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10. 13. 2006

Home automation is cheap and useful


Peter Wayner from the New York Times ran a great story chronicling Mr. Rich Bowen's love affair with home automation systems. The article is a solid introduction to the basic technologies and companies that enable wiring your house up for a control scheme, and its a lot easier than you may think.

The basic premise of a fully controlled home is to have every piece of electrical gear in the house attached to a computerized control system for remote or automatic management. The draw is the modern convenience of the "command center" lifestyle where security cameras can be viewed as a picture-in-picture screen while playing video games and the status of the sprinklers is checked with a phone call. Older rigs could only turn the lights and coffee pot on at a preset time, but new systems can be configured to activate any piece of the house on command via text message, phone call, or email.

What discussion of home automation would be complete without mentioning X10? Five years ago the company began serving a massive pop*.* ad campaign on thousands of popular websites. For almost two years their marketing plan ruled the internet, and annoyed millions. The ads gained much notoriety for their creepy innuendo using half naked women to advertise spy cameras. In recent years X10 has cleaned up their act to concentrate on home control systems so I think that we can finally forgive them for being jerks.

Posted by Johnny    Category: home
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