Home automation is a hot topic this week at WWDC, with Apple talking about its HomeKit attempting to integrate home automation. Many companies including the Hue lightbulb, Z-Wave, Ecobee, Lutron, and Insteon are announcing HomeKit compatibility. Apple’s vision is to bring all of these home automation products together to be able to talk to each other so that your home is truly comprehensively automated. As more features and products slowly roll out over the next 5 to 10 years, will smart homes soon become the norm, the same way smartphones are now?
We wanted to take a moment to imagine what a day in a near-futuristic smart home might look like.
It’s 7:00 AM, and your speaker system starts playing a playlist of soft but energetic music. As usual, you huddle a little more snugly into your covers, hoping to block out the time. 7:15 approaches, and your blinds start to open, lighting up the room with sunlight that seeps into your hiding place under the covers. The music volume increases until you decide, okay, it’s time to get out of bed anyways. You reach for your phone to turn off the alarm, and you give a few gentle shoves to your spouse still pretending to sleep next to you.
Once you do, you can hear the shower starting, and the promise of perfectly warm water pushes you up onto your feet. As you step into your bathroom, you hear your kettle heating up in the kitchen.
You towel off after your shower and start getting dressed, letting your spouse have a turn in the shower. You prompt the speaker on the wall, “What’s the weather today?” and hear a calm voice tell you it’s warm and sunny. You choose clothes accordingly. As you wander into the kitchen, the motion sensors turn on the lights. The window blinds in the living room have opened already for the morning, too. Your kettle has finished heating the water, so you pour out some tea for yourself and your partner. The small speaker on the wall reads your schedule for the day and any emails or messages you missed overnight. Your partner rushes out, grabbing the tea and a kiss on the way.
Finishing your breakfast, you grab your things and start heading out, too. A small screen near your door beeps softly, displaying a small notification letting you know your phone isn’t with you. You backtrack and find it on the kitchen table. Grab it and go. The face recognition camera sees you leaving through the door leading to the garage, says goodbye and locks the doors after you, arming the security system and turning off all of the lights. The garage door opens and your car purrs, starting. As you pull out and drive away, you look to see that the window blinds have closed themselves already.
At the office, you don’t remember whether or not you turned off the stove under the kettle. You check the app on your smartphone, and luckily the stove is off. You scroll through the app habitually to double check that all doors are locked and all sensors are armed. You even spend a few seconds to tap into the livestream from your cameras.
At home, the thermostat raises the heat, letting the air conditioners rest for a bit.
The smarthome app sends you a message at the end of your workday, “Are you coming home soon?” You tap “Yes” and start to wrap things up.
The driveway sensor recognizes your car when you pull up and opens the garage door for you. You enter your passcode on the lock, and it swings open. You welcome the breeze of cool air; the thermostat has lowered the temperature since you said you would be coming home right after work. The camera recognizes your face and welcomes you home. You put down your things, the lights fading on as you walk through the rooms.
Deciding that you don’t have the energy to cook tonight, you prompt the voice control on the wall of your living room as you sit down on the couch. Then, you say, “Order two orders of pad thai from the nearest thai delivery restaurant.”
Your spouse gets home, and the food delivery comes soon afterwards. The two of you eat dinner and spend the night in. As the end of the evening approaches, the lights start slowly dimming, as you programmed them to, in order to let you know it’s time to get ready for bed. You yawn anyways, and clean things up, packing for the next day. You quickly prompt your system to tell it you’re going to sleep; it checks that your doors are locked and then arms your external security system. You fall into bed with your partner and talk until you both fall asleep.
All of this technology has already emerged in their fledgeling forms—voice control, face recognition, thermostat and light controls, smart locks, livestreaming cameras, and etcetera. This entirely and smoothly integrated system is definitely a possibility in the next five to ten years as the kinks and communications are worked out.
It is also important to keep in mind that all of the home automation and smart security gadgets in the world is nothing without professional and reliable monitoring. Protect America is excited about innovation in this area. Check out the home automation options and affordable packages that we already offer today.