If you’re not familiar with home automation, you’re living in the wrong century. Also called domotics, home automation refers to a house that is considered “smart” because heating, air conditioning, lighting, etcetera is all automated. Home appliances, such as ovens and washers, might also be automated and controllable via Wi-Fi.
Even specific pet care devices could be considered home automation.
Just a couple of decades ago, the very idea that our homes could be automated seemed almost ridiculous. Now it is a market worth well over 5 billion dollars and could be worth as much as 12 billion dollars by the year 2020.
It all sounds great—you’ll have less to do around the house, so you’ll naturally have more time for leisure, right? Is home automation as good as it is cracked up to be, though? There are a few concerns. For one, as devices are controlled via Wi-Fi, there is the potential for hacking. The cost of owning the devices can unfortunately be high, too. Complicating the cost factor is the fact that the home automation market is new, and there is always the possibility that you will end up buying a device (or devices) that will stop being supported by their manufacturers.
Home automation could save the average person a lot of time, but it also has an efficient and extremely needed purpose regarding people with disabilities as well as older adults who would prefer to live in their home instead of ending up in a nursing home.
There are health systems embedded in things like appliances and furniture that will collect data, which can then be obtained, analyzed, and used by medical professionals (and even family in some cases) to ascertain the health of the elderly/disabled person.
As the industry expands and prices consequently go down, home automation is being installed in more homes of elderly/disabled people, which allows them to stay out of assisted living facilities and nursing homes. The process of moving out of one’s home and into a long-term care facility can create a lot of anxiety. The home automation systems let the elderly and disabled remain in their homes secure in the knowledge that—should something go wrong—help is just a moment or two away.
Reminder systems are beneficial to the elderly; we all get a bit forgetful as we age. There are even systems that will dispense medications at the appropriate time so that the elderly doesn’t forget the drugs that may be keeping them alive.
As we’ve mentioned, the industry is a billion dollar one, so it is here to stay. Home automation may not be perfect yet, but it is hard to find anything truly negative to say about a business that helps the elderly and the ill.