AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 407 Post(s)
Some people look at a motion sensor and ask why. Other men look at a motion sensor and ask, why not?
But anyhoo, I think that the real benefits of automation are not the sort of things that the company is offering you, necessarily, though those things are certainly going to be useful for some folks. Some of the other benefits of a well done automation solution are:
1. Integration. Yeh, popping up a security camera is a form of integration, but not much of one. To me it's more things like making a home theater completely trivial to operate reliably for non-technical family members or friends, or tying sprinklers to ground wetness in a smart way, or providing access to your media from anywhere in the home in a very nice, browseable sort of way and automatically switching things depending on location and source, speaking important information over your multi-zone audio system (weather alerts, someone at the door, excessive temperature changes, scheduled activities, and so forth), sending you an e-mail if some particular set of circumstances occur that you would consider bad, etc...
2. One stop shopping for control the home, control of media, access to external information such as weather, traffic cameras, weather maps, lights, HVAC, security, etc... all from one integrated interface.
3. The ability to track energy usage and do things in response, e.g. close blinds, adjust set points based on occupancy, warn you of usage, provide graphs of usage, etc...
4. Yeh, control and monitoring of the home when are away is also a nice benefit for some folks. It sort of comes for free once you have an automation system in place, so might as well make use of it.
5. Doing things for you on a schedule or in response to events occurring, e.g. turn porch or driveway lights on and off at the apporpriate times so you don't have to worry about leaving them on, or turn them on when someone comes up to the door and turn them back off after a length of time, pool cleaners, sprinklers, drippers, greenhouse equipment, cameras to record on motion when certain circumstances are true wrt to security and time of day, power up the theater when you enter it, issue a voice warning on motion when security system is armed in a given area.
There are lots of ways to put them to use that are very convenient, entertaining, or useful. It depends on your bucks and imagination. The problem with an installation company of course is that it's difficult to provide solutions that provide these sorts of features in a way that doesn't require significant customization per customer, which means more bucks. So it's more practical for them to probably set up a standard set of features that they can deploy similarly in every case and try to sell that to one strata of the market, and the highly customized version to the well heeled customers.