Tech Tip: Home Automation

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
If Ethan and Amy’s Tech Tour inspired you, but wondered what exactly was entailed in home automation, you are not alone. We are by no means experts in the subject, and Ethan inspired us to find out a little more about it. We loved the idea of thinking of our home as one big computer, and set out in search of information.

Ethan recommended the site SmartHome, which offers a veritable “Automation Univeristy” to educate you on incorporating automation in your home. From product reviews, videos, and a run down of all that can be automated in your home, SmartHome is a great resource.

And, just to whet your apetite, here’s their list of common home automation application for the home.

• Check up on the babysitter while at work, or your home while on vacation, through an Internet-connected video camera.
• Adjust the thermostat while you lie in bed, or from a cell phone on your way home from work.
• Heat the hot tub or turn on the oven on the way home from work through the cell phone.
• Eliminate the need to walk around the house turning off lights before exiting the home or going to sleep, turn off all house lights with the touch of a single button.
• Set a series of events for your morning routine, designate the thermostat to warm the room, have lights gradually increase intensity, ensure the coffee begins brewing and the television turns on.
• Program your security system to alert you through e-mail or phone when the system detects activity in the home while you are away.
• Organize and control every component of the home entertainment system– television, DVD, VCR and whole-house audio — with a single touch-screen remote from anywhere in the home.
• See who is at the front door without leaving the comfort and safety of your couch through a display on your TV screen showing the visitor at the front door.
• Control all scheduled tasks, such as watering the lawn and outdoor lighting, with a simple computer program.
• Ensure pets are automatically fed, provided new water and clean litter while you are away from home.