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Remember the Clapper? You could plug it into the wall, plug a light into it, and all you had to do was clap twice and the light turned on! This was a primitive form of home automation, but home automation none the less. 

Home automation has come a long way with the advances in technology, the internet, wifi, and products that compliment your home. It's not like we're living like the Jetsons, but there are some great home automation systems that can do a lot to make your life easier! 

Let's start with one we're familiar with.

Wifi/Smart Thermostats

Wifi Thermostats use measurements and data to figure out how to make your home comfortable while expending the least amount of energy. They do a lot to make your home feel great, as well as save you money on energy bills. There are several advantages that come along with a Wifi Thermostat. 

First off, it's programmable. You can set a schedule for your home temperatures based on your daily/weekly habits. You can program the thermostat to go lower at night or while you are out at work, then turn up in the hours you are home. You can also control it through your smartphone or tablet. This adds a new level of convenience since you can not only adjust the temperature of your home while you are out, but you don't even have to get out of bed to fix the temp! 

Your smart thermostat can also measure and analyze data that allows your HVAC system to run more efficiently in the future. Your thermostat will figure out when it spends the least amount of energy, and duplicate this process in order to make sure you are spending the minimal amount in energy bills, while also keeping your home comfortable! 

Amazon Echo/Alexa/Google Home/Smart Home

"Alexa, play holiday music"

New home automation speakers and tools have blown up over the last few years. But did you know you can hook up a lot of your home appliances to these systems? Ovens, laundry machines, and even heating and air conditioning systems will all be able to be controlled by simply speaking to your Alexa, Google Home, or whatever smart system you use. LG announced that it's making all its appliances with Wifi connectivity. Other companies like Samsung and Bosch are doing the same. Here is an awesome article about the future of connecting home appliances to smart systems like these. 

So what does this mean for your home? It means more convenience. You can accomplish a lot more in a lot less time. It will also automate certain things for you! For example, if your dishwasher is running low on detergent, it will automatically order you more. You can speak to your system and tell it to start brewing some coffee for you. You can also turn your heat or air conditioning up if you'd like to as well. This will all work on voice command, and allow you to make up for a lot of time spent on these tasks. It will also give you some incentive to do certain things that you may feel too lazy to do normally. 

Obviously, you will have to have appliances that feature these automation capabilities and connectivity, but as technology progresses, most appliances will come standard with these things. You may not have all the appliances in your home just yet to have a complete "smart home". but eventually, most people will. Investing now in an Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home, or one of these smart systems will not only be a fun convenient thing to own but also get you used to using this type of home automation technology.

Security & Safety

One of the other great advances in home automation revolves around home security. With home automation, you can control locks and sensors around your home. You can also install cameras that you can check on from your computer, smartphone or tablet. Another great feature is the safety home automation provides. You can hok smoke detectors up to your home automation system to alert you if one goes off. Then you can remotely shut the appliances in your home off. This is crucial for an oven fire or a stove fire. There are even systems that can measure your water flow at home and let you know if there's a leak, that will shut off your water for you before any damage is done! 

As you can see, home automation can bring a lot of convenience to your life, as well as save money and add safety and security. If you want to improve your home, some of this technology will certainly help!
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