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Creating the Perfect Home Environment with Home Automation

Posted 12 February 2020 by Isla MacFarlane

We reveal the tech that learns your daily habits and translates them into the perfect environment for you.

Smart technology has been outsmarted. Rather than controlling your home with your phone, intelligent technology will let your home know what you need before you do.

So far, most smart technology has been born out of humans’ dislike of getting up from the sofa. The vast majority of smart home products have been created for convenience and have the intellectual capacity of a remote control.

Intelligent homes, however, get to know your habits and tailor the perfect living environment for you. An intelligent home system feeds on rich data including weather forecasts, sound, motion, light, heat and humidity to find the optimum settings for your heating, lighting and security.

“Until now, smart home services have been a series of add-on products from different manufacturers that offer some degree of remote control functionality through their own app – but in practice, it’s hard to get the different services to communicate and work effectively together,” said Daniel Burton, founder & CEO of Wondrwall, an intelligent home system. “Our technology is designed to make your home a better and safer place by giving it the ability to adapt to the way you live."

“For example, it learns which rooms you spend the most time in – and how you light and heat those rooms – and automatically adjusts the running of your home to make it more efficient, cheaper and secure.”

On first glance, new homes kitted out with Wondrwall technology look remarkably normal. But then that’s the point. These are not fantasy homes for millionaires or homes of the future. These are homes for first-time buyers and ordinary families.

The resident cyber servants of an intelligent home leave little trace of their existence. The technology is concealed in an unassuming light switch, which contains 13 different sensors. These soak up data on how a room is used and employ cloud-based machine learning and predictive modelling to make sure everything is to the occupant’s liking.

With inbuilt microphones and speakers, the switches effectively become Amazon Alexa devices. “The system is integrated with Amazon’s Alexa system,” said Burton. “Direct access to all of Alexa’s features means you can use your voice to instantly change the heating, lighting and security of your home without needing to use an Amazon Echo or Dot.”

Intelligent homes quickly learn how long it takes to warm different parts of a house at different times of the day. By identifying temperature preferences from past behaviour, it can wake you at your preferred temperature while minimising energy usage. So, the home fires are always burning but with as little fuel as possible.

It also makes real-time adjustments based on your usual routines. If you’re running late, the heating will automatically pause until you are nearer home.

Intelligent technology also makes an effective and considerate guard. Wondrwall recognises when a home is unoccupied and turns the lights off. However, you can order it to simulate occupancy by keeping a few lights on.

Motion detectors can distinguish between a large pet and a person – if an intruder is detected, the home’s alarm system will activate. If a home is empty and the sound of breaking glass is detected, the alarm activates, internal and external lights flash and an alert message is sent to the owner. It will also let you know if it thinks a door or window is left open when a house is unattended.

Burton estimates that an intelligent home will shave over 30% off your energy bill. “Smart home technology is nothing new, but for most products to deliver a benefit they rely on the users actually using them properly, which most people don’t,” he said. “We wanted to take the responsibility of using technology correctly away from the people living in a home and make the home itself intelligent enough to be intuitive. It is about making life easier and more efficient, without actually having to think about it.”

A home could potentially get to know its residents better than they know themselves. A real challenge is keeping that knowledge from being exploited. For those worried about Big Brother watching, end-to-end encrypted security ensures that your daily habits remain behind closed doors.

Consequently, the technology performs like a good butler: unintrusive, efficient and, after a day, you’d probably wonder what you’d do without it.

Want an intelligent home? New homes kitted out with Wondrwall are available from the following developers:

Eccleston Homes, Home GroupLarkfleet Homes, Allison Homes, Heylo Home Reach, McCulloch, Mulbury Homes, Shanly Homes, Sigma Homes, Sassy/Greencore, RHP, Watkin Jones, Ideal Modular. Keepmoat, Kier, DTZ Investors.

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