What is home automation

Jose Kinney Blog

Automation firms on Long Island battle over in-home control

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Verizon rolled out a “home monitoring and control” package in October, offering many of the same features the local guys offer, like mobile access to surveillance systems and temperature and lighting control. The only difference: Verizon provides them under $1,000, although a monthly service charge of at least $9.99 is included.

Likewise, ADT Home Security’s new Pulse system allows existing customers to arm or disarm their home’s security system, change the climate and lighting, and screen surveillance video of their home from a smartphone or tablet.

But many in the home automation industry argue that the cheaper alternatives offered by larger companies as value-added solutions are watered down, lower-grade versions of what they offer. Panos Anassis, president of Plainview-based Audio Video Invasion, said the monthly subscription services are limited in their offerings and don’t scale effectively.

“They can interface one or two thermostats and a few light switches, so it works in houses up to 2,500 square feet,” Anassis said. “Anything above that you really need a unified system to connect all of the devices.”

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At this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, wirelessly connected home automation products were introduced for everything from thermostats that track where you are in order to know when to turn on the heat or air conditioning, to a Wi-Fi-connected refrigerator that can alert you when the milk has expired.

And in the future, Anassis said he envisions home automation systems monitoring all aspects of a home’s energy usage.

“It’s all going to blend together,” he said. “I don’t know how quickly it will take place, but as more and more people become energy aware, home automation will continue to grow.”

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