Editor’s Note: The following has been excerpted from the author’s white paper, Total Home Control: A Multi-Application Approach.
Friday begins early at 6 am in the residence of Don and Barbara Jones, with the soft music of James Taylor coming from their iHome alarm clock application on a nearby iPod touch. Don reaches over to turn off the alarm—and at the same time opens the Lutron app to draw back the motorized curtains in the bedroom and turn on the bathroom lights. As he gets ready for work, he turns on the iPad stationed by the bathroom sink, launches the TiVo app that streams live TV news, weather, stock, and traffic info.
Barbara wakes and goes toward kitchen to make coffee. She pauses to open the Sonos wireless music app on the iPod mounted in the kitchen cradle, to play smooth jazz through the ceiling speakers. She loves the premium Sky.FM Internet streaming service – it’s always on at the touch of a button and never plays advertisements.
She goes to the family room where she starts her morning workout, using a DVD video from Jillian Michaels. She picks up the iPad in the family room and launches the Roomie Remote app to turn on the TV, the receiver and the DVD player—all with the touch of a single button labeled “Play DVD.” She adjusts the volume up of the workout DVD with the volume button located on the side of the iPad.
Did I Close that Door?
As Don leaves his home to go to work, he can’t remember whether he closed the garage door, so he reaches for his smartphone and launches the LiftMaster app that shows him that the garage door was still left open. He taps the garage door icon and the door closes. Back at home, Barbara completes her workout and opens another app on the family-room iPad to turn on the home’s hot water recirculating pump, so when she starts her shower she will have immediate hot water. Barbara loves this application, as it saves both cold water from being wasted and the energy to keep reheating water.
As Barbara drives off to attend a school board meeting, she realizes that she forgot to set the home’s security alarm. She reaches for her smartphone and launches the Alarm.com application to set the house alarm. In her rush to leave she also left the home heating system on, so she launches the Nest thermostat application and reduces the temperature of the home from 72 degrees to 50.
Don is now in the office, and after his morning staff meeting he gets a ring on his iPhone that someone is at his home’s front door. He launches the Mobotix app on his phone and sees his neighbor Tom, who says their dog escaped and wants to know if he should keep the dog at his house. No need for that. Don simply disables the home alarm security system and opens up the home front door with the Mobotix door lock app so Tom can put their dog back in the home. Impressed, Don’s neighbor asks him to give him the phone number of the custom installation company that provided these features – he wants to add them into his own home!
After Barbara’s board meeting, she goes to lunch at her favorite delicatessen. She has an hour before her next afternoon meeting, and she opens up her iPad to launch the TiVo application that recorded and stored the previous evening’s broadcast of 60 Minutes. The iPad has not only become her main home control tablet, but now serves to deliver her TV, music and movie entertainment when she is on the road.
Smart Home R&R
Don is on the way home from a difficult week at work and is ready to soak away the stress of the work week in the backyard hot tub. To conserve energy, the hot tub has been turned off during the day, but on his way home he turns on the Jandy hot tub control app from his phone so the hot tub is heated by the time he arrives. Also, on his commute home he remembers to turn up the Nest thermostat so that the home is comfortable upon his arrival.
Barbara is also heading back home after a day full of meetings, and when she pulls into the driveway she notices that the front lawn looks dry. Normally the programmed sprinkler system automatically waters the lawn, but the last few days have been warmer than normal. Barbara launches the cyberRain irrigation app from her iPhone and selects the front lawn watering zone to manually turn on for the next 45 minutes. In anticipation of guests arriving, she opens up the Lutron app to turn on the front and backyard landscaping lights and the PianoDisc app to softly play the piano in the home’s entryway.
It’s 7:30, and Don and Barbara’s friends have arrived to join them for a backyard barbecue. Don picks up his iPod to open up the Sonos application and stream his favorite Pandora music station to the backyard. The San Francisco 49ers are playing an evening game and their guests are interested in seeing the game, so Don mutes the Pandora music from his iPad and launches the TiVo app to stream the football game to the iPad. When they are all about to sit down for dinner, Don pauses the live TV stream on his iPad and they can watch the rest of the football game after dinner from the TiVo connected to the family room TV.
Note: For a more detailed look at the Internet of Things approach in the home and how they are controlled by multiple “Best of Breed” applications, please download the author’s white paper.
About the Author
Gordon van Zuiden is the founder and president of cyberManor, a full service home technology integrator headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley and one of the nation’s first custom electronic integrators to focus on IP based technologies for the home. Mr. van Zuiden has completed his third term with CEDIA’s Board of Directors (CEDIA represents the Custom Electronic Design and Installation trade) and has served for three years as the co-Dean of CEDIA's Electronic Systems Design Track, developed the certified CEDIA ESD course on Digital Home Electronic Solutions and has consulted on the development of COMPTIA’s HTI+ Network Certification program.