What is Home Automation?
Home automation is about having systems to automate tasks or manage an aspect of your environment. It's also about freeing up your time increasing the scope of what you can do. Sometimes making something easy encourages that task and in the case of turning off lights or appliances this can prevent a lot of waste.
It's also about making a fun place to live in.
So what we want from home automation is to direct or lightly manage a series of technological events to create a valuable (or fun!) effect while reducing our time and trouble getting it.
For example watching sky could be achieved by say pressing 3 remotes to turn on a TV, select the correct input, switch on the Sky, then the amp to the correct input and then we navigate. That's perfectly doable (It would be one button with a iPad control system) whereas turning off all of the lights in a large multi-story house might be such hard work that you rarely do it.
And if you look to the future, there will be more and different technologies each with their quirks coming to prominence. A good home control system will assimilate these and present a familiar easy to use interface.
Ease and Luxury.
A great home automation system can bring a fantastic sense of luxury to your daily enjoyment of your home, with many aspects of your environment being controllable at a touch from wherever you are. There are other advantages to ease of use which are also important;
A good control system will enable your guests and all of the family to control the AV system and environment with clarity and ease. We get used to the quirks of our homes, but guests often get lost in them. A clear control system allows everyone to experience your home as you would like them to.
In a large or complex audio-video system the simplification that a home control system provides, enables you to do more. 10 or more different video sources or services are possible with a home control system, since it is a matter of pressing a single button for each and then using the displayed controls to manipulate that device, but if you are using remotes and apps it is very impractical. A control system extends your capacities for action and choice.
A control system can easily and repeatedly create a scene within your home; with lighting , blinds and music, it can repeatably change a room from, say, a busy living area to a party dancefloor or, perhaps, mellow nooks for reading.
If it's easy to save energy them you probably will. A home control system can allow you to easily turn off all lights,TVs and non essential appliances at bedtime or while on holiday.
Examples of automation
Hide all of the technology away, but when required, a TV slides up from the base of the bed or tilts down from the ceiling.
While you are still in bed, your iPad rings. When someone is at the gate, you have a quick video chat with them and open the gate.
A Halloween party
Let's have all of the rooms following the same music apart from the bedrooms. All TVs in these rooms should be showing a scary and slightly corny movie.
Press your name for your personal temperatures and whirlpool effects.
Press "Film" to dim the light, close the blinds, lower the projector from the ceiling, drop the projection screen, turn the projector on, switch the amp on, and select to the correct input and volume level on the preamp, select the media server, present the control app.
A multi-room audio system
Allow music to be selected and "follow" a person from room to room.
An intercom with entry control from any room
iPads on the walls allow you to have a video chat with someone in the kitchen, or look at, chat with and open a door for someone outside.
Simple TV area.
Press DVD. The TV turns on then selects the correct input, the curtains close, the amp switches on. The correct input and volume level on the preamp are selected, then DVD controls appear for you.
Check up on your house while away
Monitor your security system and CCTV cameras around your home from any iPad, or remotely while on holiday.
Have your house act as if someone is in while you are away, turning lights and TVs on and off, as if you were at home.
Some of the things we integrate
Lights, heating, security, blinds, cinemas, fridges, controlling your home on holiday, iPad intercoms in every room, jacuzzis, remote doors, motorised hidden stairs, disco lights, CCTV, music everywhere, pool control, moving acoustic panels, active theatre seats, saunas, pop up bedside TVs, lifts, shutters, playrooms, 4K cinemas, hidden cinemas, bathroom surround sound cinemas, secret dens.