Design Trends: Automation

Design Trends: Automation

It’s 2013 and maybe you thought we’d all have flying cars by now or at least personal robots. While these things are still future dreams, our lives (and homes!) are continuing to get more sophisticated, thanks to technology.

One of the biggest trends we’ve seen in homes, particularly in luxury properties, is the use of automation to turn your home into a smart home. While many homes have already been outfitted with surround sound, an intercom, or a music system throughout the house, today’s smart phone technology puts them to shame.

Many companies have started developing technology that allows you to control lights and heating throughout your home. With the rise of smartphones and tablet computers, the installation of a simple app allows you to turn your technological gadget into a universal remote.

Some of the best products on the market allow you to turn your home security on and off remotely, along with other tasks like lighting and temperature controls. Security camera can also be monitored through the use of smartphone apps or computers when you’re away.

Key-less entries (fingerprint locks) are gaining in popularity as well. Used everywhere from the front door to the back to the garage, never lock yourself out of the house again.

Other gadgets, like a voice-activated grocery list, seek to streamline your day to day activities. Simply tell it what you want to buy as you go and when you’re ready to go shopping, just print it out. Of course, you could also have Siri make you a list.

Some examples of how these innovations are marking our lives easier, saving us time, money, and energy:

A thunderstorm moved in while you were away and dumped several inches of water. Change the schedule for your sprinklers, wherever you are. Want to get dinner started as soon as you get home? Preheat your oven before you get in the car at the office. Power outage while you were on vacation? Get those ceiling fans and lights shut off quickly to save you money.

While cost, competing companies, and lack of standardization have kept smart home technology from saturating the way we live now, more and more people are embracing these sorts of upgrades.

Do you use any automation systems? Which one(s)? Which of these technologies do you think would be the most useful?

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