The exciting world of Home Automation

Ever since watching Back to the Future 2 all those years ago I have been waiting patiently for my Hover-Board.  So far science has disappointed me, and countless others.  Sure, we have these pathetic attempts that have been randomly bursting into flames, but come on, you're not fooling anyone!

However, one area that is pulling its weight is Home Automation.  Variations of this have been around for years, but these days it is becoming incredibly accessible for nearly everyone.

So, what is Home Automation?  It is a fairly generic term used for a lot of things, but at its core it is the ability to automate, or just simplify actions carried out from electronic devices.  The range of products available that now fit in this category is huge and growing every day.  However, today�??s blog will focus on the more common products associated with this topic.

At risk of sounding like some guru about to guide you through a meditation, I do want you to use your imagination here and join me on this journey into a day in the life of a Smart Home.

You're at the office (remember when you used to do that?), and your phone alerts you to let you know that someone just rang your doorbell.  "Finally," you think, "my eBay delivery!"  Depending on your delivery person, it's hard to predict where your package might end up.  Back at the post office?  Insecurely left on the doorstep for all to see?  The roof perhaps?  Well no more!  You simply respond to the alert on your phone and not only can you see your delivery person at the door holding your long-awaited purchase, but you can talk with them too!  Let them know to leave it just over the fence on the electricity box.  Perfect!!  All thanks to your Smart Doorbell.

Time to head home now to see what it was you actually purchased that night after a few too many vinos.  You pull up, grab the package from over the fence and head to the front door.  "Hmmm...  Bigger than I expected.  How am I going to unlock the door when this parcel is taking two hands to hold it?  Heaven forbid I put it down."  But as you approach the door you hear the deadbolt unlock ready for you to simply open the door without having to fumble around for your keys.  All this from detecting your phone within a metre of the door.  Thank you Smart Lock!

So, you're in the house now, and while most of us then fumble around for the light switch, your entry lights have come on as soon as you opened the door.  That's because you set the door sensor to turn on the lights when the front door opens, but only as long as the ambient light warrants the need to do so.

As you walk toward your living room so you can finally put down your package, you notice the ruler of the house, Odette the cat, asleep on the couch.  Not wanting to blind poor kitty, you simply mutter; "Ok google, turn on the living room lights at 20% brightness".  Almost immediately you are welcomed with a nice warm glow.  Let's be honest, the cat doesn't appreciate the effort, but you will continue to do this day after day.

You notice it starting to get a bit chilly.  Just as you do, you hear the central heating turn on.  Why?  Because you set the temperature sensor so that if the temperature dropped below a certain point, and there was sufficient movement in the house, the heating would turn on.  Clever!

Finally, time for dinner.  Actually, dinner is prepared!  You triggered the slow cooker while you were at the office, and now you�??ve got a stew waiting for you.  Sure, the automation couldn't fix your lack of culinary skill, but boy it saved some time in making this horrendous slop.

Now you want some relaxing tunes to listen to while you're eating your... let's call it "food".  Again, you ask Google to simply play some relaxing tunes, and to set some mood lighting.  Perfect.  Now you don't need to question why your "dinner" is that funny colour.

Oooh... the new season of Dance Moms has been released.  Let's move this party to the Media Room.  Who needs to fumble around for a remote when you can simply ask google to play the latest episode?  Your TV bursts to life and ready to entertain!!  Oh Abbey Lee Miller... what are you up to now!!

Well what an intense episode.  You had better get yourself to bed.  "Hey google, it�??s bedtime" you say.  Off goes the TV, click goes the lock at the front door, off goes the heating except for your bedroom.  You know you've got about 2 minutes before the lights in the rest of the house turn off, and just the warm glow of your bedroom lamps will remain.

You complete your usual routine and tuck yourself into bed; the ambient sound of the ocean gently playing in the background.

The morning comes, and let�??s be honest, nobody likes alarm clocks.  Sure, you can try and pick a nice tune from the options on your iPhone, but it�??s not great.  More importantly, Odette does not approve.  That�??s why you have set your bedroom lighting to replicate a sunrise.  Over about 45 minutes you have the lighting slowly increase, changing from reds to oranges to yellows until eventually, it�??s just like a warm daylight.  After a few minutes, you get up to start getting ready for the day ahead.

�??Hey google, good morning.�?�  At that point, your coffee machine turns on, and your smart speaker reads you the latest news from a few different sources.  Next you�??re told what�??s in your calendar for the day, what your commute to work is going to be like and told to take an umbrella as rain is expected in the afternoon.  After that, �??Eye of the tiger�?� bursts to life to get you pepped up for the day.  Off you go champ!!

So, there you have it.  These are a few of the kinds of things you can add to your home with relative ease.  I�??ve deliberately linked to many different products from many different vendors just to demonstrate the kinds of options you have.

I enjoy my gadgets and have enjoyed adding a few of these items to my own home.  If any of this sounds good to you, I would suggest doing a little homework and seeing what�??s out there for you.

Oh, and if you were wondering, the new package was this.  Surely this will win Odette over!!

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