Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How Many Remotes do YOU have?

Ive been asking everyone that I meet exactly how many remote controls that they have in the main television viewing room (Family Room, Den, Recreation Room, Master Bedroom etc..)and the average answer that I received was actually three. Three remote controls sitting on a coffee table, or a night stand to work various pieces of electronic equipment. In some cases, I found as many as five or six (yeah, 6 remotes!) in one room. And inevitably, only one person in the house actually knows how to use a couple of them and which one operates what piece of equipment. I've seen some instances where you need to use three different remote controls just to watch a video on a DVD player. Three remotes! How confusing. It's getting really crazy especially with all of the new electronics hardware coming out that is remote controllable.

How great would it be if there was a remote control that was intelligent enough to know what channel or input your television needed to be on in order to play a DVD movie? That when you select to watch a DVD it automatically switches the television to the correct channel or input when you press the "Play" button? This is reality and can be done very easily. This is one of the automation capabilities that we offer at Smart Automation Solutions. Our solution allows you to simplify the remote control into one easy to use tool that will control all of your devices and you don't have to have a masters degree to understand how to use it!

Control4®'s base solutions include a simple to use two-way remote control that will allow you to eliminate all of the different remote controls on your coffee table or night stand and use just one smart remote. This remote can be set up in a way that virtually anyone who thinks they are "electronically challenged" can use it. It really is simple.

The remote gives you information that tells you what piece of equipment you are operating and in what room you are using it. It relays information back and forth where most remote controls are simply sending information to change or switch something. The Control4® remote actually sends and receives information so that it can display the status of different items. Furthermore, once you have replaced your remote(s) with this one, you can then add other items to control such as your lights, your thermostat, your security system, and even IP cameras and other devices all from the same, simple to use remote.

Technology is amazing and it keeps getting better and better for the homeowner. This product truly does live up to our tag line, "MAKE LIFE SIMPLE.". If you would like a free demonstration or home evaluation just give me a call at 877-343-2727 extension 704 and I would be happy to schedule a demo.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Great iPhone Application

We work with several manufacturers of automation solutions, but one company just seems to really be heading in the right direction. I'm talking about Control4®. Control4® offers an extremely robust solution that truly fits any homeowners needs at a price point that is truly affordable for any home. Control4®'s products are wireless, which means that they work great in retro-fit (older home) installations. We can install their products in any home without the need for major renovations or construction, which also helps to keep the price down. And the technology that they are coming out with is amazing.

We all know how popular Apple's iPhone has become, as well as the iTouch which is basically the same device without a telephone. If you havent heard of the iPhone or iTouch, you must be living under a rock! Anyway, Control4® has just introduced an interface that allows you to download an application from Apple's "App Store" that basically gives you all of the control features for the Control4® solution right on your iPhone/iTouch! And best of all, the screen interface is an exact replica of the displays that Control4® uses for their touch screens and television interface. So now when you want to adjust the temperature, or turn on/off lights in a room, or start a movie, all you need to do is pick-up you iPhone/iTouch. The Application is a free download (just search for "Control4"), but you would need to purchase a software license key in order to activate.

Control4® wireless solutions use Zigbee® as one of their wireless platforms. The beauty of this is that there are several other manufacturers of products that are also using Zigbee®, and several of these products integrate with Control4®, so when you purchase a solution, you aren't tied to just Control4® for products or applications. There are hundreds of solutions that work with Control4 and more are always being added.

If you are interested in seeing a demo of this application or just learning more about home automation, give me a call at 877-343-2727 ext704 and i will be happy to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hey, Turn That Light Out!

So, this is my first ever blog, and I am really excited to get started! There are a lot of things to talk about when it comes to home automation and what is going on in the area and I can't wait to get the ball rolling. So here we go.

First, a little background on me and my company. Smart Automation Solutions evolved from a group of guys who are “way into” electronic toys and are always in the know of new technologies coming out even before they are introduced to the consumers (yes, we are electronics geeks!). Combined, we have over 75 years of consumer electronics experience, knowledge and know-how.

So, the story goes like this….the group of us have been visiting the Consumer Electronics Shows in Las Vegas together for the past several years. After the last few visits and after evaluating different smart-home technologies and manufacturers, We decided that the products and applications had come down to a reasonable price level that the average homeowner would now be able to take advantage of these great technologies without having to be a super rich dude. So we decided that it was time to go into business and created Smart Automation Solutions to educate consumers and to offer these technologies to homeowners across the country.

There are several companies in the DC Metro area that sell similar solutions to ours. Most of these companies are marketing to the "home theater" folks. You know, those people that have the large projection televisions and theater seating in their basements or rec rooms that spent thousands of dollars on their system. Not a bad market to go to, but most of these stores are only concerned with the size of the television being purchased and how much they will make on the installation. Our approach is very different....

We want to help homeowners to MAKE LIFE SIMPLE. And we know we can! Take something as simple as turning out your lights. We all turn out our lights, some of us are more anal about it than others and turn out the lights every time we leave a room (yeah, I'm one of those types!). Well, my kids aren't that type and they leave the lights on all day, as well as the TV , the stereo and whatever else they have electronic that they used for five minutes or so. Great! Do you know what it costs you when you leave your lights on all day long? The Energy costs? The cost of the light bulb?

What if you could press just one button as you leave your house for the day and it turned off all of your lights.....do you think this would save energy, and possibly save money? Of course it would. This is automation, and this is reality in alot of homes. and this helps to Makes Life Simple.

So, my posts will be about these types of capabilities, discussions of different solutions our clients are recommending, as well as news about new features and capabilities that are being introduced in the world of automation.

Looking forward to educating you on Home Automation!