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Benefits of Automation

Home automation was a fun fantasy long before it became a practical reality for the average American home. When The Jetsons premiered in 1962, the space–age craze was in full swing, and audiences relished the push–of–a–button ease with which the futuristic family lived. Rosie the Robot did most of the housework, with the help of a seeing–eye vacuum cleaner, a voice–operated washing machine, and a nuclear–powered knitting machine, and Judy frequently spoke to her husband at work via their big screen television.

We see more and more of the Jetsons lifestyle coming to fruition today: Voice–activated appliances, videophones and moving sidewalks. The latest refrigerators and ovens boast web appliances and Internet connections, and cars come complete with satellite positioning systems.

While you aren't likely to be installing a nuclear–powered knitting machine in your dream home, today's “connected home” features a system that automatically controls the thermostat, home theater, security system and lighting via remote control from telephone, cell phone, or over the Internet, and at home through wall mounted keypads or touchscreen, or even a portable touchscreen that you can carry from room to room. Installing a home control system allows all the different electronics and systems in your home to work together, simply and conveniently, and allows you to have access to your home from virtually anywhere on the planet.

Rather than switching off lights, setting the security system or fiddling with the thermostat, you can rest easy, knowing your connected home will take care of those mundane tasks for you. Imagine having a touchscreen in the living room that with one button press will turn on the jazz music channel from your digital satellite system, pipe it through the living room's in–wall speakers, dim the lights and light the fireplace. When working late, you can use your office web connection to check that the kids have made it home safely and even see that they're tucked into bed.

Although the initial investment in a home control system can seem daunting, the return on that investment can be substantial. Having an intelligent heating and cooling system, for example, can pay for itself in just a few years. Utility costs are lowered considerably when lights turn on and off automatically and when lights are set at less then 100 percent intensity, and light bulbs last longer. Your entertainment costs could even decrease. At $40.00 or more for your family to go to one movie, a one–time investment of $5,000.00 for a home theater will let you watch movies in style for a lifetime. Plus, you get more comfortable seats and better snacks!

Some experts say that smart homes will sell even faster than homes with no technology; and check with your insurance provider — your homeowner's rates may even be less with a “smart” home.

We may not have robots that do laundry or a solar–powered stamp–licker like the Jetsons, but a connected home can add practical convenience and benefit to your life. By adding technologies like state–of–the–art wiring, lighting control, multi–room music and total home control, your home can be ready to take care of you now and into the future.

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