Calling out to Alexa or Siri has almost become second nature to most of us. They have taken the place of our mothers or little brothers when we want to switch on our TV or the Aircon as we laze around in our beds. They have become our best friends and companions in this age of smartphones and apps. From automations of our coffee machines to our door locks to doctors’ appointments, majority of our services and needs can be handled by these virtual assistants and linked automation systems.
Home automation systems are rising in trend and have shown to save time, money and energy. Automation of our homes has made our doors more than just dumb wood planks hanging of their hinges. This helps us lock or open our doors as we leave the house or approach the house. You can forget your keys and still be able to get into your house regardless.
These home automation systems also provide affordable home security systems that lock and unlock the door as mentioned above and set off sirens when unauthorised approaches to the door are made. They also have features enabled to allow access when you are away and want to let a friend or family member in.
Home automation systems have even gotten smart enough these days to be able to detect any sort of leakage such as excessive water leak or gas leakage and notify you of the problem. This helps you get to the problem before it drills a hole in your bank account. Several of these systems can be controlled through our phones via respective apps for the same. Sensor-triggered switches for lights and fans and other devices are also of great use as they help you save up to a large extend by triggering it on only when needed. Smart lights can also be controlled by voice commands using Alexa or Siri to switch on/off light or to switch to mood settings depending on your need.
With the right level of ingenuity, the sky is the limit on things you can automate in your home. A few basic tasks that one can pursue are:
- To set your air conditioner to keep your home temperature when you are home and to switch to energy saver mode when needed.
- To open your gates on voice commands.
- To automate your room lights to voice commands.
- To feed your pet on a schedule with a pre-determined amount of food.
In other words, if it is something that is done repeatedly you can probably programme your smart home to do it for you and control it using merely your phone or voice. Having said all of these things, the fact that how much of one’s privacy is maintained continues to be a topic still discussed and debated. Until this silver lining is honed it will all be on the expense of Alexa or Siri overhearing every word you say. Walls now truly do have ears.
(The writer is an architect who is passionate about the spaces she designs as well as dances in)