As a technologist, futurist, mHealth advocate, and past Home Systems consultant, I’m a fan of embedded technologies that make products smarter and easier to use, especially those that improve healthcare, but I side with “Smart Home” skeptics and add my own comments after this press release. – Wayne Caswell, mHealthTalk editor
The Future of Smart Systems
By 2020, experts think tech-enhanced homes, appliances, and utilities will spread, but many of the analysts believe we still won’t likely be living in the long-envisioned ‘Homes of the Future’
June 29, 2012 — Hundreds of tech analysts foresee a future with “smart” devices and environments that make people’s lives more efficient.
But they also note that current evidence about the uptake of smart systems is that the costs and necessary infrastructure changes to make it all work are daunting. And they add that people find comfort in the familiar, simple, “dumb” systems to which they are accustomed.
Some 1,021 Internet experts, researchers, observers, and critics were asked about the “home of the future” in an online, opt-in survey. The result was a fairly even split between those who agreed that energy- and money-saving “smart systems” will be significantly closer to reality in people’s homes by 2020 and those who said such homes will still remain a marketing mirage. Read the rest of this entry »
This article features comments I posted on a James Holloway article about Smart Homes of Tomorrow, where automation is based on sensors and learned intelligence that encompasses any device providing automatic control of home functions. Systems most likely to be automated are: lights, thermostats & home appliances; television, video & music systems; security alarms & monitoring systems; and home health care monitors, alarms & communication devices.
My perspectives aren’t too far from what Mr. Holloway wrote about. They came from introducing IBM to the Smart Home market in 1994, helping it launch IBM Home Director, and retiring in 1999 to start CAZITech, a Digital Home consulting firm.
It’s time for bed, but did you lock the door? You can see who’s at the front door on your smartphone with a video intercom, but can you unlock the door to let them in without getting out of bed, out of the comfy chair, or off of the sofa? Those two of many other scenarios where remote access to an electronic door lock would be convenient.
The cost and simplicity of installing remote door locks is coming down, but this project is still more expensive and costly than simple lighting controls. Still I post this article with a video and press release of HAI control of Kwikset ZigBee wireless door locks. Read the rest of this entry »
To unlock the door of my wife’s 9-year-old Lexus, I can insert and turn the key OR just press a button on the wireless key fob, but I still need to get the key out of my pocket. I don’t even need to take the key out to unlock or start my newer Infinity because it uses near field communication. I just push a button on the door to get in and turn the ignition to start.
Wouldn’t it be nice to enter the home the same way? As shown in the photo, I still use a key, but many keyless door locks are available. Each has advantages for certain situations, so which option would you prefer? Here are some ideas, but we’d like to hear from you, so leave a reply below.
More and more companies are getting into the Home Healthcare market with products and services. Some, like Intel-GE Care Innovations, are large. Others, like ActiveCare, are small. And some will succeed while others, like Google will fail or leave the market.
I noticed in the press release below that ActiveCare is using the same ActiveHome software and X10-based sensors that I’ve used in my own automated home(s) for years as a Digital Home consultant. X10 is a mature networking protocol that communicates over radio signals or 110V power lines. It’s not the latest technology, but it’s cheap and works, usually.
With Launch of New ActiveHome Monitoring System, ActiveCare Opens Its CareCenter and Showroom to the Public
SALT LAKE CITY, June 27, 2011 — /PRNewswire/ — ActiveCare, Inc. (ACAR.OB) a leader in senior care technology, today announced the opening of its CareCenter and showroom to the public. Moving into its new state-of-the-art home earlier this year, the CareCenter operates 24/7/365 monitoring the health and well being of its members. Read the rest of this entry »
Digital Smart Homes, including some of the same sensor and networking technologies that we promote for home health care, have long been associated with large and expensive new homes with custom installation. It’s a market that has languished as a niche for over 40 years now and has never managed to find its way to mainstream consumers. Why?
Someone asked that question in a forum I monitor, and I had to add my two cents, which I include here for perspective.
Contrast the Digital Smart Home with a modern car. When you buy a new car, it comes with everything included and already integrated to work together. There are many things you DON’T have to buy separately and install yourself, including tires, air conditioning, radio, CD-player, navigation, antilock brakes, towing package, etc.
Fire sprinkler systems have long been required in commercial buildings, apartments, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, and the most recent version of the International Building Code (IRC 2009) requires automated file sprinkler systems in new homes too. That’s great news, except home builders have been fighting in State legislatures to prevent adoption of the new rules.
Here are highlights of a webpage that I put together for Homeowners of Texas when I was the Communications Director of this nonprofit consumer advocacy group.
Reportlinker Adds The Future of Home Automation
NEW YORK, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:
The Future of Home Automation [mHealthTalk comments and emphasis added]
This [$2,875] report examines how consumers and governments are creating a booming market for “smart home” devices. It analyzes the companies, technologies, and products behind automation in energy, entertainment, home security and health care. It details pilot projects, product costs, industry trends, business alliances, and the new and emerging technologies that are shaping the future of the market.
The Electronic House Expo is a trade show produced by CE Pro magazine for the custom electronics business. Home Healthcare, Home Automation and Home Entertainment were just some of the applications demonstrated this year at EHX 2011 in Orlando. The following video shows highlights of the show.