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Home Automation is beyond security systems

December 6, 2016 — by Ar. Sidhant Dhawan

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In the past few years we have witnessed home automation technology grow by leaps and bounds, and even today, it shows no signs of slowing down. While it was limited to security systems and surveillance earlier, it has advanced to a whole new level now. Home automation is making deeper inroads into Indian homes as lifestyles evolve. It has come a long way from just providing the user with the comfort of controlling everything with a touch of a button, to being an independent unit that is self-sustaining and eco-friendly, eg., solar energy, organic gardening tools, rainwater harvesting, minimal power consumption, etc.

Professional designers take great pride in the aesthetics that make up a beautiful home. Therefore, it becomes crucial that they take home automation into consideration in order to avoid the use of clunky electronic devices and wall clutter. Many designers may not be aware of what options are available, but home automation has the ability to augment both the design process and its final product. The integration of smart solutions helps optimise functionality while reducing clutter improves space organisation and design aesthetics. The amalgamation of the worlds of technology and traditional interior design within homes is what we like to call “traditional futurism,” which provides the best of both worlds.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has played a major role in propelling this forward. It allows objects to be sensed, or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure. This results in improved efficiency, accuracy, and economic benefits, in addition to reducing the extent of human intervention.

Automation, which once gave us digital access to open the door, now opens doors to a whole new world. The advent of the Internet of Things has altered the very landscape of home automation technology, as it allows the control of several functions more effectively at a click of a button on a smartphone-

1. Climate Control

A. Air-conditioning and heating systems can be controlled in a place like India, where most buildings don’t have centralised systems, in an effort to avoid temperature shocks;

B. Smart windows make the use of electrical charges to regulate transparency according to the time of day, helping control the penetration of heat and daylight, thus eliminating the need for curtains.

2. Lighting Control – Light sensors which light up when they detect motion.

Intelligent system can be used to regulate lights, enhancing the ambience and mood of spaces, thus encouraging creativity and boosting productivity, while reducing energy costs. Also, LED lights come with as many as 16.7 million different colour options.

3. Music – The use of sensors automatically enables music in every room or space when one sets a foot in.

4. Household Chores – Nothing like a helping hand with your daily chores! Robotic vacuum cleaners, and air purifiers that notify you of toxins in the air with notifications and provide remedies.

5. Kitchen

A. Many new inventions that have revolutionised kitchen spaces – refrigerator-ovens which keep your cooked dinner cool and can heat it at the click of a button so you can come home to a hot meal.

B. Smart stoves that give instructions to cook while regulating and setting cooking temperatures.

6. Safety

A. Sensors that detect intruders and sound alarms

B. Doors integrated with video-phone facilities

C. Fire and gas leak detectors

7. Devices – There are several popular and user-friendly devices that convert your voice commands to actions. They reduce clutter, are less chaotic, incredibly convenient, and work in the background without interfering with the décor of the house.

8. Eco-friendly – One of the most important factors that architects must consider when designing a home is to make it eco-friendly and self-sustainable. I believe it is imperative for every individual to contribute their efforts to making this world a healthier place. Automation helps integrate smart solutions – lighting and fenestration controls, solar panels, rainwater harvesting – into home design easily and effectively, helping optimise energy consumption and reducing environmental impact.

9. Design – Home automation provides endless possibilities in the designing of a home. It gives the designer a variety of choices that can be integrated into existing constructions, or implemented into new ones. This alters the current playing field in regard to residential architecture; traditional homes allow limited design interventions to be made later and mostly require remodelling in order to alter the design considerably.

For example, the introduction of smart lighting allows the change of lighting of a room or the entire house based on the mood of the user, thus helping create individual spatial experiences within the same space.

As per recent surveys, automated homes are preferred over non-automated ones. Starting off as a luxury, they are rapidly becoming a necessity.

Automation is a one-time investment that not only makes one’s life more comfortable but also makes the world a greener place by eliminating pollution and saving energy.

It’s 2017! Home automation is no longer the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve traversed the dark ages and emerged out into a vastly different landscape. Technology today holds the promise of making our lives easier than ever while enhancing human productivity and optimising efficiency in using the resources. At such a juncture, the choice is ours to make. Let’s believe and invest in our collective futures by saying yes to automation.

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Ar. Sidhant Dhawan

Ar. Sidhant Dhawan

Sid serves as the managing director at Vinita & Sid Interiors. Having sailed the world for a number of years, he comes with enriched experiences of world cultures, art and architecture. A deep understanding of design utility paired with knowledge of suitability and sustainability of pieces and processes makes his role perfectly compliment that of the design head, Vinita Dhawan. Discipline coupled with a scientific approach to his projects ensures ace project management skills. His love for automation and technology is evident through his working designs which are embodied with futuristic edges. He believes that creativity is an imaginative personal process that needs to be channeled into the right form of expression and strives to achieve this through his work at Vinita & Sid Interiors.

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