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What You Can Learn About Home Automation from The Jetsons

By - Interior Design & Architecture Magazine on Mar 22, 2013

What You Can Learn from The Jetsons About Home Automation

Home automation is undeniably a growing part of our daily lives, and to predict the future of any technology, it's always useful to look at the past for some clues about where we are going.

The Jetsons was an animated sitcom created by Hanna-Barbera 50 years ago. Who knows? The show's depiction of home automation technology may have inspired some of today’s innovators to create in real life what they saw on TV as children.

So let’s look at the home automation gizmos the Jetsons used in their home and compare those to products on the market today.

Automated home-cleaning robots

Jetsons1 What You Can Learn from The Jetsons About Home Automation

The Jetsons were blessed with Rosie, a robot who basically did everything. She cooked, she cleaned—she even took care of the children. The real world hasn't developed its own Rosie yet, but there are some interesting robotic cleaning options available.

iRobot Roomba is an automated vacuum cleaner that has been on the market for a few years. You can expect to pay around $700 for a top-of-the-line iRobot Roomba, but it will clean any floor surface in the home, whether under the furniture or out in the open. Plus, it spot-cleans extra dirty areas to ensure a pristine environment.

irobot What You Can Learn from The Jetsons About Home Automation

Before moving on to the next room, this little robot goes on a mission to thoroughly clean the allergy-causing dust and dirt on every square inch. You don't have to lift a finger. Don’t worry about charging the batteries, because this little robot will find its way back to the charger on its own. It even tells you when it’s full of dirt and ready to be emptied. Those who splurge on this purchase can take comfort in the fact that they will never have to worry about vacuuming again.

Temperature control and lighting

For all the episodes you've watched of The Jetsons, have you seen any of the characters use a light switch or a thermostat? No, the environment was either preset or would change at the push of a button. Today, they are many products on the market taking home systems in a similarly hands-free direction.

nest1 What You Can Learn from The Jetsons About Home Automation

For example, Nest is a smart thermostat that can sense when you’re awake or asleep, and it automatically makes adjustments accordingly. Although it will run you about $250, this next-generation programmable thermostat is likely to save you enough on monthly utilities to make up the difference and then some. After about a week of learning your schedule, Nest essentially becomes self-controlling.

When it comes to automatic lighting, nowadays there are plenty of products to choose from. Phillips, for instance, sells a line of "smart" bulbs under the label Hue. These can be remotely controlled and programmed to suit specifications for different activities or times of day—waking up, reading, relaxing before bed, etc. Hue is sold exclusively through the Apple store, and a starter pack of three bulbs will run you $200.

Other controllable LED lighting products are on the market that mimic Hue’s features and may be worth a closer look. LED technology uses approximately one-sixth of the energy that traditional incandescent bulbs use, so like it or not, the future of home lighting will be automated and non-incandescent. With these LED lights you can save money and enjoy optimal lighting conditions.

philips hue xl What You Can Learn from The Jetsons About Home Automation

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