Think of all the things your smartphone can do that your old push-button phone couldn’t do. It’s a laughable comparison. That same difference applies when you compare a smart home to what we think of today as a “typical” house.
A smart home utilizes home automation, so appliances and other devices can be controlled from a mobile device. Not only that, the automated features are tied to each other. The security system is tied into lights, which is tied into the locks, motion detectors, etc.
Wondering what you can do with that? Let’s look at some examples.
What automation means for home security
You’re leaving on a three-week cruise. Some people might leave the living room light and the TV on the entire time, to make it seem like someone is home.
With home automation, you set your house in “away mode” when you leave. Then every day when the sun goes down, lights turn on and off periodically, making it look like people are moving around the house. The sprinklers turn on as usual, unless the irrigation sensor knows that it’s raining. And if a motion detector is triggered outside in the backyard, lights automatically turn on in the back of the house, giving the impression someone is home.
All of this happens because the house is following directions you put in place for when it is vacant. Because all the systems in your home are talking to each other, everything happens automatically, without you having to do anything.
If someone rings the doorbell, you get an instant notification on your phone. You can talk to the visitor thru the intercom at your front door via your phone, and can even turn on a light in your home from your phone to really give the impression you’re home.
In the event your alarm is triggered, you receive a notification on your phone instantly and can get a live view of all your cameras to check if it’s an actual emergency or if your son came home to do laundry and forgot to punch in his code.
What automation means for daily life
Your kitchen sink is broken and the plumber can only come in the middle of the work day. You work in town and you live in Mililani, so you have to take a half-day off because it’s not worth driving back to the office, especially with afternoon traffic.
With home automation, you don’t have to be home. When the plumber rings the doorbell, you get a notification on your phone. You talk to him through the intercom and you can see him on the front door camera. You deactivate the alarm and unlock the front door via the app on your phone. You keep an eye on him from the kitchen camera, and after he leaves you can check that the door is closed, lock it, and reactivate the alarm, all from your phone. You can stay at the office and save your time off for a real vacation.
Or what if your coworkers decide to do a last-minute pau hana? Your house is already in “away mode”, so when it starts getting dark, some of the lights turn on. And when you’re on your way home, hit a button on your phone and the garage door opens, lights turn on, and the air-conditioner turns on -- you don’t come home to a dark house.
This stuff isn't science fiction anymore
Home automation can be practical, useful, and affordable for regular people. Let us know if you’d like to talk about what it can do for your family.
Check out this article for an extended explanation of home automation.