Smart Home expands to yard

In Southern California, where the drought continues and water supplies are shrinking, such tech-friendly systems could be crucial to conserving enough water for a growing population. .

"We live in a modified desert," said Witting, a fish biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Long Beach. "Yet I often see sprinklers running in the rain. It drives me crazy. Water is not something we should take for granted."

Witting's system, designed and manufactured by Blossom, an Irvine firm, is one of the latest inventions in the exploding universe of home automation. In the connected home, heating, air conditioning, lighting, alarm systems and appliances can be remotely controlled through software.

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