Siri was just the beginning. Broadband technological innovation and the explosion of smartphones on the market have stimulated the development of affordable home automation products that customers can use to management the home environment from the couch, bedroom, car, office, or anywhere.
The market is still in its infancy, but big-name organizations like Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, Lowe’s, and Sears have started to create their footprint.
What’s in the future for home automation? David Pedigo gave us a brief overview at CEDIA.
But here’s the thing, with entry-level products that begin at less than $100 along with service deals priced at as little as $10 a month, professionals estimate smart-home ownership will rise over the next several years.
Home hands free operation solutions help customers keep an eye on their residences or keep an eye on their kids or household pets by viewing video cams on their mobile phone devices. Home automation services can send text messages or email notifications when movement alerts are triggered, glass smashes or even if a senior parent or guardian isn’t able to get out of bed. From a distance, you can open the door for a home repair technician, turn on/off the lights, turn off the heat, or close a garage area entrance that was incorrectly left up.
Companies see home hands automation as a long-term prospect for new income channels, but many customers don’t yet know the technological innovation exists.
Big-name companies are getting in the home automation game
Verizon rolled out a home monitoring and control program nationwide in October that offers three starter kits ranging from $69 to $219 that it services at a monthly charge of $9.99. A $169 energy control kit includes a switch than can be placed on any appliance, maybe the extra refrigerator in the garage, that will let a homeowner monitor on a computer or cellphone how much energy it is consuming and how much of the household electric bill it accounts for.Lowe’s plans to roll out two starter home automation kits under its “Iris” brand – one for security and another for energy management – in the early summer.
Sears Holdings Corp. has introduced a garage door opener through its Craftsman brand that can be used to operate the door from remote locations and let someone know if it was left open. Craftsman also is rolling out lighting controls.
Time Warner Cable launched its home automation system, IntelligentHome, in Southern California on Oct. 31, and by mid-December more than 700 households had signed on. With a $99 installation fee and monthly rates that start at about $35, IntelligentHome offers 24-hour home security monitoring along with remote access through smartphones and other web-connected devices to lights and thermostats, and to live feeds from cameras mounted around the home.
With home automation – everything is connected
Industry professionals estimate home automation programs like home protection, home theater audio control, wireless lights, and temperature control will be the services that customers turn to first. Down the road – remotely controlling blinds, appliances, entertainment centers and swimming pool pumps, or linking devices to one another so, for instance, the garage door opening at the end of the work day will cause lights inside the house to turn on and the television in the family room to flip to the sports channel.
Over time everything will be connected at the click of a button. Get ready for more and more home Automation in 2012.
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