Levels of Home Automation
Level 4 – Interactive
Up to this point, the manual control of devices comes from a controller consisting of buttons or switches. While the controller may be a keypad, remote control, touch panel, or a sensor, the interface is not interactive. Interactive interfaces comprise the Level 4 system.
With an interactive system, the user can not only give command, but also see status of the system. Level 4 systems include the ability to interface with the system via a computer, web site, voice recognition, instant messenger, email, telephone, or other system. There are only a few systems available that can do this type of interaction. These are almost always computer based. Again, HomeSeer is a fabulous product that can do all of these things.
Here are some exciting examples of what you can do with an Interactive controller:
- Access your lights and appliances via a web page (DSL/Cable Modem required), email, or MSN messenger
- Let the computer talk to you telling you the status of doors, windows, and motions sensors.
- Program your VCR through the Web
- Have the system dial a phone number based on a name you speak.
- Set a timer by voice command. ("Timer - Practice Piano, 30 minutes", "Timer - Check the grill, 10 minutes")
- Create a shopping list by speaking to the system as new items come to mind, then when you are ready to go shopping, ask the system to print the list.
- Ask computer to list what is on TV tonight.
- Receive an email at work when motion is detected inside or outside your house.
- Voice announcing that "There is someone in the driveway", "...at the front door", "... at the back door"
- Monitor activities in the house remotely via MSN Messenger.
- Call you at work if your child doesn't come home at the expected time.
- Monitor the activity of an elderly person remotely. (Using a network of sensors in the elderly's home, the system would be smart enough to detect un-ordinary patterns such as prolonged inactivity or absence, and keep track of ordinary ones like eating, sleeping, and greeting visitors.
- Announce not only the weather conditions from your own weather station, but contact the weather service via the internet and speak the forecast.
- Add Outlook appointments by speaking them
- Inform you of the current stock prices via voice, email, or MSN Messenger.
- Have your Outlook appointments read to you at your command.
- Ask the computer to list the day's news headlines.
- Talk to your computer and have it execute commands, like controlling lights, getting the weather forecast, controlling the home entertainment system.
- Pick up any phone in your house and interact with the system using the touchtone keys or your voice.
HomeSeer Web Page with Status and Control Capability - Click for larger image