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Do You Have A Smart House?

This question would have seemed like nonsense only a few years ago. As I recall we first heard about the possibility of such a notion around 15 years ago when Bill Gates announced the plans for a futuristic mansion that would be fully automated. The project took seven years to be completed, but it was successful.

Few private residences are as large as the Gates home, but many a McMansion can and does benefit from the installation of home automation. For best results the technology should be included in the planned design for a residence, although it is also possible to develop these systems during a large-scale rehab. The key to the latest success of this technology has been the widespread availability of smart phones and now tablets. These omnipresent devices can be programmed to become home controllers while still serving their original purpose.

The principle functions in a house that can be integrated to form a “smart house” are: access, appliances, audio, environment, lighting, security, and video. Perhaps the first experience any of us had with automating any function in a house was a garage door opener. These devices are still common, but the newest ones include the capability of controlling one or more garage doors plus interior access. If you have been traveling, you now can tell the house to warm itself up while you are still ten miles away.

Include a select number of electrical outlets in the automation scheme, and you can check to assure yourself that you have turned off the coffee maker, even after you leave home. Perhaps the most extensive use of home automation lies with the audio system. The idea of having surround sound in one room has now spread to the whole house. Using music stored at select locations in solid state devices, or even using cloud access, combined with small speakers and even smaller built-in amplifiers, one can assemble an audio system that permits different music to be played in every room, yet still controlled centrally.

The clock radio seemed like a marvelous tool initially. Today its function has been broadened to include Умный Дом timed adjustment of window coverings as well as interior lighting, wake-up coffee, and morning sound. Perhaps some of us are familiar with “smart thermostats” that are more advanced than the crude ones installed in houses for so many years. Today’s smart house uses not only multiple zones for heating and cooling, but remote temperature and humidity sensors to assure that the home environment is as comfortable as the occupants can imagine.

To top it all off, the relatively new notion of home theater is expanding before our eyes. Some installations include multiple screens for viewing both broadcast and recorded imagery simultaneously. When the signals are acquired from the Internet, the flexibility stretches the imagination. Again as with the straight audio presentation, when combined with video and controlled from a pocket device, the house becomes as smart as the owner wants to make it.

 

 

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