Home automation is here…and getting better all the time

Years ago I had a fantasy about having a fully automated home. When would it happen? In my lifetime? Well it sure has come storming into the home. I spent a good bit of time and a little bit of money playing around with X-10 and I was completely disappointed. It never lived up to its hype. We were promised Jetsons kind of home automation. But not yet.

Now, we have Google purchasing NEST for 3 billion. I am not sure how they are going to turn that into a whole home automation type of service, but with Google anything is possible, good or bad. ADT and AT&T among others having home offerings using Z-Wave technology. I think that is more baked and cooler actually than the NEST products. Z-Wave has a whole suit of products to automate your home and providers that will integrate it for you.

What is the ideal situation? What if you have a house that you keep but are not there all the time? Vacation house? Home base for lots of work travel? You would want to keep tabs on everything that goes on at it, right? I would think you would need these basic services: entry tracking, video surveillance, HVAC maintenance and monitoring and some degree of home lighting randomization while you are away. All of that is easily available today.

Well, NEST would make you think that they are super smart and can manage your HVAC for you. It seems that is the case but can it connect to the rest of your systems? I do not see it doing that yet. I do see Z-Wave allowing for easy access to local controls and local updates from anywhere in the world. It is pretty easy and pretty awesome.

Hopefully home automation will keep progressing to give us better control of our homes. The Internet of Things is starting to materialize and is going to be very exciting.

Kirby Winters

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