I have a connected Smart Meter. I can now access a website that gives me hourly profile reads and while they are delayed by 2 days I have found that I can tell when I have left certain items on like my light my outdoor lights. Many people thought that you could not change the behavior of someone by simply providing information. I disagree, I think most people recognize they can do more to save themselves money and if it is easy to access will.
I have a connected home security system. Currently in the process of adding remote switches and video. When traveling its nice to know I can Check in and see how things are going and if nothing else be able to answer that insatiable question of......did I set the alarm.?Yeah you know who you are don't deny it.
One of the coolest home based connected dveices I have seen in recent times is a new thermostat developed by ex-apple designers:
Wifi only at present, but if it takes off I am sure GPRS enabled options will become available.
Energy saving is definetely one of the areas of focus when talking about home automation.
Besides getting on time information from the utility meters it'd be useful to set some automatic actions to control energy usage in your house.
There are several companies under the Zigbee alliance building cool applications based on their Home Automation profile.
Not yet in my house, but as I'm planning to build one some time soon these are some of the projects I have in mind.
For power savings, switching on/off power line sections from my Smartphone locally or remotely would be very handy combined with being able to get the electricity, gas, and water consumption. I've heard that unplugging all those little devices like cell phone chargers could really add up to overall savings.
As for security, a connected alarm system with video surveillance is widely available from many suppliers, but one thing that eventhough it's simple it would be very useful for me is a connected door bell, so I can remotely respond to anyone who shows up (sales, service etc) to the front door while I'm not there.
I believe my utility company installed “Smart” meters about a year ago. They are not at the stage yet where they are providing access to real or near real time data from this. I would welcome the fully connected home where I can control appliances and devices remotely but I don't believe any of these services are currently available. I do have the security system but I would say this is pseudo connected in that they are using the traditional telephone line with no wireless connectivity (GPRS, 2G, 3G). I have the “connected” printer where this can be accessed remotely via the internet for printing as well as tablets with 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. All in all there is some M2M type connectivity but I am really looking forward to the game changing applications that the future is promising from the many interesting articles.
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