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5 Reasons To Upgrade To Home Automation Today

If you are like most people, when you think of home automation you think of all the cool conveniences it provides, such as being able to have your home climate controlled or having the ability to lock doors remotely. But this has led to an important question: Is home automation a convenience, luxury, or necessity? We believe that it has increasingly become a necessity. Here are 5 important reasons why.

Times Are Changing

Times change and things that were once considered luxuries are now absolute necessities. For example, in 1995, only 10% of homes had the internet. Now, a short time later, nearly not only does nearly every home have it, our society depends on it for just about every function. While home automation was convenient, the services it provides makes it increasingly indispensable to running a household.

Resources Management is Increasingly Important

Not only is it true that as a society we have become more conscious about conserving our resources, we also understand that it is increasingly important to do so because of the political and economic climate we live in. Home automation provides one of the best tools available for conserving our resources.

Time Management is Important

As we move to a more information drive society, how we spend our time is more important. Home automation provides the tools we need to increase productivity and to do more, more effectively. It also allows us to multi-task mush more effectively than ever before.

It Allows Us to Improve Our Caregiving

Today, it is not uncommon to have both small children and aged adults in the home requiring some special oversight. Home automation allows you to provide that without compromising a loved one’s dignity but allowing you to check in remotely and receive custom alerts for activity that might indicate trouble. Home automation also allows you to provide care to those living outside the home, too. With the ability to check in via security camera or keep track of activity through sensors, you can call for help the minute you suspect a problem.

Home Automation Creates A More Hospitable Environment

As we learn more about ourselves and how the mind works we learn how our environment effects things like mood and productivity. Creating a hospitable environment is also important for homes with occupants with sensory issues. Home automation can control those elements that create a disturbance, such as glaring lights or noise.

As time changes, tools such as home automation move quickly from being a convenience to an indispensable tool. If you have any questions about home automation, please give Boyd Security a call.

The Internet Of Things: How Home Automation Works

Since the 1930’s World Fair, people have envisioned a home where small functions are performed automatically. While the idea is not new, the technologies to make it happen are. Home automation is hotter than ever because of smart home technologies.

So what exactly is a smart home? You may have heard the terms “home automation,” and “smart home” used interchangeable, and while very closely related, one is actually a component of another.

Here are some basic terms you will need to know:

Home Automation

When selected appliances and devices are connected to a central system and respond based on user input.

Connected Devices

These devices, appliances, and systems have integrated sensors that can connect them to the internet. The user programs the devices that can also learn and anticipate user patterns and respond accordingly.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is what brings home automation and connected devices together to create a smart home. Using sensors, programs, systems and controls, the IoT allows the systems to communicate, telling everything how, when, and why to perform a certain task as well as relay information to the user.

Why Smart Home Technologies are More than Just Cool Technologies

Yes, there really is something incredibly cool about having your home respond to your needs, but smart home technologies are more than just cool, they are also an advantage in many ways.

Smart home systems offer a tremendous amount of convenience, allowing users to have the heating cooling, and lighting systems all working without thought.

Safety is another big advantage, as users can tap in to home security or surveillance systems, be alerted to security breaches or things like extreme temperature changes. Smart home technologies also offer the user savings with the more effective use of energy.

Home automation and smart home technologies are an important way residents and business owners are streamlining their lives for a more efficient use of their time. If you have a question about home automation, home security, and smart home technologies, feel free to contact us.

About Boyd Security

Since 1967, Boyd & Associates has been providing total security for homes, businesses, and communities of every size and type. We combine advanced systems, responsive service and rigorously trained security teams to create a strong, nimble and formidable force that deters, detects and responds – for total security.

Virtual Keypad™ Now Available on the Amazon Echo™

“Hey, Alexa, tell Virtual Keypad to arm my system away.”

New Amazon Echo Release:

The Virtual Keypad App is now available as an Amazon Echo skill. The Virtual Keypad skill for the Amazon Echo offers a new way for you to arm your system and conveniently control Z-Wave™ devices. Below is a list of all current functions and commands:

Arming: All arming commands must start with “Alexa, tell Virtual Keypad to…” Then, say one of these phrases to select an arming type:

  • “arm my system home.”
  • “arm my system sleep.”
  • “arm my system away.”
  • “arm my system all.”
  • “arm my system perimeter.”

Favorites: To activate a favorite, say “Alexa, activate (favorite name).”

Lights: To turn Z-Wave lights on or off, say “Alexa, turn on (light name).” or “Alexa, turn off (light name).” You can also dim Z-Wave lights to any percentage by saying “Alexa, turn on (light name) to (percentage).” For example, “Alexa, turn on kitchen light to 50%.”

Locks: Z-Wave locks can be locked by saying “Alexa, lock my (lock name).”

Thermostats: To set the temperature using your Amazon Echo and a Z-Wave thermostat, say “Alexa, set my (upstairs) thermostat temperature to (degree).”

To get the new Virtual Keypad skill, download the Amazon Alexa App and login with your Amazon account information. Search for the Virtual Keypad skills and enable them – there are two available, and you will need both. Use your Virtual Keypad email address and password to login and select the system you would like to control.

The app is free to download and is included for current app users. The Amazon Echo skill is a convenient way for current Virtual Keypad App users to control several system features by simply using their voice.

The Virtual Keypad app is also available on the Apple TV® and coming soon to the Google Home™.

About Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates is a premier full-service security firm headquartered in Ventura, CA with more than 600 associates serving homeowners, businesses, and gated communities throughout Southern California.

 

How Home Automation Can Help With Back To School

If you have kids you know the chaos of getting everyone out the door on time or managing daily routines so chores and schoolwork get done. As the kids get older, the schedule gets even more demanding as they add things like extracurricular activities and time with their friends to the already taxed weekly schedule. Making sure everything runs smoothly and optimally is a near impossible task and would take a team of people to get done. Fortunately, smart home technologies provide some great ways to tame a monster school schedule.

No More Snooze Alarm

If you have a reluctant student, getting them out of bed can be a long and unhappy process and one that can make them and everyone else in the house late. Get them out of bed and moving easily by using automation to turn on lights, open shades and turn on music for a wake-up they can’t ignore.

Did You Forget?

One of the most common and stress-inducing parts of the morning rush is realizing that you forget to turn off the iron or coffeepot, or forgetting to lock the doors. Leaving it on or unlocked is not an option, but going back will definitely make you late—again. With smart home enabled devices, you can remotely turn off offending appliances or lock the doors from your smartphone or another internet connected device.

Make Areas Off Limits

If your kids get home before you do, they have time to get into things they shouldn’t. With access control, you can make certain places off limits and get a notification if anyone tries to gain access. This helps keep your kids, or their visiting friends out of harm’s way.

Unique Access Codes Let You know they are Home Safely

With unique access codes, you can know when each of your children gets home, and when. This prevents them from taking detours before getting homework done.

Know When or if They Leave

Are they leaving in enough time to make it to sports practice? Did they leave before their homework was done? Smart home technologies can help you manage the comings and goings by providing real-time alerts if any enabled door or window is opened.

Do They have Friends Over?

If you are away at work or running errands, it is easy for your house to become the place everyone gathers to play Xbox instead of getting their homework done. You’ll know if your home is a gathering place with alerts that tell you that your doors are being opened an unusual number of times.

No Gaming Until Work is Done

Use smart technologies to help you remove the distraction of television or gaming systems by disabling them until work is done.

Video Systems Let You Keep an Eye on Things

With real-time video, you can check in anytime and see that everything is on track. Are chores getting done, is homework finished? Access to real-time video helps ensure that your student is keeping academics a priority.

If you are interested in learning more about how home automation and access control technologies can help you manage the complexities of back-to-school, give Boyd & Associates a call today.