You can have a WiFi camera that you can see from an app on your mobile phone. Nice. You can have another app to open and close your curtains. OK. You can use a third app to turn on or off some special lights. Not bad.
However, is this really the dream of what automating your home is all about? What if we think about this in a broader sense and on very practical terms. An automated home where things work together, not on separate systems that do not communicate with each other. One where every device and service can create a series of actions based on what you want to happen. And, by the way, make it easy for you to set up, control and use effortlessly every day.
I think you’ll agree that this is more like what automating your home should be.
But, let’s not stop there. Not diverging from the practical and real terms of what this should mean, if you include your entertainment, health care, education, data storage, security, energy management, etc. You begin to see that this is not about buying a ‘disco’ light bulb, or a talking thermostat, but about truly connected devices that integrate into your life, the way you live. The Lounge, The Bedroom, The Kitchen, The Garden and The Garage are all part of your one holistic home.
Let’s say that I asked you to perform a small set of tasks as a test. I instructed you to turn on a garage or driveway light, open and close the door of your home, lock it, then get in and start the car. This seems like a simple sequence of activities. But, I then told you that you had to be wearing a different pair of shoes for each of these activities. You would think that I either owned a shoe store or was just trying to make you crazy!
Well, using different systems or platforms for individual elements of automating your home seems as though it is trying to make you crazy in a similar fashion! Why can’t you wear just one pair of shoes to perform these tasks? Of course, you can. Why can’t you have just one platform to integrate the automation of your home? Well, you can.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a world where up to 50 billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet. One day soon, it will be hard to imagine that all things weren’t connected and that the extraordinary benefits of IoT hadn’t always been with us. So, let’s take a step forward and lay out what you want in your Smart Home today, while setting you up for what more you may want in the foreseeable future.
When it comes to “Home” the enablement of a holistic approach through integration of the IOT products is the differentiator – the missing link – with the intent that all vertical services can integrate and interact with each other in many ways.
A ‘Home Center’ is the main means to all services and features. It provides seamless interworking between devices and features and lets you directly perform or schedule interactions. The Smartphone or tablet apps also provide access including a more convenient way to type and enter names of devices or ‘scenes’ combining multiple device actions.
Do you want your home to turn on the lights when you walk in, or simply turn on the coffee percolator and water heater for a comfortable shower when you wake up? Your Home Center with a flexible ‘Scene builder’ can also automatically set the mood in your living room when a movie starts to play (lighting, temperature and curtains for example). Your blinds can automatically draw when the sun hits your windows to keep the heat out. Your AC can work less and maintain the right temperature when you want it. A kill switch facility also lets you turn off all lights and appliances in one tap of the app to save more energy.
Your personal media access capability should also be available on the same platform. ‘My Library’ should allow remote access to personal content – music, photos, movies – safely stored at home. You can back up computer files or even synchronise with your smartphone, iTunes or a particular file folder.
Detecting an intrusion at home with your network camera can turn on the lights and lock the doors. Network cameras should be secure in their architecture, not use cloud storage or cloud access, with network cameras accessed only by the user and storing information exclusively at home. Notifications delivered to you can be stand-alone, such as a ‘door opened’, or set up as part of scenes. They may come in the form of phone calls, text messages (with or without images) or email messages
A baby left at home with a nanny, supplementing a watchman’s eyes, securing access to your front door, all are examples of why you would seek a reliable monitoring solution rich in alerts and notifications that you should be able to customize and combine with other devices. This includes programming your lights to simulate that the home is occupied, monitoring the opening of windows or drawers, or any change in the home, such as a power surge, reduction of water levels, smoke emissions, etc. and receiving alerts or activating a camera to take a recording.
Let’s not forget that you want the built-in capability to add eEducation and eHealth services and devices as these areas develop.
All of this is available to you now if you make some smart choices. Some of the stand-alone gadgets we see are cool, but, so were the first, brick-sized ‘mobile phones’ in the 1980’s. That doesn’t mean you want to be using one today when there are much better options. The same holds true for a Smart Home and Smart Living.
If you want to see an easy and very affordable way to make this all work for you, visit Makook Smart Living at: http://www.makooksl.com or www.facebook.com/makooksl