Innovative Smart Home Applications

November 12, 2014

The primary function of any home automation system is, well, to automate the electronic systems in your house and to let you control them easily and succinctly through devices like smartphones, tablets and touch screens. At certain times, and under certain conditions like first thing in the morning or when you swipe an icon on your tablet, an automation system can turn lights and A/V equipment on and off, raise and lower motorized window shades and regulate the thermostats. But there’s more to an automation system than its ability to put your home on automatic pilot. When programmed by a home automation integrator, it can help you remember important dates, tell you when your teenage daughter has returned home and give you a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in every corner of your house, and much more. A Control4 system can support and facilitate a host of innovative control applications. Be sure to ask your integrator about these:

Audible and Visual Reminders
It’s Wednesday, which means someone should have taken the trash to the curb. Or did they forget, again? Like your smartphone, an automation system can be programmed to issue reminders of trash pickup, your anniversary, dentist appointments, anything at all. The system can play a pre-recorded message through the speakers in your house and/or display a visual cue on the screen of the TV, touch screen or other device.

Activity Log
Did your teenage daughter make curfew? Even if you’re not home, you can still be notified the second she walks through the door with the help of your ever-diligent home automation system. Your home automation integrator can set up the system to maintain an activity log in your absence and to text you whenever someone walks into the house. Tie in a security camera or a smart door lock with personalized codes, and you can further confirm that it’s your daughter who entered.

“Mockupancy” Scenes
During family vacations a home automation system can make your empty house look occupied. Sure, timers can instruct lights and other devices to turn on and off, but it doesn’t take long for someone to recognize the pattern—a sure sign that the house is open game. A home automation system creates a more realistic simulation by adjusting the lights, window blinds, music and other features randomly throughout the day or evening.

Wake-Up Call…and a Lullaby
Imagine waking up to the smell of coffee, soft music and your bedroom gradually brightening to give your eyes time to adjust? It’s a much more pleasant way to wake up than to the sound of a blaring alarm clock. With a home automation system, you can customize a “Wake-Up” scene to do anything you want. Ditto for when you turn in for the night. An automated lullaby, where soothing music plays and lights dim gradually, can be a blessing to parents of young children.

A Few of Your Favorite Things
Let’s face it. You’re never going to watch or listen to half of the cable or Internet radio stations available through your home entertainment system. A home automation integrator can streamline the process of finding your preferred channels by creating a “Favorites” menu. Presented on the screen of your smartphone, tablet, TV or touch screen are a half-dozen or so of your most liked stations. Of course, you can always drill down and find a non-favorite when you’re in the mood for something different.

Daylight Harvesting
Why use the lights to illuminate a space when the sun is available? A home automation system can harvest this natural resource by opening the window shades and turning off the lamps on sunny days. At the same time, the sun can help heat a home, and your home automation system can automatically adjust the thermostat to save energy.

An Open and Shut Case
It’s difficult to remember which lights you used and where, which windows you may have opened and which doors you may have forgotten to lock. With a home automation system, you can see in an instant by peering at the screen of a touch screen or your mobile device the status of every electronic product in your house, including the sensors that track the position of the doors and windows. And what’s more, you can have one button programmed to shut everything down all at once as you leave the house.