Smart Homes Design: 10 Ways to Integrate Domotics into Design and Architecture
Category Newsletter: Lifestyle
As technology advances, we are shifting into a more technology-based society, where there is a large integration of Domotics (or Home Automation) into our homes, offices, and commercial buildings.
If you've ever walked into a room and the lights turn on using a motion sensor, this is a small example of Domotics making your life a little easier.
We've even seen Domotics integrated into our heating and cooling systems with the rise of Wi-Fi enabled thermostats and VAV systems (Variable Air Volume systems) that are programmed to know your schedule, preferences, and automatically adjust the temperature of different areas.
As technology increases, we are already seeing devices being integrated into "Smart Homes" or "Smart Office". The list of devices and integrations is endless, but here are 10 of the most popular ways Domotics has been integrated into our architecture.
What is Domotics?
Firstly, what is Domotics? Domotics is another way of saying home automation or robotics.
It's being able to control the temperature of your home, setting a house alarm, playing certain music when you get home, all from the control of your phone or voice.
It's to give you maximum comfort and automation in your house and is widely considered to be the future of homeownership.
Why Should I Have a Smart Home or Office?
Having a Smart Home of Office makes your life much more convenient. We are creatures of convenience, therefore these devices improve our quality of life.
That's the trend with anything nowadays, it's all about technology serving you and helping you live as luxuriously as possible.
This is good news for anyone in the business of Domotics software or services and is also good news for anyone heavily interested in the concept because there's going to be a lot out there for you to potentially get your hands on.
Budgeting Projects for Domotics Integration
Domotics and Automation is relatively new in the market, so the devices are still in their infancy stage of price maturity. Whenever new electronics come into the market, they are always expensive.
As the product matures in the market, competition and initial demand adjust and prices typically go down. You see this a lot with TVs and Computers. The same applies to Domotics technology and software.
Before starting a home automation project, it's critical to budget your costs: the two methods to doing this are hiring a company that specializes in Low Voltage or specifically home automation.
The other way is to have an estimating services firm calculate the budget for your project. Typically, this is best done during new construction as the walls haven't been covered to run wiring. But obviously, this can also be done during renovations (at albeit higher costs).
The key to having an amazing home automation system is integrating the systems together under one umbrella.
A popular method is to use the Alarm.com system which not only provides an alarm system, you can also attach any Z-Wave compatible device. This includes lighting, lights switches, electrical outlets, your Smart Phone, thermostats, door locks, even motorized window blinds.
The possibilities really are endless. And with the rise of digital marketplaces like Amazon and relative ease of creating and online webstore, inventors and manufacturers can really innovate and push the technology to the limit.
Without further ado, here are some ideas you can use to integrate:
1. Smart Lighting
Home automation can let you easily control the lighting, this comes in a number of different forms, from opening up the blinds, to turning on lights automatically when you walk in and turning them off when you walk out. They often use motion sensors or even integration with your schedule and even smartphone.
Integrating this into your home can also help you save money. If you fall asleep with the lights on you can automatically have it set to turn off, which saves you from a costlier electric bill than normal.
It can also save you when you have to leave your home in a hurry and forget to turn off lights in any room; it has your back.
2. Smart Heating & Cooling
A largely popular new type of device are the wi-fi enabled thermostats like the Honeywell and Nest thermostats. They can easily integrate with your smartphone, Google Home Hub, and Alexa.
Imagine simply saying "Alexa, lower the temperature to 20 degrees..." Or if you're in bed and you don't want to get up to adjust the thermostat.
We've also seen a shift in HVAC systems transitioning into a more user-centric customizable system. Traditional central air just has one thermostat that reads the temperature and adjust the temperature in the entire house.
We are seeing systems designed in zones that use VAV controllers that open and close to automatically allow more or less cool air based on user settings. These are most common in offices, but are appearing more in homes.
With the integration of smart devices, these thermostats can adjust automatically based on sensing you nearby, and even learn your preferences throughout the day. It really uses complete automation.
3. Smart Alarms and Locks
Many people already have alarm systems incorporated in their homes, but they aren't smart alarm systems.
There's a lot more to adding alarms, you can have your door automatically lock if you leave a certain kilometer radius, to make sure you never leave your door unlocked.
A great example is using a Kwikset lock. You can integrate with your z-wave alarm and control if from you phone.
Have you ever left your office or house and not remembered if you locked the door or set the alarm? You can set it in your phone, or even create an automated rule that once you leave the location, it can automatically set.
Even if you forgot to lock your front door, it'll do it for you. It really does bring peace of mind.
4. "Green-ify" Your Home
Home automation could lead to a "greener" home.
If your computer managed the lighting, and other utilities around the house, it's safe to say many resources would be conserved because it's all automatically systemized for you not to overconsume anything.
"Outsourcing" tedious tasks that lead to an overconsumption of resources can and will be done by domotic homes and playing a part in that trend would mean you could contribute to a greener planet.
5. Smart Music
When someone thinks of home automation, they typically remember the commercials where someone says "Alexa, play music by Drake" or "Hey Google, play Christmas Music!"
Google Home Hub integrates with Google Play and Youtube Music. If you have a premium account, you can even avoid the ads.
Alexa and Google Home Hub are the most common devices, and you can integrate these with bluetooth speakers and really blast the music.
With a smart music integration into your home, you can literally have any music you want play the moment you open your door.
Imagine coming home after a long day at work and hearing your favorite song as you walk in your house.
This is also great for a seamless platform to play any music you want wherever in the house you want. You can even set up certain music in different rooms to capture every personality in the house.
6. Smart Cleaning
Ever heard of Roomba? That little circular robot that travels from your living room to your kitchen vacuuming everything in its path?
That's the early stages of a trend, and if you notice, the main theme throughout all "smart" technology is to make people's lives easier.
These machines allow people to save time and energy in their day to do anything else besides vacuuming.
And who knows what's next? Automatic dusters, robot maids, the sky is the limit here (and with everything else on this list).
7. Smart "Partystarter"
"Partystarter" is a very broad term but the goal here is to let the Domotics in your home have the capability to start a party at any time.
To do this, you can set up LED lights around the house, music to be played, certain lights to be on, and anything else.
Then you integrate the whole thing together and with the click of a couple buttons you set your house to "party" mode.
Pretty cool, right?!
8. Smart Entertainment
What is smart entertainment? It's your home knowing exactly what show you want to watch when you turn on your TV, so it loads it up for you.
It's your home giving you exactly the music you want to listen to when you yell out to your drywall ceiling to "play some music."
This whole system of algorithms and settings all aligned to give you an amazing entertainment experience all from the comfort of your couch is revolutionary, and we can see it gaining more steam in the coming years.
9. Smart Babysitting
No, we don't mean a robot taking care of babies (even though that could be a possibility in the future), we mean baby monitors and sensors on cribs that tell you exactly what your child is doing.
Imagine your baby climbing his crib at night and is about to topple over when you get an alarm that tells you what's happening and saves the baby from potential injury.
You can see how this could be extremely useful for parents of young children.
Giving a nervous young couple a way to more easily raise their child is a breath of fresh air for them and can also be a very good addition to automate your home.
10. Integration with Alexa and Google Home Hub
Amazon is a big name in the smart home industry, as their Echo device let homeowners have their own robotic assistants to help them with any questions or tasks they have.
Installing one of these in your home could give you a quick answer to any question you have, play music quickly, even order something on Amazon.
This is a handy device to have in your home that can further enhance your home experience.
How to Plan your Smart Home Installation as Early as Possible
There are several home automation companies out there, all it takes is a quick Google search of "smart home installation" to find them.
These are local businesses though, so if you're looking for a more DIY thing, you can always order equipment online and install it in your home yourself.
Our advice is to allow a company to do it for you to make the job faster and easier but if you want to save some money and tackle it yourself then go for it!
Domotics is a huge topic that you can talk for hours about, and it's only in its baby stages.
We still have a long way to go when it comes to home automation, and as technology continues to make progress and take over tasks people do, we will see that come to life.