A grand tour of smart home automation

About The Author

CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Smart home technology has been growing in leaps and bounds. We talked with Dee Bubeck, custom division manager at Len Wallis Audio in Lane Cove, and what he had to show us blew us away.




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WCaswell posted a comment   
United States

Readers should know there%u2019s a big difference between terms like Smart Home Technology, Smart Home Automation, and Smart Homes. The %u201Csmart%u201D home systems that are most likely to be automated today include lights, thermostats & home appliances; television, video & music systems; security alarms & monitoring systems; and home health care monitors, alarms & communication devices. But it takes a skilled technician to integrate these systems into a cohesive whole and program their operation.

Home Automation and the %u201CSmart Home%u201D concept have been around for some 40 years but never were able to cross the chasm from an industry niche of professional installation in high-end custom homes to mass market consumers. One reason is that any new device or change of behavior required the technician to come out and reprogram the house rules again.

A truly Smart home could address this problem with an awareness of its surroundings from various sensors for light, temperature, sound, smells (smoke or CO2), motion, etc. With artificial intelligence, it could then learn occupant behavior and preferences and adapt automatically or upon command (by voice, touch, button or gesture interface). And a Smart home could communicate in ways occupants prefer, on a device they have at the time. But there are still many problems with even that vision. See http://www.mhealthtalk.com/2012/04/smart-homes/.

 

WCaswell posted a comment   
United States

Readers should know there’s a big difference between terms like Smart Home Technology, Smart Home Automation, and Smart Homes. The “smart” home systems that are most likely to be automated today include lights, thermostats

 

Robin Ford posted a comment   
United States

Thanks for the interesting article. Global Cache' offers offers small, inexpensive devices that WiFi and IP enable any IR, serial, and relay device instantly. No "waiting for the devices", as our iTach units will allow you to control almost any electronic device using an app on a smartphone or tablet.




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