Home automation was a fun fantasy long before it became a practical
reality for the average American home. When The Jetsons premiered
in 1962, the space–age craze was in full swing, and audiences relished
the push–of–a–button ease with which the futuristic family lived.
Rosie the Robot did most of the housework, with the help of a seeing–eye
vacuum cleaner, a voice–operated washing machine, and a nuclear–powered
knitting machine, and Judy frequently spoke to her husband at work via
their big screen television.
We see more and more of the Jetsons lifestyle coming to fruition today:
Voice–activated appliances, videophones and moving sidewalks. The
latest refrigerators and ovens boast web appliances and Internet connections,
and cars come complete with satellite positioning systems.
While you aren't likely to be installing a nuclear–powered knitting
machine in your dream home, today's “connected home” features a system
that automatically controls the thermostat, home theater, security system
and lighting via remote control from telephone, cell phone, or over the
Internet, and at home through wall mounted keypads or touchscreen, or even
a portable touchscreen that you can carry from room to room. Installing
a home control system allows all the different electronics and systems
in your home to work together, simply and conveniently, and allows you
to have access to your home from virtually anywhere on the planet.
Rather than switching off lights, setting the security system or fiddling
with the thermostat, you can rest easy, knowing your connected home will
take care of those mundane tasks for you. Imagine having a touchscreen
in the living room that with one button press will turn on the jazz music
channel from your digital satellite system, pipe it through the living
room's in–wall speakers, dim the lights and light the fireplace.
When working late, you can use your office web connection to check that
the kids have made it home safely and even see that they're tucked into
Although the initial investment in a home control system can seem daunting,
the return on that investment can be substantial. Having an intelligent
heating and cooling system, for example, can pay for itself in just a few
years. Utility costs are lowered considerably when lights turn on
and off automatically and when lights are set at less then 100 percent
intensity, and light bulbs last longer. Your entertainment costs could even decrease. At
$40.00 or more for your family to go to one movie, a one–time investment
of $5,000.00 for a home theater will let you watch movies in style for
a lifetime. Plus, you get more comfortable seats and better snacks!
Some experts say that smart homes will sell even faster than homes
with no technology; and check with your insurance provider — your homeowner's
rates may even be less with a “smart” home.
We may not have robots that do laundry or a solar–powered stamp–licker
like the Jetsons, but a connected home can add practical convenience and
benefit to your life. By adding technologies like state–of–the–art
wiring, lighting control, multi–room music and total home control, your
home can be ready to take care of you now and into the future.