The Internet of Things

Home automation is so 80’s right? Really, the Clapper was by all rights the first main stream home automation device to creep into most homes and was invented in 1985. With a simple “clap” you could control your lights. Who remembers that jingle?

In the world of the internet and the world of home automation we have the ability to control just about anything from afar. The list is almost endless and includes things such as thermostats, lightbulbs, tv’s, audio devices, set top boxes, video cameras, computers, power outlets, garage doors, lawn sprinklers, water your plants, unlock your front door… What it comes down to, if you can dream it up you can find a way to control it.

Why would you want to control these devices this way? Convenience, security, efficiency, or safety could all come into play. Opening a door for a relative that comes into town earlier than expected. Turning on lights when you are not coming home from the office until late. Controlling that thermostat a little more. Getting notified on your mobile device if someone is inside your home via the motion detector on the internet enabled camera you installed.

The Internet of Things is in its infancy. We are just starting to broach the surface of what it can do and what is just not really feasible. Maybe the question should be asked; what do you really want the internet knowing about your day to day life?

Once you have made the decision to wire your life then it really comes down to how far you want to go. With smartphone apps like IFTTT you can begin the general automation process and branch off from there. Purchasing a Smart Home hub that will work with the most popular devices might be the next step, check out Revolv. Amazon makes a device that will “listen” to you and do things based on what you say, order items or play music called, the Echo.

What it really comes down to is once you start down the path, the end is not in site. The problem is the technology is still not quite there to work flawlessly. Make sure you do your research first and know what you are getting into. Make sure lightbulb A will work with smart hub B. It is best to start small. Make a plan with a direction of where you want to go. Pick one or two things and start walking the Home Automation path. Before you get to the end you will have rebuilt everything multiple times I am sure. Mainly due to technology changing and devices getting better.

I wish you luck in the Internet of Things. I will be walking the path with you starting with some home cameras and light bulbs I think. Stop by our TCT Solutions Centers to see how the cameras work or how you can use your IPhone or tablet to schedule recordings, find out what channel the game will be on or replace the remote that you can never find. So many choices!

[written by Torri McDougal, CST]

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