Tagged With home automation

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I'm looking at various home automation and smart home solutions at the moment, experimenting with what works and doesn't work so well in my home. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been playing with some weather sensing gadgets; the Netatmo Weather Station and Elgato Eve indoor and outdoor sensors.

I have to be honest - I like the idea of these and can see how the data they produce can be useful. But I'm still some time away from being able use them for automating anything. However, let's look at what these devices can do and how I might be able to use them.

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For most of us, the journey down home automation starts with one of the simplest things we can add some tech to - lighting. But, for the most part, lighting is pretty boring, Push the globe in, install an app, connect it to your network and you're done. But the Nanoleaf Aurora is a little different. It's an array of triangular LED panels that you can assemble into different shapes so you can add a little bit of artistry to your illumination.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Over the coming weeks I'm going to be looking at a bunch of different home automation gear. I have several goals in this journey covering making things easier to use, energy saving and home security. But I can already see some challenges along with all those opportunities.

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Belkin's WeMo is a pretty decent set of home automation kit that covers light bulbs, switches, cameras, motion sensors and energy monitoring gear. It is possible to get it to play nicely with other equipment if you're prepared to tinker with IFTTT but the company has finally released a new device, the WeMo Bridge, that lets you link various WeMo devices to Apple's HomeKit ecosystem.

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I'm about to move house and one of the things I want to do is invest in some serious home automation. Not just remote switching - that's easy. I want real automation where I can press a button or say a command like "Goodnight" and all the lights tun off and curtains close. The trouble is systems like this, while available, have been quite expensive and tricky to install in older properties. And renters are pretty much left out of many home automation options. But the B-One Hub wants to change that. It's a multi-radio device that acts as a universal translator that can deal with thousands of different end-point devices.

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Getting started in the world of home automation may seem daunting, but it’s actually fairly simple. Depending on your goals, it can also be quite affordable, and even save you money over time. A smart home isn’t just some automatic lights either - there are loads of options to make day to day life that little bit easier.

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It doesn't have a final name yet, but iiNet is planning to replace its well-regarded BoB modem/router with a new NBN-friendly design later this year. iiNet is also looking into introducing ZigBee-based home automation services.

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Keeping your house cool (or warm) is often all about timing. To that end, you sometimes need to tweak when your blinds are open, when they're closed, and when the air conditioner is running. If you want to set all those things on a schedule, DIYer Chris Rieger shows how he used a Raspberry Pi to automate his blinds and air conditioner.