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Entries in smart homes (3)

Friday
Jan112013

10 Ways Home Automation Can Make Your Life Easier

At InHardFocus, we're always interested in how introducing new technology into old products and services has made life more efficient and productive. But one place that computers have been slow to make our life easier is in the most importance place of all: our homes. Home automation system are catching on in an attempt to change that.

 

For example, many readers have probably heard about ADT Pulse, which utilizes Z-Wave technology to offer homeowners an integrated home automation solution to improve inefficiencies and give you more control over every room in your house. Using the touchscreen keypad in your home, the online portal accessible from any computer or the app on any tablet, smartphone, or other web-enabled device, you can monitor and retain control of your house no matter where you are.

 

Here are 10 ways home automation technology will make your life easier.

 

Smart Security

With a remote security feature, you are connected and in control no matter where you are. You’ll be notified 24/7 if there is a burglary or intrusion into your home. Running late this morning and forgot to set your alarm? No worries; arm it with a few swipes on your phone. If your sister needs to pick up that slow cooker for the holiday feast, but you're stuck at work, no need to rush. Just disarm the security system and unlock the door without leaving the office.

 

Carbon Monoxide and Flood Sensors

A vacation to the warm, sunny beach may be just what you need during the rainy season, but it’s hard to relax when you are worried about your home. With this system, you’ll be instantly notified if there's a problem with your pipes, or if there's a flood (or potential for one) in your home. Also, public health officials have worked hard to educate homeowners about the dangers of high levels of carbon monoxide.

 

Smoke and Fire Monitoring

If the smoke and heat sensors go off, you and the fire department or other local authorities will be notified instantly.

 

Save Money with Lighting and Thermostat Automation

This one is especially cool. Not only does leaving lights on or having the thermostat on too high when you are not home hurt the environment, it can also hurt your wallet. Conserve energy and save money with automated schedules. You can also control them in real-time remotely, ensuring that you go green and save some serious green.

 

Automate Your Small Appliances

In addition to controlling the staples of your house, like alarms and thermostats, you can hook-up just about any small appliance. Crock pot, anyone?

 

Video Monitoring

In addition to receiving email and/or text notifications if anything isn’t quite as it should be, you can also access real-time video of what's happening in or around your house. If anything is out of place, you’ll know and be able to investigate with video feeds. If you notice something went wrong, you can go back and access saved video and picture feeds.

 

Latchkey Kid Monitoring

You won't have to worry if your kids made it home when you have door and window sensors. Just add a notification to email or text you if a window or door opens between when school lets out and before you get home from work to make sure they're home on time and safe.

 

Auto-Pilot

Setting up automated actions for reoccurring events is also super easy. For example, if your housekeeper comes at the same time every week, the house can unlock automatically at that time. Save yourself a few steps by having all lights in the house go off when you set the alarm.

 

Share Your Memories

Some might argue that the worst part of security systems is the ugly monitor. Now, you can link your touchscreen monitor to your Flickr account, so you can display your fondest memories on your wall.

 

Peace of Mind

Of course, the main benefit of the increased access to information and greater control of your home is peace of mind. Iit’s time to let computerized technology help ease the burden of this fast-paced world -- not add to it.

 

Now, we want to know: What feature of home automation are you most excited about?

Tuesday
Jan042011

LG’s Thinq Cleans Your Home, Feeds Your Dog While You’re Away  

LG HOM-BOT

LG has introduced Thinq, a new technology that could change your everyday life for the better –- and help you to rely on machines even more!

All you need is a wireless network and LG Thinq-enabled appliances, and you’ll be able to clean your home, program your washer and dryer, and feed your dog using your smartphone.

Ultimately, LG Thinq technology seeks to save energy (by letting you remotely control the temperature on your fridge, for example) and enable us to manage our homes more easily.

Start with the LG vacuum robot, HOM-BOT. Using your smartphone (or tablet), you can program HOM-BOT to clean certain rooms on certain days and even watch via built-in camera as it feeds your pets. In the near future, LG washers, dryers, fridges and dishwashers will also be Thinq-enabled.

A little over-the-top? Sure. But as your next vacation comes to a close, you might find yourself wishing you could do your laundry, feed Fido, clean the carpets and start the oven before you even walk in the door.

 

 

Thursday
Jul222010

A Smart Home that Aims to Please You?

Smart homes are about to get smarter. Currently, smart homes can control lighting, security, entertainment and thermostat controls, but the actions are initiated by your voice, remote control or computer command.

Imagine a smart home that can learn your preferences and behavior and automatically make changes to your environment in order to please you, without prompts.

Researchers at the University of Essex are seeking volunteers for a study called Adaptive and Trusted Ambient Ecologies.

Using a simulated house called iSpace, an "intelligent dorm" that is a fully functioning two-bedroom apartment, gadgets are outfitted with sensors and communicate with each other.

Volunteers will be asked to spend time in iSpace for four two-hour sessions.