Home automation is best done at the building stage, but retrofit is becoming easier.
Many up-market apartments these days, come pre-fitted with smart home or security consoles. But if you own an older flat, you can still 'get smart' by retrofitting a home automation panel.
Made in India, and coming from Jalandhar-based EBTL, Amour 3.0 is a mobile -assisted smart switching automation solution for the home. The control unit is a touch panel with icons for bulbs, lights, appliances etc. It supports five 10-amp and two 40-amp electrical channels, works on WiFi, voice and touch, with short circuit and surge protections. It can regulate fan speed or dim bulbs.
In case of a power switch-over to generator, it smoothly transits and remembers the last setting. It fits into a standard 8 x 6 - inch modular box and with help from an electrician, an existing apartment can easily retrofit the Amour3.0. The product is customizable and for a typical 3 BHK apartment could cost around Rs 1.5 lakh.
IP Door phone
If your primary concern is security, Legrand India, a subsidiary of French leader in electrical and building infrastructure, offers a range of Internet Protocol based door phones called Classe 300. It can manage various functions via smartphone, in and out of the home, such as controlling calls, opening the gate, activating the camera or switching the garden lights on.
It is centred around a 7-inch touch display and allows one to answer easily from anywhere in the home; answer remotely when you are out, open the home gate via the smartphone; check the house remotely, using a smartphone to activate the external and internal cameras connected to the video internal unit; switch on the garden light or watering when the owner are out or on holiday directly from the phone. The Classe 300 prices start at around Rs 61,000.
Smart home technology can only grow. When it acquired an IoT startup called SmartThings, whose technology allows you to monitor, control, and automate a wide range of connected devices, Samsung signaled its intention to enter this burgeoning business. Says Rajeev Bhutani, Senior Vice President, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India: "IoT basically works on the ability of various devices to trade information between each other. Its backbone is a central hub in which all devices can connect with each other."
New-generation Samsung home appliances like washing machine, refrigerator and microwave are ready to be connected to a home network. They are still somewhat pricey in India, but you can see which way the smart hava is blowing.