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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Motorized shades are just perfect for these five hard-to-reach windows

Ever strain yourself trying to close a window shade? Rise up on your tiptoes to close that tall blind? Had a window blind that you simply can’t reach without go-go-gadget arms?

Unfortunately along with beautiful executive-style homes often come hard-to-access windows that flood these homes with light. While “drenched in light” makes for a beautiful setting, sometimes it can be too bright. Another negative is the increase it causes in your energy consumption from AC.

Read more: http://thevillager.com/2015/08/05/motorized-shades-are-just-perfect-for-these-five-hard-to-reach-windows/

Smart home technology

Convenience, safety, energy efficiency – these are just some of the advantages of smart home technology. With a flick of the remote, you can unlock the front door while carrying the groceries or you can use automation to handle many simple and repetitive tasks such as turning lights on at dusk or closing the curtains at bedtime. Some technologies allow you to remotely check the temperature of your house and adjust the thermostat using your cellular phone. Even automated faucets – commonplace in public washrooms – are making their way into private homes. And yes, the technology exists that allow you to close the windows remotely.

Smart home technology not only makes life convenient, it can make things safer. Most people know about the home security system that is monitored by an outside company. But safety precautions can be automated in other ways. Imagine getting the temperature just right for your morning shower by simply pressing a button.

Read more: http://www.ottawasun.com/2015/08/07/smart-home-technology

Funding plea for automated home technology for disabled

It is technology that can literally open doors, allowing lights and appliances to be turned on by raising an eyebrow or clenching a fist.

But despite the potential for automated home technology to revolutionise disabled people's lives, a Perth-based not-for-profit has struggled to get its product to market after government funding dried up.

Bentech Assistive Technologies has designed an automated home for people with disabilities that can be controlled from a website - on a mobile phone or tablet.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-26/automated-home-technology-helps-disabled-people-in-wa/6726056

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tips for Choosing Quality Home Theater Loudspeakers

WHEN YOU THINK OF THE TERM “home theater,” what immediately comes to mind? If you’re like most people, it’s probably the bright, vivid, larger-than-life video screen. While this component is certainly essential, having a top-notch audio system is just as important to the overall home theater experience.

By audio, we mean a surround-sound system. Made up of an A/V receiver, several speakers and at least one subwoofer, a surround-sound system divides the au- dio soundtrack of a movie into six or more discrete channels and delivers these channels to the appropriate speakers and subwoofer(s). It’s an effect that makes you feel as if you are in the center of the on-screen action. The audio is dynamic, en- gaging and realistic—just as a home theater should be.

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/home-theater/choosing-home-theater-loudspeakers/

Home automation: At the beginning of a long term trend

Today’s customers are very specific about their requirements; these go quite a bit beyond just the location, which used to be more or less the fulcrum of the traditional home buying process. Contemporary luxury home buyers in India are well travelled, highly-educated individuals who have great expectations from the homes they choose to invest in.

The fact that home automation has become a very important criterion for them is a natural extension of this fact. Empowered with more disposable income, India’s growing middle class is looking for a lifestyle that addresses their needs for efficiency, functionality and sustainability.

Read more: http://www.moneycontrol.com/master_your_money/stocks_news_consumption.php?autono=3168221

Former Apple Exec Selling His Santa Barbara Smart Home

There are plenty of ways to make your home smarter on the cheap, but if you really want a fully automated home, it will be a serious investment. Companies are working on integrating everything with hubs and apps, but even starter kits cost a couple hundred dollars, unless you take the most bare-bones approach.

But billionaires can drop all kinds of dough getting their home-automation systems exactly to their liking. Case in point: Michael Barnick, a retired Apple exec who just completed his very own smart home … and promptly put it on the market, because his children grew up and moved out during the time it took to build.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/former-apple-exec-selling-his-smart-home-for-35-million

Making the Smart Home a Secure Home

After years of waiting, the “smart home” is finally becoming a reality for many consumers. The idea behind the smart home is to help automate routine tasks and make homes more efficient.

New products promising to make the lives of consumers better are hitting the shelves daily. Appliances, toothbrushes, lighting, security systems, and heating/cooling equipment controllable by smartphones or computers are now available. One recent study projects the smart home market worldwide will grow from between 100 million and 200 million connected homes today to between 500 million and 700 million homes by 2020.

Read more: http://blog.aarp.org/2015/09/21/making-the-smart-home-a-secure-home/

US smart home market is poised to take off

The US smart home market has yet to take off. Quirky's recent announcement that it was filing chapter 11 bankruptcy — and selling off its smart home business, Wink — highlights this well.

At its current state, we believe the smart home market is stuck in the 'chasm' of the technology adoption curve, in which it is struggling to surpass the early-adopter phase and move to the mass-market phase of adoption.

There are many barriers preventing mass-market smart home adoption: high device prices, limited consumer demand and long device replacement cycles. However, the largest barrier is the technological fragmentation of the smart home ecosystem, in which consumers need multiple networking devices, apps and more to build and run their smart home.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-smart-home-market-report-adoption-forecasts-top-products-and-the-cost-and-fragmentation-problems-that-could-hinder-growth-2015-9

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Top Home Automation Companies Who Will Run Your Home

The home automation space is poised to continue growing in 2015 and beyond. There are more companies and investors behind these companies that want entry into your home to make it smarter, more energy-efficient, safer, comfortable, and cost-effective. Here are the top 18 in-home automations across all segments, including hubs, security devices, energy-saving devices and monitors, appliance controls, and systems, which you should consider for your home:

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/murray-newlands/top-18-home-automation-co_b_8072238.html

Eco-friendly benefits of smart home automation

Smart home automation is the latest and greatest in home design today. Thanks to modern technologies, we have the power to control every aspect of our homes remotely from our smartphones. From temperature control to lawn irrigation, smart homes are becoming the next big thing in home improvements.

Besides the fact that this home design is extremely convenient and impressive, it’s also a great way to make your home more green and efficient. On average, smart home automation can save you 50 percent on your current energy costs. Here are some of the money-saving and environmentally friendly aspects of smart home automation.

Read more: http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/product/directory/126439-4-eco-friendly-benefits-of-smart-home-automation.html

The history of home automation from the beginning

The concept of home automation has been around for a long time but the technology just wasn't there. Many science-fiction writers included it in stories, Ray Bradbury famously among them.

As for the remote control, you'll really need to set your time machine to "way back" mode -- think about the famous electrical genius Nikola Tesla, who first created one to control a toy boat. That was in 1898, in the days he was competing with Edison to figure these things out.

There were many more advances after that, but things moved slowly. Technology had to catch up to ideas and the phrase Smart Home finally came around in 1984, ironically enough (the year, not the book).

Read more: http://betanews.com/2015/08/24/the-history-of-home-automation-from-the-beginning/

Here’s the right way to set up your smart home

The first step in making your home smart requires automation. Put simply, it is a set of rules adhered to by your smart home devices. (Here’s a list of some of the best smart home devices out there.) Automated curtains that come up in the morning, lights that turn on when you enter a room, or a pet feeder that dispenses treats when the bowl is empty are all examples of home automation systems at work. If done right, they can make life easier and more convenient. If they don’t, you’d be better off flipping the switches yourself.

When people try to build a home automation system, this is usually the first mistake they make. They start buying their home devices one by one — smart light bulbs, digital door locks, open door sensors and everything else they think would be cool or useful. The problem is that this upgrade usually happens over the course of several months or even years, meaning that devices are bought separately. More often than not, they’re made by different manufacturers and communicate using different protocols. (Here’s a good guide to home automation protocols.) And that means there is a different control scheme for every device as well as multiple control apps, resulting in the inability for the devices to interact with one another. You end up with a home that’s neither smart nor connected.

Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-the-right-way-to-set-up-your-smart-home-2015-09-15