One of the key features of modern home automation systems is the way we control them. The popularity of smartphones has paved the way for mobile devices (and more specifically – mobile apps) to provide the perfect platform to control our homes from. Gone are the days of needing a bulky desktop computer to do this job – now our palm sized cell phones have the power and usability to enable us to have convenient and on demand control over how our homes are run.
Can Home Automation Actually Save You Money?
There is no doubt about it – home automation is fun. It is also pretty convenient. But can it actually save you money? The energy efficiency element of the home automation can certainly help you save energy and although the standard thermostats in your home will effectively do the same job, it is the instant nature of home automation that can really help drive costs down – add to this the simplicity and ease at which you can control temperatures and monitor for water leaks and you will soon start to see how the potential savings can stack up.
How Alarm Systems Have Evolved
Most of us will know of older generations who commonly use phrases such as ‘we never used to have to lock our doors back in our day’, and it is certainly true that security was far less of an issue in the early twentieth century than it is today – but then there were perhaps other things to worry about!
Post World War 1 was when the onset of crime and particularly burglaries really started to increase. An increased awareness amongst American citizens led to an increased demand for home security systems with basic alarm systems being the highest in demand. There was also a programme that went by the name of ‘door shakers’ that meant people who subscribed to the programme would have their door checked each night to ensure it was locked. However, even back in the 1940’s, the more advanced home alarm systems would raise an audible alarm through the use of a battery and a bell and a series of electromagnets attached to doors and windows to raise an alarm should there be an intruder.
By the 1970’s we saw the introduction of video surveillance systems but nothing like the unobtrusive systems that we might have today.
Quite the contrary.
The video alarm systems in the 1970’s and 1980’s consisted of very bulky motorized cameras that sent a live signal to a video monitor (usually located in the home) but the images were generally lacking in quality and were not recorded.
The term ‘smart home’ was originally coined in 1984 (which just so happens to coincide with the aptly titled book about video surveillance) but it wasn’t until the mid 1990’s when Garentechnology was introduced in homes of the elderly that we really saw smart home automation that even slightly resembles what we know of today.
By the turn of the millennium the term ‘domotics’ had been created to mean the connection of domestic appliances to robots and computers but a lack of investment and a high cost of research meant that this never really took off.
In 1998, the UK led the way with home automation and introduced the first smart home that had fully automated heating, security, lighting, door and garden systems. This home, owned by a cell phone company, led the way for further research and crucially showed that there would be a demand for such innovation in domestic property.
The advent of mobile internet, being connected everywhere and the technological advances with smartphones (that are effectively mini computers) means that the platform is now set for home automation systems to move to the next level. Many people would argue that we are already there – after all, not so long ago we would never have imagined that we might be able to talk to a system and tell our lights to dim – and they actually do it. In fact, 22 years ago, Amazon had only just been founded – now we talk about Amazon Echo and most of us know exactly what it does!
Home Security Cameras in Today’s World
In George Orwell’s novel 1984 (written in 1949) the idea of omnipresent government surveillance is a principle theme. The technology did not exist, but perhaps this brilliant piece of dystopian literature started to light the imaginations of the world’s greatest minds who went on to create the home security cameras in today’s world.
Gone are the obtrusive, low quality cameras of even decades after Orwell’s masterpiece. Now there are so many options to choose from that it is almost an embarrassment of riches – with the exception that you don’t need to be rich to own a home security camera.
Remember, homes that do not have a security system in place carry a 300% higher risk than homes that do. So purchasing a home security camera is a sound investment to make and one that is easier than ever to do.
To take an in depth look at some of the top home surveillance cameras on the market today, we thought we would focus on Vivint – our favoured smart home automation provider.
Vivint Ping Camera
This discreet device allows you to place it anywhere in your home so you can check in at any time and from anywhere you have an internet connection. The high quality camera can be viewed in real time and can also provide smart clips (20 seconds of footage) for up to the last 45 days. If it’s dark then that’s no bother either – the night vision mode will enable you to check in no matter what time zone you are in and at a time that is convenient to you.
Vivint Doorbell Camera™
Possibly the least obtrusive camera that money can buy. This camera sits in the doorbell and is hardly noticeable except for the luxury finish. The device that provides super high quality video will even detect when someone approaches your front door and stream the footage straight to your phone.
The camera is a wide angle 180 degrees and is perfectly clear whether it is day or night with it’s built in night vision. It has a built in microphone and speaker so you can interact and speak back and forth using the microphone on your mobile phone – this is a seriously beautiful piece of kit and as well as deterring unwanted visitors it will create a seriously good first impression for the visitors you do want.
Vivint Outdoor Camera
The outdoor camera is the classic. It is the one that really sends out a statement to a potential burglar. Big enough to see but small enough to be unobtrusive or impact negatively on the exterior design of your home, the outdoor camera is the ultimate in home security and burglary prevention.
The Vivint Outdoor Camera provides full high definition video footage and can again be viewed live or viewed via the on demand 20 second smart clips. One of the best features of this outdoor camera is the motion detection that alerts you via an update on your mobile phone if motion is detected.
You can record 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if required and then go back and view the entire history if required. Night vision means that no matter what time of day you have a potential problem, every moment will be captured on the device.
The Vivint System
The Vivint home automation and security system is right up there with the best and you can tailor your system to your exact requirements. From smart phone app to every type of camera you could possibly need, you will not be left wanting with Vivint. Vivint SkyControl™ is installed in your home is the final piece of a complete system that really sets a new standard in home automation and security.