We think home automation is the bomb. BOOM baby… Seriously! But that doesn’t mean we just expect you to think like we do. That would be unrealistic. Instead, we’d like to take this opportunity to explain why we feel that way.

So the next question is, “Why do you need home automation?” The answer to why can vary depending on your particular wants and needs but the best answer is it saves you time, cuts back on costs, improves safety, and allows you the convenience and simplicity of doing everything with the press of a button no matter where you are.

Quick example story: You are on the way to your favorite vacation spot. The car’s packed, the kids have already asked you a dozen times “are we there yet?”, and four hours into the drive you realize you forgot to turn off the thermostat or otherwise adjust it and (holy cow!) the temperature was set at 73. This is great if you’re home but is going to cost a small fortune if it runs at that temp all week. With a Savant automation system, you can simply pull out your smart phone, laptop (internet connection needed), or iPad, access the Savant interface and either turn off the thermostat or adjust the temperature. Problem solved. Sure beats paying a small fortune.

Now, believe it or not, I can hear your thoughts (creepy, right?!). You’re thinking, “That’s great, but… what is this really going to do for me?” AND “You know, this whole ‘Internet of Things‘ will allow me to do that anyway”. As for the second thought, all we can say is yes – in several years maybe, but… how much more complication do you want to add to your life (we’ll explain that answer!) and as for the first thought? The phrase “home automation” has been used to encompass so much that it’s hard for some folks to explain exactly what it can do for you without starting into an hour-long rant that goes off into crazy stuff you don’t care about. So here is a short and simple list of what home automation can do for you:

• Control your air conditioning and heating
• Access video cameras inside and outside your house
• Interface with your home’s security system and gate control
• Control your home theater system
• Control your lights
• Control communication, paging systems, or send calls to any phone
• Pipe music, your TV’s audio or your voice into different rooms one at a time, or all at once with centralized media control
• Access and watch your favorite movies or shows from one room in your home or in multiple rooms at once with centralized video control
• Turn on and off appliances
• Open doors, windows, blinds, curtains, and other motorized entry/exit components, like your garage door

..and you can do this all…

• From your phone
• From a computer
• From touch screen panels or fancy light switches or iPads
• From outside your house or in a different state
• Automatically, based on a schedule
• Automatically, based on other “events” that happen, like doors opening, or motion sensors being set off
• One at a time, or all together

For several consumers, putting together a smart home still remains mostly a do-it-yourself project (part of that whole new ‘internet of things’ concept) in order to create an ‘affordable’ automation system. You choose your components, connect them to your home network (or cloud) and start living your connected life. Companies like Comcast, Verizon, ADT and AT&T offer monitoring systems, but they don’t offer much flexibility. Z-Wave, Smart Things, Zigbee, WeMo, and several of the other D.I.Y automation systems aren’t yet designed to fully “communicate” with different technologies. They rely on their own protocols meaning you’ll have difficulty mixing and matching manufacturer pieces (Apple and LG for example). Other words, one system might communicate with Apple but not with LG, one might communicate with your security camera but not your keyless entry. This means spending more and more to get items that somewhat “communicate” with each other. Well, that sort of defeats the purpose of affordable… Cha-ching!

The trouble is that for anyone pursuing this as a D.I.Y. project, the more devices you bring home, the more it costs and the more separate apps you need to control them all. Suddenly, convenience becomes expensive, cumbersome, and complicated. Imagine trying to set a romantic scene with so many different devices and apps. You would have to load one app to lower the lights, a second to start playing soft music, and a third to lock the door behind you. And the ‘romantic mood’? It dimmed with the lights.

The complexity of managing several apps, remotes, and devices is an obvious irritation, and AV Automation solves this problem by creating a single system — a hub — for controlling various home devices that actually can communicate with each other.

All these options are really cool in a Jetsons sort of way, and it’s definitely where things are going in the future which has become more and more apparent with the “Internet of Things” movement. While we can’t yet build a robot that caters to your every desire, reads your mind, cooks, and cleans your home for you (we DEFINITELY want one of those!), we can still create an affordable, simple to use home automation system that caters to you – when, from where, and how you want it to. To find out how we can design a system to your specific wants/needs, give us a call at 512-795-4242.