Home Automation

Home automation experts have heard the message loud and clear: simplify, simplify, simplify.

As exciting as the ultimate smart home may seem, end users want control of their home automation devices. Many homeowners have thought about their priorities before they talk to dealers—they want their home technology working for them, not vice versa.

Rob Puric, director of the connected home division at Honeywell, based in Morristown, N.J., said his company’s research produced feedback from end users such as, “Help me save money” and “This feature gives me joy, comfort … I just want connectedness” as well as simplicity, quality and control.

For example, Puric said, people “want a second keypad as a backup. They want something to reach for in the middle of the night in the master bedroom.” At Icontrol Networks, based in Redwood City, Calif., Greg Roberts, VP of marketing, said the company’s state-of-home-automation report taught his team valuable lessons.

“The key thing from the report is that the smart home has to address common, daily needs of consumers in their home,” Roberts said. “The fun and cool technologies, the bells and whistles—they are not going to drive the mass market for the consumer home. The questions consumers are asking are, ‘What can address my daily life? What can help me manage my home and family?’ ”

Standard home automation features in 2015 generally refer to integrated devices that control lighting, thermostats, geo-fencing technology, video cameras, entertainment technologies, house door locks and garage door access.

Home Burglary Tips

One of the easiest crimes to prevent — burglary — is also one of the most common. Somewhere in the U.S. there’s a burglary committed every 15 seconds. If it happens at your home, you lose more than a few possessions. A break-in, even when you’re not there, has a major impact on your and your family’s sense of safety and well-being.

But burglaries don’t have to happen. There are a lot of things you can do to boost home security and make your house burglary-resistant. Here are tips you can use to help you keep your family safe and your home and its contents intact.

Anti-Burglary Tip No. 1: Don’t Advertise You’re Away

The first thing a burglar looks for when choosing a house for a break-in is one with no one in it. If you make your house look occupied when you’re gone, most burglars will simply pass it by. Here are some ways to do that.

+ Use automatic light timers throughout the house and have them turn on and off in a way that simulates your normal patterns. Look for light timers that have battery backup so the timer doesn’t stop if there is a power failure. Using timers that have more than one on-off cycle can create the illusion of movement from room to room.

+ The same kind of timers you use on lights can also be used to turn radios or TVs on and off.

+ Consider using timed automatic drape and curtain openers. Drapes that are always closed or always open suggest no one is home.

+ Turn the volume of your phone’s ringer down so someone outside can’t hear them ring.

+ If you can, have your calls forwarded while you’re away. Burglars sometimes call to see if anyone’s home before a break-in.

+ Arrange to have your lawn cut or snow removed from your walks if you’re going to be gone for a long period.

+ Instead of stopping your mail and newspaper delivery, ask a neighbor to pick them up and hold them for you. Seeing deliveries being made makes a burglar think someone is at home.

+ Ask a neighbor to use your trash can from time to time and to put it out at the curb and bring it back on trash day.

+ Always park your car in the garage with the garage door closed when you are there. That way someone watching for patterns won’t know your car isn’t there when you’re gone.

+ In the interest of home security, never leave notes on the door. They just say to a burglar, “Come on in.”


Great Security – 7 Things

The Best Home Security System Includes These 7 Things:

1. Wireless and Portable

The best home security systems are wireless and portable. That’s right, gone are the days of unsightly wires and fixed systems. The new generation of home security systems are sleek plug-and-play WiFi cameras and motion sensors.

You likely already have wireless internet at home so it makes sense to leverage that for your home security as it opens up a lot of cool features. Plus, moving your home security from house to house has never been easier!

2. Smartphone and Web App Integration

The best home security systems come with a smartphone and web app allowing to you monitor your home from the palm of your hand. With gadgets becoming more sophisticated and powerful, home security will continue to leverage new web and smartphone capability opening up a range of exciting features. *That’s our app in the image above 🙂

3. Location Awareness

The best home security systems leverage location awareness. Forget keypads that require you to enter a code every time you leave and come home. Now we have geo location photo tags on your iPhone, allowing home security systems to arm and disarm your home alarm. A security system shouldn’t be something you have to manage daily, it should just work in the background.

4. Stored In The Cloud

The best security systems use protected cloud storage. Similar to your email and online files, your data is accessible from multiple devices and is protected even if your hardware gets damaged. With automatic synchronizing and back up solutions tech savvy security companies are leaving local storage behind and opting in. You’ll want in too.

5. Good User Experience

The best security systems are easy to use, plain and simple. UX has become an integral part of our expectations. Modern companies know that packing a product full of functionality is no longer enough. A clean simple interface with easy to understand language is now a requirement. This applies not only to home security but to most digital products on the market today.

6. Easy to setup

The best home security solutions are easy to setup and don’t require a professional (which saves you a lot of money). Today, there are plug-and-play security systems that allow you to get setup in minutes. For example, with IP cameras, there is no drilling holes in walls, or scaling roofs, you simply plug into power and sync the camera with your home internet.

7. Human Touch

With all this technology developing at a rapid pace, its easy to forget what makes a product personal. The best home security systems leverage the best of both worlds by using technology to automate time consuming task but providing a human touch where needed such as customer service.