There is a curious ‘disconnect’ in our increasingly ‘connected’ world – and its right in your own home. Not very long ago, when someone called you, you had to be home to answer your phone. That seems hard to believe given today’s mobile society. But surprisingly, we can accept that basic tasks like turning lights on or off, adjusting temperature or locking doors still require us to be at home – just to manually flip a switch.
So why haven’t our homes kept pace with our phones? The answer is the lack of integration. The first generation of residential technology was developed by different people at different times with no consistent operating language, so most early devices could not talk to each other. There wasn’t a large enough ‘conceptual blueprint’ to envision lighting, security, HVAC, energy management, appliances and entertainment systems all operating together. So, there were devices that could operate TV and audio, but not water the lawn. Other devices could regulate temperature, but not allow you to know when your kids got home from school. Imagine packing for a road trip ten years ago; you’d have a flip phone, I-pod, portable DVD player, GPS and Gameboy. All of these devices worked, but they were separate tech islands. ‘Smart’ technology removed these barriers, integrating separate functions, adding features and enabling everything to work better.
Amasia will offer the next generation of Home Automation systems; devices that can operate together with unified, simplified controls. The first ‘smart systems’ for the home will be displayed at the Smart Home showrooms at Amasia. The showrooms will demonstrate the range of devices and more importantly, how a single smart phone or tablet app can provide a single easy to use point of both monitoring and control.
‘Smart’ technology is modular, meaning that new devices and features can be added and upgraded. Today, a homeowner can start with a home entertainment system (TV and audio), then add security and lighting controls. Appliances can be programmed to run at optimal times of day. Ultimately, the smart system can help manage energy use by monitoring consumption and switching between solar panels and the local grid as needed. In ten years we can expect this level of smart home management to be as familiar – and indispensable – as your cell phone is today.