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We all knew that this was going to happen eventually. We’ll be able to control our homes using our trusty Apple gadgets. At least that’s the plan with a patent that was published on November 5, 2013.
The patent has been described as “system and method of determining location of wireless communication devices for controlling/adjusting operation of devices based on the location.” So, what exactly does that mean? Simply put, there could be a day when we we’ll be able to use iPhone’s GPS to control the temperature of your home, appliances, lighting, garage doors, security systems and, of course, music. The idea of using GPS is that lights, for example, would turn on as you approach your home, or even, as you move from room to room within the house. Appliances such as ovens could preheat itself on your way from work, instead of having to waste time when you get home. Pretty much, the possibilities are endless.
It’s been speculated that as long as the appliances, lighting, security systems, etc., are connected to a network, which could be done by just connecting to an ethernet or USB device, the Apple parent will work just fine. If this is the case, you wouldn’t have to purchase a brand new Wi-Fi enabled appliance.
While the Apple patent is unique, since it uses GPS, the company will have a number of already established competitors in the home automation market.
Comcast, the big time cable and internet provider who owns NBC, has already launched Xfinity Home. Comcast customers have access to 24/7 security monitoring and climate control. The company is planning to expand the service through a number of devices. But, there are superior options to what Comcast offers. There’s also the very cool Nest Learning Thermostat to compete with, at least in the climate control market.
So if you can’t wait until Apple releases its take on the home automation system, here are the top 6 options.
Iris has one big advantage over other home automation systems. It’s readily avaible at your local Lowe’s. So if you’re curious about how Iris works, you can not only see it in person, but can also ask someone face-to-face. Starting at around $179, Iris allows you to control lights, climate, security and even locking and unlocking doors from a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Vivint does what most other home automation systems achieve, but bundling it with their well-respected home security system gives this option some serious consideration. We alo like the fact that Vivint offers a Solar Energy Package as well.
4. JDS Technologies
Not only is JDS one of the original DIY/pro home control systems, the company features the nifty HomeRunner RBI which allows users to create graphical interfaces in minutes . This is done by simply snapping a pic of a room and then create hot spots for touch control. Works on iPhone, iPad and Android operating systems.
SmartThings has features that many other home automation systems don’t offer. Some of the outstanding features include everything from being notified if a window or door suddenly opens to keeping track of your car keys.
HomeSeer is an effective system that can control appliances, lights, garage doors, climate and even sprinkles. Other features include security, netcams and being able to manage energy. Overall, HomeSeer is a well-rounded system that it’s easy to use.
This award-winning system is powerful, flexible and covers all the basic functions you’re looking for in a home automation system. The mControl V3 also includes data logging if you want to keep track of your home’s status over time. But, what makes this a top-notch system is its compatible and easy to use hardware and software.