Would you agree that we live in a fast-paced world that moves more quickly than anything our parents or grandparents experienced? If so, here is another question: is the fast-paced nature of modern life such that you find it difficult to give any real thought to home security or efficiency? Welcome to the modern world.
Technology has given us the ability to do so much more with less. But it has also made us busier. Since global communications are now nearly instantaneous, for example, all of us are expected to make better use of our resources to produce more work. And that's just one area of our lives. Most of us are constantly on the go between work, social obligations, medical appointments, and taking care of the kids. We do not have the time to think about ways we could be more secure and efficient at home.
Fortunately, there are solutions – including DIY home automation and security systems. With a very reasonable investment of money and time, the average American homeowner can create a safer and more efficient home that will only improve in the future.
Wireless Home Security
When home security was first introduced back in the 1970s, it was based on hardwired systems that required access to a home's electrical system and landline telephone. Because of the construction involved, security systems were largely the domain of wealthier individuals and new home construction. More than 40 years later, wireless technology has turned everything upside down.
The modern wireless system can be installed without any construction required. It relies on lithium-ion batteries, wi-fi networks and cellular signals to provide the same kind of protection against burglary, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning that a hardwired system provides. Best of all, anyone capable of setting up a home wi-fi network can install a DIY security system.
Another advantage of today's wireless systems is that they can be either self-monitored or monitored by professionals. With either option, a home is watched 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Wireless Home Automation
Home automation technologies have been around for a while now. Still, the home automation industry is currently enjoying a surge thanks to wireless technology. Consumers are being introduced to the concept through wireless home security that can be enhanced by home automation features for greater home efficiency.
Wireless home automation uses the same wi-fi networks and cellular signals to do what it does. Once a system is programmed, it can do everything from turning lights on and off to controlling the thermostat. Home automation can be used to control window blinds, exterior lighting, home audio and video systems, and even appliances.
Imagine being able to program a system so that exterior lighting always turns on (after dark) when you are within two miles from home. It is now possible. You never have to return to a dark house again. And that's just one example of what home automation can do.
The Future Is Now
For decades, we have been dreaming of the day when our homes are both secure and able to essentially run themselves. Well, the future is now. Wireless home security and automation technology still have a long way to go before we can say we have mastered it, but it is far enough along that we can now do things that were never possible before.
The smart home of 2016 will get smarter in 2017 and beyond. As designers and engineers come up with new ways of using technology to make us safer and more efficient, our homes and lives will be transformed.
With the home automation industry expected to produce record revenues between now and the end of the decade, millions of American homes will be introduced to smart home automation technology in the very near future. Some industry statistics suggest that more than three-quarters of American homeowners already use some form of home automation or have plans to do so within the next 12 months, so it's likely that there will be a lot of home automation beginners just getting their feet wet over the next 3 to 5 years.
Getting started in home automation does not have to be complicated. Rather, starting with a few basic devices that are easy to program is a good way to introduce oneself to some amazing technology that will one day revolutionize the way we live. Below are three devices every smart home beginner would do well to start with. You can find these devices online through dozens of retailers and home automation specialists, such as Uxari.com, for example.
Programmable Lighting Controller
Today's smart home can have completely automated lighting without having to cut into walls and rewire fixtures. Thanks to wireless smart home technology, individual fixtures can be fitted with wireless controllers all tied together through a central hub through which they can be programmed. The programmable lighting control then keeps track of all the fixtures and turns them on or off. With the right bulbs, lighting can also be dimmed or raised.
The programmable lighting control is one of the best places to start for people who are new to home automation. Programming is relatively easy to learn, and it gives the new home automation customer an opportunity to practice using something that provides immediate feedback.
The smart thermostat is another good device for beginners, and this is for a few reasons. First, almost all of us are familiar with the idea of programming a thermostat to control heating and cooling at various times of the day. We can jump right into programming a smart thermostat in the same way.
Second, the smart thermostat takes heating and cooling to a new level with learning capabilities. A smart thermostat can learn a family's normal lifestyle and routine, thereby learning how to effectively manage heating and cooling on-the-fly. Once the thermostat has learned, the homeowner only has to intervene when heating or cooling needs go outside the norm. Even then, a smart thermostat can be controlled remotely using a mobile app. Overriding current programming couldn't be easier.
Smart Video Doorbell
The smart video doorbell is a combination automation and security device. With a smart doorbell, there's no need to be physically home in order to greet guests at the front door. The device utilizes built-in audio and video capabilities that allow a homeowner to communicate with visitors using a mobile app.
From a security standpoint, the smart video doorbell keeps visitors guessing. Anyone ringing the doorbell to find out if someone is home prior to committing a burglary will have no way of knowing whether the person he or she is communicating with is on the other side of the door.
Home automation is a growing market that more and more homeowners are getting involved in. The chances are that you will be doing so yourself within the next 3 to 5 years – if you haven't already been introduced to the smart home concept. By starting with the three devices listed above, you will get a good introduction into home automation without having to try to master some of the more difficult devices on the market.
When Uber and Lyft created the ride-sharing market with their revolutionary mobile apps, there was some speculation as to whether either company would prosper or not. Well, we know what happened. Both companies went on to become disruptive forces in the transport and livery arena. They became the 'poster children', if you will, of market disruption.
Today we constantly hear about disruptive innovations and technologies. Literally thousands of companies and organizations consider themselves disruptors. Some truly are while others are not. One thing we can say for sure is that DIY technology is disrupting the home security and automation market.
What Makes an Innovation Disruptive?
To understand how DIY technology is disrupting home security and automation it is helpful to understand what qualifies a specific innovation, technology or business model as disruptive. The definition can be traced back to business consultant Clayton Christiansen and a 1995 article he wrote entitled Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave.
According to Christiansen, a disruptive innovation is one that creates a new market and value network to the extent that it disrupts the existing market and value network by displacing current market-leading firms, products, and alliances.
Simply put, a disruptive technology or innovation is so revolutionary in its concept or design that it takes business away from current market leaders and allows new players to rise to prominence. Uber and Lyft have both been disruptive in the sense that they instantly became very competitive traditional taxi and livery services. Today, the whole concept of ride-sharing is no longer abnormal. It is a business model that is effectively competing with taxi and livery companies all over the world.
Why Is DIY Disrupting Home Security and Automation?
Just like ride-sharing has disrupted the taxi/delivery industry, DIY technology is disrupting home security and automation. We are seeing it on several different levels, beginning with the installation of home security and automation systems.
Prior to wireless DIY technology, the industry did very well selling security and automation systems to customers through local dealers who would also provide installation services. Customers would purchase equipment, pay for professional installation, and then agree to monthly contracts for monitoring service. Everything worked just fine under this model.
When wireless technology came along, it created an entirely new market based on DIY installations. Since wireless technology requires no construction, it also does not need professionals to come out to install systems designed to work right out of the box. Anyone capable of setting up a home wi-fi network can set up a basic home security and automation system. Home automation security has become less expensive as a result.
DIY home security and automation also eliminate the need for professional monitoring for customers who do not want to pay that extra expense. In other words, they can monitor their own systems with a mobile device. Any sort of alarm that is triggered instantly sends a push notification to the mobile device instead of a central monitoring station. The homeowner can then decide how to respond based on the message received.
Of course, the DIY model is not right for everyone. But for those who appreciate the lower costs and greater control, DIY is the only way to go. The industry knows this all too well. With the rise of DIY home security and automation, companies continuing to rely exclusively on the old model are finding the competition for customers stiffer than it has ever been. This is good because a disruptive market is one that is open to more innovation – innovation that ultimately makes the market better.