Technology makes modern life more convenient than ever before. New cell phones make communication easy. The Internet provides a venue for the instant spread of information and other content. Laptops, TV’s and other electronic devices are constantly finding ways to improve and make our lives more comfortable. One of the recent trends in technological innovation is home automation. In short, home automation centralizes control of your home functions, allowing you to control security, lighting, temperature and even entertainment right from your smartphone or tablet. In 2011 alone, about 1 million home automation systems were sold in North America.
The way people consume movies and listen to music is constantly evolving. The following are reasons why home automation may be the next big step for entertainment junkies.
Streaming is Taking Over
For movies and TV as well as music, everything is going digital. The days are almost over when people got out of their chair to put in a DVD or put a CD into a record player. Instead, most people are streaming movies off services like NetFlix or listening to music on Spotify.
More and more people are streaming videos online rather than driving to rental stores. According to one study, more than 10.6 million households now stream their videos online. One of the easiest ways to connect to the TV with streaming services is through game consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation. If video games aren’t your thing, many companies are selling Internet TV boxes such as Roku. Many people feel this is the future of TV.
Several companies have even attempted to get rid of the middle man by selling Internet compatible TV’s. Toshiba, Samsung and Sony have all released their own versions, though they are not cheap.
Not too long ago if you wanted to listen to music in your home you had to drive to the record store, buy the record, drive home and put it into the CD player. Now everything is at your fingertips. While many people still plug their IPods into docks, there are home automation services that allow you to play music in different parts of the home at the same time through different speakers. Sony, IHome and Sonos for example have all released attractive home music systems.
These services allow you to place multiple wireless speakers throughout the home. They all sync to each other through your wireless Internet. If you use an online streaming station such as Spotify, they will play directly off of these programs. This makes it possible to listen to virtually any song at any time, anywhere in your home.
These home automated video and music services can all be controlled from your tablet or smartphone. And that’s not just for turning them on and off. When you download the app that comes with the speakers you can literally control everything without ever getting up, including volume, skip, pause, fast forward, etc. Anyone who has the app can control the music so the only danger might be friends with different musical tastes.
Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer who is an expert in technology involving home security and automation systems. She is currently acting as a consultant to Vivint Alarm.