Home automation allows for the control of various components of one's home - security, climate, lighting, electronics, and audio/video, all through the unified management of one device. Whether it's a panel or a smart phone, with one touch a homeowner can change settings or check on their home to ensure everything is efficient and safe.
Creating an automated home has many benefits. First, you can reduce home energy costs. Second, you can save money on home insurance policies. Insurance companies are set to reward homeowners who have taken measures to create a safer, secure, and lower risk environment.
Here are the companies leading the charge on devices and controls to help homeowners manage the automation revolution and drive down home ownership costs.
Belkin has created integrated home products such as the We-mo Light Switch, which dims based on the sunrise and sunset. Belkin also created the Netcam, which allows you to see what's happening in your home, all from your smartphone.
Whether you need a smoke detection system or a thermostat, Nest is one of the leaders in home automation. Nest smart thermostat detects whether or not you're home, saving its users an average of $173 a year. Nest smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector developers understand users hate that 2 am chirp, so it uses lights to alert you when the battery is low. It can tell whether the smoke is from toast burning, shower steam or an actual fire, so fire departments get fewer false alarms. Nest is also quickly making acquisitions to enhance its own offering. By purchasing products like Revolv, it is allowing one central hub to connect devices that are outside the Works With Nest family.
Having a network of sensors throughout your home gives you peace of mind. From one device, you can tell if you shut all the doors and windows or turned off the lights. Of course, there's an app so you can check on all the sensors to make sure everything is ok. These sensors are perfect for rental homes and when you're vacationing, or if you have latch key kids at home.
August Smart Lock
It's encrypted, allows for total control, let's you see who's been in and out, and is the perfect solution if you keep putting your place up on Airbnb or you have a lot of friends. You can create a guest list with times and dates, and revoke access at any time. Guests can even leave comments in a “guest book.”
French home automation leader Bee-wi has created light bulbs, temperature sensors, and plugs that allow customers to install home automation, all through a single app. The plugs automate any home appliance by connecting the energy source itself through wi-fi. Bee-wi calls these plugs “mobots.” They speak to each other and can inform an absent homeowner what’s going on with all the appliances.
Tired of spending a fortune on your water bill? Living in California and affected by the drought? Rachio Smart Sprinkler saves users an average of 30 percent on water bills by monitoring weather reports, understanding the soil runoff rate, and using smart timers to save water.
Aether has created a “smart speaker” called Aether Cone that pays attention to listening habits. Need something soothing to lull you out of bed at 6:30 a.m.? The Cone knows to play just the right tune. Need it followed by something upbeat to get you going for your morning jog? Cone creates your life soundtrack.
Misfit creates products for both home automation and wearables. Misfit has created a line of light bulbs called Bolt that can create just about any hue of colors. Use an app to have your lighting create a sunrise - at any time of day. The Misfit Beddit strap creates a “smart bed,” and allows you to monitor your sleep.
When it comes to smart security at your door, Skybell is the answer. The new Skybell is a video doorbell that connects with your phone to alert you when someone is at your home. It provides a clear picture as well as a notification when someone approaches your door.
Parrot has been known to build some pretty fantastic drones, however they moved over to home automation with Parrot Flower Pot. The pot assesses your plant's needs, and sends you alerts when you need to water it. Never have dead plants in your home again.
As technology continues to grow, home automation is the next frontier in the Internet of Things. These companies are at the forefront of the movement; it will be exciting to see what products they develop next.
For the entire story on connected home and smart appliances, the place ot be is the IoT Evolution Expo, coming up August 17 to 20 at Caesars in Las Vegas. There, we'll be bringing you insights from the experts that you need to see, so check it out. Click here for more.
Edited by Ken Briodagh