Why Home Automation?

Home automation is the way of the future; homes are getting smarter every day. To give you an idea what can be done, let's take a tour through an intelligent home.

First we arrive at the entryway, which is secured by an automatic gate. At the gate we push a button which announces our presence to our host, who can then see us on any television in the house, speak to us from any phone, and open the gate from inside the house. As we approach the house, we notice the lovely landscaping, which is watered with a completely automatic system that monitors the soil moisture and waters as needed. A driveway sensor turns on a light in the front entry and chimes a warning inside the house.

As our host shows us in, we immediately notice the comfortable temperature inside, and later we discover that every room in the house is perfectly maintained at the correct temperature at all times, and that the temperatures are automatically changed when no one is home and during sleep times to save energy. As we walk through this spectacular home, lights automatically turn on as we enter a room and turn off after we leave, and soft music plays throughout the house. We enter the living room and motorized draperies silently glide open to reveal a huge window, which offers a grand view of swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and water fountain. Our host pushes a button and the Jacuzzi starts warming up for later use and the water fountain is activated for our enjoyment.

In the backyard are 2 dogs and a fish pond. How, we ask, does our host manage to travel so much and still keep these pets? Out host answers by telling us that there are automatic feeders for the fish, and the dogs have an automatic feeder and self-filling water bowl. Also, the house is monitored by a security system 24 hours a day and the lights in the home are turned on and off randomly when no one is home to make the house appear occupied. And the home control system will call or page someone if anything goes wrong at the house, such as unauthorized entry, smoke or fire alarms, water leaks, or even unusual noises.

We are duly impressed, but our host has more to show us! The next room we visit is the theater, were we find a giant flat screen television that disappears when not in use, an amazing surround sound stereo system, and a CD jukebox that can store and play hundreds of compact discs. Then we proceed to the home office, which features a vaulted ceiling with a large skylight that can be opened by the touch of a button, and many windows high above us that are also opened and closed remotely. The office contains all the business machines our host requires, including a PC which we are informed acts as the host's control center and can be used to modify any of the schedules or settings for any of the automated systems in the home. The PC is also connected to other computers in the house, all of which have high speed Internet access. This Internet connection allows secure communication to the home from anywhere on the planet. The most important feature of remote access, or course, is to warm up the Jacuzzi before you get home!

For more information about home automation, click here.

Leviton is a leading producer of electrical and electronic products in North America.


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