Home automation is an exciting concept and one that is quickly becoming a reality in more and more homes due to recent evolution of technological innovation. Home automation systems give you access to automatically or remotely control things in your home, such as devices, appliances and other household features.
Up until now, one might only expect to hear of home automation systems being installed into luxury properties due to its cost and complexity. However, the rapid technological developments have allowed for such products and systems to be made and installed in much simpler and more cost effective ways. Innovators are using automation technology in attempt to make our lives easier by providing improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency, and security. It works by connecting devices to a remotely controllable network which then has the ability to control everything from heating and air conditioning to lights, music, home theatre systems, and security cameras. You can also activate and deactivate any appliance as well as open doors, windows and blinds with the touch of a finger.
There are numerous companies working to develop such products and systems, including Insteon who have developed a range of hardware home automation modules for retrofitting in any home. Google, Microsoft and Apple are among some of the companies Insteon have partnered with to create innovative automation solutions. Founder and CEO, Joe Dada, explains that the technology allows devices to interoperate through power lines and radio frequency communications using dual-mesh networking topology. This means that each device independently transmits, receives, and repeats messages, and so signals travel much further without interruption than any other types of technology such as Wi-Fi.
The Insteon system, which can control up to 400 devices, allows you to create specific scenes where you can select multiple devices to be activated and deactivated with one touch, whether this be via a hand held remote control or a smart device i.e. phone, tablet or watch. As well as controls, Insteon also offer sensors such as leak sensors, which when placed next to a washing machine for example, can detect a leak and instantly notify you via your smart phone or watch. Dada points out that anyone can easily install an Insteon system without any expertise or automation background.
So that is what today’s technology is capable of, but what can we expect in the future of home automation systems? Well, Insteon are working with Cortana (Microsoft) and Siri (Apple) to bring you voice controlled automation. With home automation, users want to know that their system is simple to use and works every time in the way that they want it to, and so these technologies need perfecting before they can be released onto the market.
Artificial Intelligence startup, AiroCorp, have developed the world’s first artificial intelligence operating system called FiOS. This technology, inspired by Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S, uses an integrated personal assistant and turns a one-reactive type of control technology into a proactive and intuitive one by learning from the individual’s surroundings and behaviours and then interacting with them in real time.
We are also seeing innovations in industrial automation and robotics. Factories are increasingly becoming “smart” as a way of improving productivity and efficiency. TE Connectivity Ltd are at the forefront of this and have developed technology which provides contactless data, power, and signal solutions. VP & CEO, Rob Shaddock explains that these automated and efficient machines provide a complete solution and eliminate many existing problems with previous mechanical processes.
As we begin to understand the possibilities of home and factory automation, it is inevitable that we will see more innovators coming up with autonomous solutions to make our lives better. It’s an exciting concept and we wait in anticipation to see what may be possible in the future and how quickly the mass market will start to embrace home automation.