At first glance, home automation systems seem like something out of a sci-fi film. The systems let you turn lights on and off and control the electrical system of your home with the touch of a button. Since the iPhone® was first launched, home automation has been a popular area for iPhone® apps. It continues to grow in popularity and there are currently more than 100 home automation apps that can link to your iPhone®.
Some of the standard home operations currently linked to home automation systems include:
Home security systems (including door locks and video cameras)
Heating & cooling systems
Small appliance controls
Some more sophisticated upgrades to a standard home automation system include:
Pre-set zone monitoring (e.g. sending an alert when a person enters a certain room or opens a cabinet or safe)
Pre-set times for systems
Severe weather monitoring
Movable and programmable video surveillance cameras
Garage or outbuilding controls
Any application you can devise for a home automation system can now be linked through an app to your iPhone®. Costs for hardware, installation or ongoing monitoring depend entirely on the complexity of your system and can vary from region to region.
Hardwired systems – if your home is equipped with a more traditional, hardwired home security system, adding iPhone® home automation apps can be more extensive and expensive. In these cases, you may first need to install a control switch or switches to link you home systems with your iPhone® apps. This may be as simple as literally plugging a switch into an electrical outlet or as complex as extensive re-wiring
Upgrading conventional door locks can also entail a wide range of costs. In most cases, you will have to replace your existing door lock with an electronic keypad and lock and download an app to your iPhone®. When you need to lock and unlock the doors, you can launch the app.
Wireless/remote systems – in many cases, adding home automation iPhone® apps is much simpler and generally les costly with a pre-existing wireless or remote security system. In these settings, you are generally only going to have to install the equipment (door locks, appliance or light sensors, etc.) and make a few programming adjustments to your control center in order to have the new home automation services link with your iPhone® app.