Home automation, an increasingly simplified technology
The big news in the past year has been the standardization of systems. Today, manufacturers have understood the importance of creating compatible products from one brand to another. The NFC 15-100 standard, which sets the regulations for electrical installations, has also enabled home automation to progress in the direction of better equipment cohesion. The standard has increased user safety, adapted to current needs (more household appliances and multimedia equipment) and allows better operation of electrical installations. For example, it requires a connection circuit breaker, the use of RJ 45 sockets and takes into account the accessibility of disabled people. In terms of products, energy dashboards have become tactile and much more intuitive. Arrived on the market a year ago, these touch screens are decreasing in size and price (count around 400 to 500 € for a small screen). Also on the market are sensitive glass switches, which are activated by a simple touch. The American company Crestron has launched an ultra-efficient HD distribution system which allows all televisions in the house to be in high definition thanks to image and sound content stored on a specific home server. As for the company Philips, it has just put on the market a universal touch remote control which very clearly simplifies its use. On the security side, there are now IP cameras, the image stream of which can be read from a computer or even a mobile phone. Finally, home automation appliances are coming soon: washing machines, dishwashers and interactive ovens with Konnex technology, linked to the home management system to rationalize use according to their exact needs.
Eric Justman, editor-in-chief of Architecture à Vivre and Ecologik
How does home automation change everyday life? It improves daily life in terms of comfort. It also offers interesting features for people who have difficulty getting around, such as the disabled or the elderly. Concretely, people mostly need features that extend their arms. The most interesting scenario is as follows: I am leaving my house. In a gesture I turn off all the lights and I put the heating on standby. Thanks to the energy dashboard, home automation also makes it possible to become aware of the consumption of a house, a problem that is both economic and civic. What can you do with a small budget? We can start by pre-wiring a house. This allows a flexibility of adaptation of the rooms according to the evolution of the lifestyle of the household. It is very important to think about it beforehand because when the house is finished building or renovating, it is difficult to go back. You can buy the systems later, as you go. But home automation is a budget. In general, there is a 15% surplus in the electricity budget. What will be the evolutions of tomorrow? If the automation of roller shutters or the remote control opening of a roof window is easy to handle, things get complicated when it comes to multimedia. I think that the changes will be made in the direction of a simplification of orders, with more intuitive elements, which do not require re-reading the user manual as soon as you come back from vacation.