From automated home theaters to wireless touch-panel shades, home automation in smart homes promises to be the wave of the future. But does having a house do everything for you equate to a more tranquil experience? Hopefully. We lay out a few tips to help keep it that way.
From the looks of the gigantic server room, we're going to go out on a limb and say that there are times when such systems bring more problems than solutions. Not only would you require the technological know-how on proper implementation of such a system, but the headaches involved in when things happen to well... "blow up" (that's a technical term used in IT, by the way) is costly and often requires a specialist to address the issue. Avoid having an overly complex web of technologies that won't make any sense to a second owner.
One of the best home automation/integration systems we've seen are the simplest ones. Take Apple's AirPlay/AirTunes service for example. It doubles in utility as both a router and a wireless streaming service, adding both usefulness to lingering devices that feel disconnected from the common space (ie: computer from home theater) and uniting them into a cohesive experience.
Even AudioEngine has embraced these wonderful strides in technology, allowing for direct attachment of the Airport Express on the back of their powered stereo speakers. Keep it simple. The rest shall follow.
To integrate home automation effectively, one should consider the level of modularity a "puzzle piece" in this complex system of automated equipment and see how it can be applied effectively in different environments. If a universal remote requires Bluetooth, then it's essential that everything has that support. It's also good to make sure it doesn't require a million dongles to be installed all over the place.
Another suggestion would to be conscious on how visible you want the system to be. While some setups will require a direct line of sight to work properly, it's probably easier to use existing wireless devices in order save on clutter. Gira makes a bunch of iPad/iPhone apps that interface directly with their home automation system.
What do you guys think? Are home automations more of a hassle than the layer of tranquility it promises to provide? Let us know below!
[Images: Electronic House]