The next generation home will contain a large amount of automation features – from lights and thermostats to washing machines and coffee makers. For years, the ‘automated’ home has been creeping up on us. Many homes have a programmable coffee maker or motion lights that turn on when your car enters the driveway. However, we have merely scratched the surface when it comes to these home automation features.
Image Credit: www.audiovisions-nc.com
The future home will be impacted by two major trends that will facilitate home automation. First, more and more appliances and electronics are being manufactured with ‘chips’ that allow automation. These chips leverage protocols such as Zwave or Zigbee. Your new television or washing machine may have these chips embedded in them already. The second trend, related to the first, is the growing use of a central home interface to manage all these appliances and electronics. It would not be very convenient to have home automation features unless they were all ‘connected’ somehow. Many tablets or apps are being introduced in market to allow for this type of central control. Fully automating your home today could cost tens of thousands of dollars. It would not be cost effective to have an electrician install every automated appliance and have them work disparately. You can prepare your house with proper connectivity to enable smart features. In order to prepare for the convergence of these trends, below are the top 5 items to consider if you want to prepare your house for the future:
- Smart TV – As the hub of your entertainment, the television is an essential appliance in the home. According to NPD DisplaySearch 2012 Market Study, the US has about 20% penetration of Smart TVs in the home. With a Smart TV, a household will be able to connect to the Internet from the TV. This means another point of access to control automated features by using applications directly on your television set – whether it be lights, video or locks
- Integrated Security Sensors – For the future home, it will be important to leverage an existing infrastructure in the home to best manage automation. Home security sensors may be the best platform. Today, you can buy wireless home security systems, like LifeShield, that collect this data and communicate with home automation protocols. Door or window sensors or even a motion detector could detect or control room level devices. In the future, the home security system may be the best ‘controller’ for the connected home since it is a device you engage with everyday – hopefully to arm your system.
- Video Surveillance –Video will be an important factor in the future home. Today you can buy simple security cameras to connect to your home security system or even use as a baby monitor.
- Life Safety Integration –You should have connected safety appliances in your home, like smoke detectors. Most homes today have pre-wired and connected smoke detectors. If this is not the case, find an electrician and make some upgrades.
- Updated Router – Yes, at the center of your home will be connectivity. Be sure that you have a Wireless Router that enables a strong and lasting signal throughout the home. Routers have come a long way in the past twelve months and you should research this before installation.
Collectively, these 5 considerations can prep your home for automation in order to prevent more cost or effort down the road. Prepare now and save – both time and money.
Evan Kramer – Senior Vice President, Interactive & Ecommerce
Evan Kramer joined LifeShield as Senior Vice President, Interactive and Ecommerce in June 2011, bringing with him more than 15 years of online and general management experience, with a focus on interactive marketing, consumer web development and customer acquisition. Prior to joining LifeShield, Mr. Kramer was the Chief Marketing Officer with Ezprints.com, after creating and launching GoHoming.com for one of the nation’s largest mortgage service companies. Mr. Kramer has extensive senior management experience with a variety of ecommerce companies and serves on the Board of Advisors for Mojopages.com.