I guess you can all relate to the situation when just as you step outside your home your mind gets crowded with those little pesky thoughts: “Did I switch off the iron?”, “Did I lock the back door?” and so on. Well, thanks to science, we will soon be able to quiet all these worries by setting up a home automation system: this system will turn our homes into so-called smart or intelligent houses, which will take care of themselves.
A couple of words on what it is.
A house is considered "intelligent" if it is equipped with an automatic maintenance system. It integrates household equipment so that you could control your appliances from just one control panel, or even remotely. All the devices responsible for lighting, temperature control, multimedia, security, window and door operations, etc. are connected to your home, for them to communicate with each other and, more importantly, with you. There are systems that can even be programmed to take care of your cat's litter box and your hamster's cage. For many of us, it is something bordering on fantasy. But all these systems really exist, and are already in use.
Some may ask: why do we need these super intelligent systems? It's great and all, all this technology making huge steps forward, but isn't it mere indulgence?
Let me answer that by explaining the objectives such a system pursues.
The system frees the house inhabitants from having to manipulate all their electrical equipment. The lights turn on when you enter a room and turn off when you leave it; you don't have to argue who should get up to switch off the light and lock the doors before you all go to bed. Your stereo switches on when you come home to boost your mood with a favorite song of yours.
Modern safety systems include fire- and anti-intrusion protection as well as video surveillance. Moreover, these systems can control all the engineering equipment at your place and sound the alarm when something goes wrong. In other words, they can prevent flooding or fire in your house even when you're not there.
Being able to control heating and lightning, you can save you up to 30% on energy costs, and this will definitely please your wallet. You can set the heating to turn off when you are out and turn back on prior to your arrival to warm the house up a bit.
Still, that is not the whole story. Smart home systems are becoming more and more sophisticated as years go by. Imagine a next-generation microwave that can communicate with a smart refrigerator and suggest recipes based on the products that you've got in your house. Then they would connect to the stove and cook your dinner just by the time when you get back home. If it goes on like this, people will soon be tied to smart technology, and it will become something that we cannot live without.
Take for example, a computer. It took many years before people really started using it, and today you can hardly find a single person without one. Or a microwave oven: the majority of people have got used to it so much that they cannot cook or even unfreeze their food without it.
If you look at these intelligent houses this way, I suppose they're not that far from a robot uprising.