The term wireless has been used in electronics for many years. Sometimes it really meant wireless, and sometimes it just meant that there were no wires visible and somebody had found a way to hide them somewhere. Of course, wireless also wasn’t really a type of signal, it was more a way of doing things. The signals used for wireless have varied from radio to network to infrared to bluetooth to special manufacturer’s systems.
Over the years, the technology has had its ups and downs. One of the major failings has been in trying to send large amounts of information through the air. The first attempts at sending high definition video signals this way was close to twenty years ago, and many people think they still haven’t got it right.
In home automation, wireless has generally referred to two things. First, no wires on your remote control. Second, the ability to add devices to the system without running cable to them. This has gone very well. From light switches with their own IP address to the new generation of touch screens and I-control, this wireless world is now a part of everyday life. It’s time to take it up a notch. Here are some of the new ways that home automation is using wireless technology. Look for them in your home in the next few years.
Ever feel like yelling at the technology in your house? Now it will finally make a difference. Voicepod is a proprietary technology that allows you to control the automated devices in your home by voice command. With the voice pod in the room or microphones hidden in the walls, you can teach it to respond to simple voice commands that will run the devices on your control system. Tell the TV to turn on. Tell the lights to dim. Tell the blinds to close. VoicePod was specifically designed to work with Control4 but it can be successfully interfaced with most major automation systems through its serial port. This may be one of the coolest things you can show off to your friends in a home automation system.
Crestron Air Media
This is latest thing. While designed for business, we see it moving into home use almost immediatel. AirMedia by Crestron delivers a very simple, low-cost wireless HD presentation solution. Using AirMedia, anyone can walk into a huddle room or any other meeting space with a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and present wirelessly through the room’s HD display or projector. There are no wires to hook up, no complicated settings to configure, and no AV or control system is required. Simply connect via the local Wi-Fi network and start sharing HD content from your portable device. At just over an inch thick, the compact AirMedia gateway device fits virtually anywhere. A surface mounting bracket is included for attachment to a wall or ceiling. The gateway device connects to existing Ethernet infrastructure and takes advantage of your organization’s Wi-Fi network, affording an optimal wireless interface for laptops and mobile devices. Both HDMI and VGA/analog audio outputs are included for connection to the room display.
If you don’t want to talk to your technology, how about the wave of your hand? Gesture technology has been a big part of video games for years, but it is now becoming a regular part of home automation.
Gesture technology is actually an amalgamation of several different 3D technologies – cameras, motion sensors, all linked to an interfacing field. The end result is a flick of the wrist to start your audio system, a tap to pause, raise your hand to raise the volume. Intuitive natural body movements now control your technology. Gesture control is great for the elderly, persons with disabilities or anyone uncomfortable with conventional remotes, but it is very tricky to integrate and should only be done by the highest level of professional.
Near Field Control
How about controlling the home automation system without doing anything? Near Field Control puts sensors in the walls that know when you’ve come into a room with your iphone or android device and automatically sets the room the way you like it. No waving, no talking, no buttons. Companies like Creston have already made this technology available for home use.
This type of control was science fiction just a few years ago. It’s easy to see that home automation technology is changing quickly and you need to be on the leading edge to make the right choices. That why you should leave it to the pro’s at OneTouch Automation to design and install your system. We are passionate about technology and driven by our desire to give our clients total satisfaction. Call us today.