Through a web browser or a smart phone, you can water your plants or monitor your house through the security cameras even when you are not home. While this is more costly than a home automation system within the confines of the home, it definitely is very convenient. It saves you the trouble of having to tell your neighbor to check on your plants every other day or feed your pet or air the home when out on a trip.
How does it work?
For every home automation system, a server is required which generates commands for the different devices around the house. The PC is the most flexible device you have on hand to control the system. Since the PC also has access to a web server, the PC acts as a point where you can bring both internet and home automation systems to create unique home technology.
For this you will need software which has a web interface. Some of the options are Homeseer and Home Control Assistant. These software solutions require a broadband connection.
The extent to which devices in a smart home can be controlled via the internet is amazing. Below is the list of automation systems installed at your place that you can control and give commands to on-the-go.
- Monitor cameras: You can monitor multiple cameras around your house from a PC or PDA anywhere around the world.
- Receive alerts: Your tech home will generate alerts via phone messages and email based on motion sensed around the house if no one is supposed to be home. Water (e.g. in case of basement leak) and temperature will also generate alerts.
- Control thermostats, lighting and home theatre via internet at your smart home.
- Secure the home: Now you can automate and control doors, blinds, drapes and windows even when sitting miles away from home. This creates the feeling of occupancy at home. Remember how Kevin in Home Alone used to fool the robbers by playing the television in a loud volume and switching on lights around the house? You do not have to go through that trouble if you get the home automation system linked to internet! Lights can be turned on at sunset at your electronic home, for safety.
- Connect the intercoms through Wi-Fi to your PDA.
- Listen to voicemail: From your PDA or PC, you can access any screen on the home network or any web browser which allows listening to your voicemail.