It still may seem like a bit of science fiction, being able to control everything in your home—from your lights to your garage door—all with your mobile phone.
Home automation is here though, and a few big names have recently announced efforts trying to make it simple for you to set up and use, like Home Depot and its Wink system.
“Currently Home Depot has over 600 home automation products online and in store today, but they all have their individual app and they can’t work together. So what we’re trying to do: have one platform to bring all of those nationally branded products together in one free app called Wink," Home Depot's Anne Sebestyen says.
That system is launching with 15 products under one hood.
Staples has a similar plan that links around 150 devices. The big difference with Staples Connect: it's working on including wearables into your network.
“So with Jawbone, the example is you wake up in the morning, you turn your sleep mode off, and that would trigger your Lutron blinds to go up, your lights to come on, your temperature to be at the desired temperature and, as well, your coffee maker could start on," says Brian Coupland of Staples.
If you like the thought of all or some of this stuff, but you’re still absolutely intimidated by the thought of having to set it up, there is yet another type of company that will come into your home and set it all up completely: your cable company.
While most other solutions are "do-it-yourself," companies like our parent, Time Warner Cable with its Intelligent Home, just as it does with your cable, phone or internet service, will send someone over, then hand you the remote, or in this case, your new app when it’s ready to go.
“For maybe more early adopters or more tech savvy folks a retail outlet might be more appealing to them, but for more the mass market who may be intimidated by some of this new technology we can install it for them, we can support it for them,." says Time Warner Cable's Adam Mayer.
But since not every off the shelf product works with every system, if there’s one device you’re eager to own but want that all-in-one app control, as always, do some research.