Is Your “Home Automation” Automating You?

Published: May 20, 2015 at 08:02 UTC
Benefits of Home Automation

The Internet of Things (IoT) has gradually seeped into public awareness long after it was implemented by many of the multinational corporations without the rest of us knowing about it. If you are over the age of 25, you may be unfamiliar with exactly what that term means in relation to your personal life and home automation functions.

In order to have various items, such as lights and thermostats, operate from one hub, these systems must have integrated computer programming directions. This means that they must be able to talk back and forth to each other.

This, also, means that the individual items and devices to tell them what to do must have a tracking system in order to issue these instructions. Nearly all “IoTs” have these tracking mechanisms integrated into their operation and most of us are unaware that this is the case.

Smarthome devices work from a central hub that allows you to call in the changes you wish to be made.

For example, the tracking system installed on cell phones is necessary in order for you to be able to turn the lights on in your home from your office desk, turn the oven or microwave on while you are sitting in traffic or turn the thermostat up or down while you are at the grocery store.

For the Geeks in US

Most cars that have been sold in the U.S. since 2010 have some automated functionality such as smart keys that open your locked vehicle, turn the car on to warm it up in the winter or cool it off in the summer and brake when you are approaching a stopped vehicle. The driverless car is on the design block as we speak with several major auto manufacturers.

There are automated cleaning bots that will sweep your floor, clean your rug and shovel your snow.  There are automated cleaning bots that will sweep your floor, clean your rug and shovel your snow.

If you need a bot to carry your luggage at the airport or your groceries into the house, there is the Budgee automated robot and Cargonaut the drone that carries luggage to the plane.

This could save immense amounts of time and aggravation as well as prevent baggage handlers from stealing your jewelry or other valuables that you packed in your suitcase.

For those who are computer savvy and are willing to risk having all their information logged in some big data bank, the tracking algorithms and leakage that occurs between them are not really that big a deal. It’s a matter of whether or not the rewards outweigh the risks.  For those who are trying to catch up with the latest and greatest in home automation, some of the facts about the potential dangers inherent in the programming for items to communicate with each other may be frightening.

 Home Automation Is a Good Thing

The truth is that while there are “holes” in the transmission linkages, the “potential” for a hacker to get into your particular home security system is extremely remote and those who are explaining the data leaks to you are in the scare-mongering business if they do not tell you how remote the possibility really is.

That does not mean that it is impossible.

 We know that the greatest number of burglars are between the ages of 23 -35. This means that they have some experience with using computers, smartphones and other electronic equipment – most often Xbox 360.

We know that they have a minimal education and very few “marketable” skills.

Knowing all that, how many burglars would you expect to have IT coding skills and decide to break into homes, stealing sellable items and make about $300 instead of $1500 a week?

There may be one or two in the entire country, but it is unlikely that there are a slew of them haunting your internet system.

The Value of Home Automation

First Alert came out with the device at left called “Tracker”. This is one that you might really want to invest in since it can operate from the hub of your security system and notify your emergency contact numbers when it leaves a particular parameter.

First Alert touts its use as a device that when hung on a child’s coat, in a backpack or on their shoes will let you know where they are and if they are leaving the yard unattended or have wandered too far away in the park and show you where they are.

It also works to hand on pets’ collars.

But, it would work equally as well if you placed it inside your car at night, attached it to your game box at home or put it on the arm of a patient with Alzheimer’s.

Home automation is much more than just a convenience. It provides safer conditions for everyone.

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