Sunday, December 10, 2006

Why Automate?

Its 2006 and we are in the throws of a technology boom. Our cars talk to us to keep us safe and ensure we buckle up when we close the door. While at the mall, an automated voice tells us to watch our step when using the escalator or entering an elevator. Our home appliances interact with us to let us know when our food is properly cooked or if we are out of milk. So what happened to our basic home controls? Why do we wake up in the morning to a dark house and stumble our way aimlessly to the kitchen for the first cup of Java? Why do we still have to yell at the kids to get out of bed from the bottom of the steps?

With today’s fast paced lifestyles we all lead, we tend to overlook the most basic issues and obstacles we face every day because we have become use to them. I remember as a kid, hearing the kitchen and downstairs come to life while my parents scramble for the coffee pot in the morning. Then came the inevitable voice of my mother yelling up the stairs to get my hinny out of bed or I would miss the bus. Well, that was 20 years ago and still nothing has changed. Our society has grown so fast to accommodate us in our fast paced lifestyles such as a car that talks to us, cell phones that connect us instantly to our office email and computers that show us our morning news without going out to get it from the front porch that we missed the most basic of needs. Why do we spend extra for the vehicle, cell phone or computer that has the additional user friendly features but when shopping for the single most expensive purchase of our life such as our home, we worry more about looks and not functionality. Man has walked on the moon, we have landed rovers on Mars but we still make grandma walk across the room to turn on the lights?

When deciding on my first automation project, I quickly found that for less than 150.00 the sky was the limit. I could set up a simple remote system for lights, control ceiling fans or set simple timers that activated specific appliances or systems within the home on a schedule. Since then, I have installed motion sensors so my home interacts with my children in the middle of the night to keep them safe when using the restroom. My home wakes me up in the morning and turns on lights according to our families regular routines. It even saves us money by checking to ensure everybody has left at *:00 and turns off all lights and appliances if we choose to. As for safety, I have installed a simple 19.00 wireless light switch on my headboard that has 4 simple buttons. One is all lights on and one is all lights off. From a prone position, I can light up the house in an instant if I fear someone is intruding or I can shut off all the lights and TV's in the kid’s room at the flick of the wrist. Guess what, no more yelling.

Advanced electronics have taken us a long way from the days of old. A little goes a long way and we as a society are starting to embrace this in our every day lifestyle. We are now seeing a rise in Home Automation Communities that have advanced communications with their owners. Remote lighting and voice activated systems. What about taking it a step further? What about a home that thinks and sets timers for you. Helps you wake up in the morning by turning on lights in the bedroom, and then turns on lights in the master bath, hallway, kitchen and kids rooms. How about the radio with the morning news report and the coffee pot? It all here and now with the expansion of the microchip, the costs are usually very minimal. How minimal you ask? Well, with most X10 systems on the market today, the basic starter kit runs between 49.99 thru 99.99 for the software, hardware and some additions like a keychain remote. The interactive home is not for the rich or wealthy anymore!

Casey A Connolly
Automation Professional
Kingwood Automation
Automation Made Simple & Affordable!

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