Home-Automation-TechnologiesHome automation is something that is taking the country by storm. Where once only the wealthy and paranoid could be bothered with installing security cameras and electronic locks, now, even the most Luddite individuals among us are springing for things like automatic digital television recorders. That’s not too surprising, considering that the benefits that come from using home automation are legion. But what really makes a smart home “smart,” is the technology behind the systems. Here are four of the best home automation technologies available today.

  • Wireless digital video camera technology. Video surveillance has come a long way, but it wasn’t until only recently that it became efficient and affordable enough to become truly practical. Whereas before, most systems relied on CCTV and analogue video recorder devices. Now, cameras are able to wirelessly record months’ worth of information for storage and review in the cloud. This means that a homeowner who notices that something is amiss can review footage from weeks in the past without having to sort through old VHS tapes. It also means that a criminal who breaks into a home will have no access to already recorded material, so caught on camera can now pretty easily be shortened to just “caught.” For testimonials on how well they work, look no further than Vivint; reviews posted by happy customers will tell you just how useful these things can be.
  • Learning thermostat technology. Thermostats were probably the first form of home automation available. They’ve been around for over a hundred years, and in that time they’ve done their job pretty well. However, there’s just one big problem: they never seem to know when to quit. If you turn up the heat on a cold winter morning, and then you head out to go spend the holidays with your parents on the other side of the country, there’s a good chance that you’ll come home to a nice warm house...that’s been pumping out expensive heat for no one in particular for the past week. Learning thermostats are ones that figure out when you go to work, to bed, get up, like it warmer, like it colder, etc., and they are able to self adjust their own program to account for all of it. Oh, and you can control them with your mobile smart device too.
  • Remote access technology. Speaking of being able to control your house with your mobile smart device, any new home automation systems worth the name now include the ability to do just that, for pretty much everything. So you can operate your lights, your locks, your home theater system, your sprinklers, and even your coffee maker from anywhere in the world.
  • Energy monitoring technology. One of the biggest draws of home automation is how energy efficient it is. This is made possible with devices like the aforementioned learning thermostat, or lighting that turns itself off when not in use, but for some this just isn’t enough. Some people want direct control over every kilowatt hour, and there is a technology that allows them to have it. Savant, and other similar devices, wire directly into the home, and help you keep track of every single electron as it passes on its merry way. And, if you don’t like how much energy is being wasted at a particular moment, you can simply shut off power to entire sections of the house. That’s one way to conserve. 

Technology continues to march on. What kind of new advances can we look forward to in the future? That’s difficult to say, but it’s a safe bet that everything in the home is going to get a lot more automated, and much more efficient. Who knows, in a few years we could all be living a Jetson’s-esqu life of ease and comfort (hopefully minus the sassy robot-maid).