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Monday, January 18th
The rise in popularity of home automation systems can be accounted for by its decline in pricing in recent years.
Since home automation systems' introduction several decades ago, when a hard wire retrofit of your home by professionals was the only avenue, costs have fallen. Many of today's new systems do not require special wiring to be added to an existing home at all. Some components of the technology are wireless, as well. However, although there are some systems that can be installed by the do-it-yourselfer for a more modest price, most high-end products with a greater number of applications to offer, still do require professional installation. In addition, It is often a good idea to get what you think you may need in the beginning from the manufacturer of the home automation system, rather than planning to add on later or fit technology systems you already own into a purchased system, as compatibility can be an issue. New homes, in all price ranges, often have home automation systems built in to begin with.
Pricing aside, a generational acceptance of technology has also played a large part in the growing popularity of home automation systems. Using a Smartphone, Blackberry, Android, iPad or any computer connected to the Internet, a person anywhere on the planet can access his or her home's system. Those at ease with technology appreciate the simple convenience of phoning home with instructions to keep the porch light on. A few of the systems currently on the market come with voice recognition. The central station inside the home can be a computer with a keyboard, one with a mouse or a touch screen, depending on your interactive comfort level.
The customizability of home automation systems adds to their growing acceptance among average householders, too. Basic triggers, such as turning on outside lights at a prescribed hour are easily set. Macro triggers, a series of events such as lighting indoor lamps, locking outside doors, and turning on landscape lights at dusk, are simple to implement.
For families with kids old enough to let themselves in after school, keyless door locks as part of a home automation system can be very useful. Each person can be assigned a personal code to open the door. Now Mom can be sure Junior came home right after school as he said he did. Indoor cameras could also reveal whether he drank milk right out of the carton or used a glass as he was supposed to. Whether or not he actually started on his homework unfortunately remains a mystery not solvable by current technology.
Home automation systems can turn on the built in irrigation system to water the lawn at dawn, start the dishwasher after everyone has gone to bed, block unwanted calls from specific numbers, and show you who is at the door so your can decide whether to answer it in your pajamas. They can even remind you to put the trash cans by the curb, but unlike Mom, they won't do it for you.
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