of the technology itself. There are so many vendors including Amazon and Google providing home automation solutions, but there are a lot of other vendors providing home automation services that you could contact. I will be providing their details later in the article.
- Technology and compatibility – Do we contact just one vendor, or can we outsource the home automation to multiple vendors? This could be another daunting question. It is very much possible that your home automation requires technologies from multiple vendors. In that case, technology compatibility could be another source of conflict. The post-installation support will play a major role in these kinds of scenarios.
- Health issues – Are you a slugabed? If yes, then automating home could give you another reason to spend more time in bed. This might not be good for your health. The whole purpose of automating a home is to free up some time that can be utilized for some other productive purpose. But, if not utilized properly, then it may lead to various health hazards.
Who are the main service providers in the home automation business?
Let’s discuss some of the main players in the home automation sector. There are several of them:
- Google Home Hub – https://store.google.com/us/product/google_nest_hub
- Amazon Echo – https://www.amazon.com/smart-home-devices/b?ie=UTF8&node=9818047011
- Apple Homekit – https://www.apple.com/shop/accessories/all-accessories/homekit
- Samsung SmartThings – https://www.smartthings.com/
- Wink Hub 2 – https://www.wink.com/products/wink-hub-2/
- Sonos One – https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/one.html
- Arlo Ultra – https://www.arlo.com/au/products/arlo-ultra/default.aspx
- Vivint Smart Home – https://www.vivint.com/