A power outage that lasts a few hours is often nothing more than an inconvenience, requiring some flashlights and a little patience. But when a major storm knocks out electricity for days, life without a generator can become real bleak, real fast. Food spoils, mold grows, and basements prone to flooding are robbed of their working sump pump and begin to take on water. Extended power outages in the winter can be even more dangerous. Plummeting temperatures and a home without heat can be a deadly combination, especially to the oldest and youngest residents in the home. In these situations, a backup power solution can literally be a lifesaver. (more…)
You’re getting ready to leave your house to run errands. As you walk down the hall, the lights automatically dim. The fan whirling slowly above your head comes to a stop, and a camera notices you approaching the door and begins arming your alarm. As you leave the house, the door locks behind you and the lights dim, eventually turning off. That night, as it approaches 10:00 p.m., your mattress pad starts cooling down to 70 degrees, because it knows that soon you’ll be going to sleep. When you’re away, a camera within your home updates you via iPhone anytime there is motion in the house. It won’t bother you if it’s just your wife, kids or family dog moving around, since it uses facial recognition software to remember them. This level of automated living is available today, all part of the growing list of consumer products that fall under the “smart home” category. Ranging from thermostats that automatically adjust a home’s temperature based on outdoor conditions, or allow users to log in remotely and make manual changes, on up to security systems that recognize a home’s occupants and make on the fly decisions about when to arm and disarm a system, or to notify police and rescue. Future apps the use the Apple watch’s ability to measure heart rate have been considered, capable of alerting your alarm system in the event your heart rate goes way outside normal parameters. In the event of a heart attack, your home could automatically notify rescue personnel the minute your watch realizes something is wrong.
Setting out to create a smart home can be daunting. There are a myriad of products, from light bulbs to air conditioners. One thing that all smart home products have in common is that they use your home’s wi-fi internet to communicate with each other and you. By accessing the internet they have a direct line of communication, right up to your personal smart phone. So where to start when setting up a smart home, and what considerations can greatly affect how a smart home functions? (more…)