Home Automation Systems
Home Automation Systems Make Life Simpler, safer, and More Comfortable
While the concept of an automated house under the control of an artificial intelligence and designed to meet every possible need of its occupants may still be the dream of sci-fi buffs, the rapid advances in electronics have meant that this dream is no longer as far from being realised as it once was. In practice, less ambitious home automation systems are already changing the lives of many households all over the world, including South Africa.
Though little more than a toy, devices such as the Amazon Echo provide sufficient proof of concept to convince even the most ardent Luddites of the potential value of this type of technology. In fact, its apparent intelligence arises from the fact that can respond to a “wake word” and send recorded requests to Amazon’s Alexa voice services, which completes them. Though the newer models can control specially designed light switches and plug sockets, they still fail to come anywhere close to displaying the capabilities offered by the range of dedicated home automation systems that has been making such an impression in today’s electronics market.
By contrast, although some of these more dedicated installations may include the capacity to access the Internet and relay similar requests, they are not dependent upon Internet connectivity to perform the many household tasks for which they are designed. Instead, they rely on wireless technology. Already, the range of tasks made possible in this manner is extensive and it is certain that new ones will continue to emerge, ensuring a long-term future in which these smart home automation systems appear destined to gain widespread acceptance.
Among the common household tasks for which this technology has been adapted are climate control and security, both of which play an important role in the life of South Africans. In the case of climate control, given the steady escalation in the price of electricity, having the means to fine-tune the use of heaters and air-conditioners offers not only convenience, but an opportunity to reduce energy bills, while also limiting one’s carbon footprint. As for security, the ability to set alarms, energise electric fences, and securely lock all doors with a single action is invaluable.
Some home automation systems will even allow the user to perform these, as well as other functions, from beyond the premises, perhaps from the office or an hotel room, by means of a specially designed smartphone app. The phone app can be programmed by the user, as can laptops, tablets, or touchpads distributed throughout the house. When it is time to relax, a user could, for instance, set up a program that will dim the lights, draw the curtains, adjust the room temperature, and fire up a TV and Blu-ray player in readiness for an evening enjoying the latest blockbuster, with just a single touch.
To help control the cost of installing a home automation system, one can begin by limiting its functionality to a couple of the basic functions, such as controlling the lighting and selected security functions. Later, one can add various additional functions as finances permit. To get started, and to ensure satisfaction, technophiles in Gauteng would be well advised to consult the experts at Elite Technologies in Pretoria.