Smart Home Technology is a broad descriptor that covers a wide range of domestic technologies that are designed to make homes more convenient, secure, efficient or fun. These include:
Multiroom Audio and Video systems
Heating and Environmental control
Window, Curtain and Blinds control
CCTV and Security systems
Networking and Communications
Breaking that down, what is it that makes Smart Home technology smart? It's probably more useful to start with what the benefits are; technology is constantly changing but the requests we get from our clients today are pretty consistent with the requests we were getting six or seven years ago.
"I want to be able to access Sky, DVD and all my media in any room in the house and have it so individual members of the household can be watching or listening to different things at the same time"
"I'd like to be able to control my lighting from a central point, be able to make it look like we're in when we're out and know that when we're going to bed we can just turn everything off"
"I want to be able to control things in the house when I'm away, turn the heating and the hot water on if I'm on my way home"
Such requests are the staples of the system specifications we develop.
Smart Home Technology makes it easier to do the things a lot of us want to do with their homes but to be really smart, it has to meet a few non-technical criteria. Firstly it must be simple to use; all the family should be comfortable using it. Secondly it must be robust. There's no point having a whizz bang system that lets you down when all you're looking to do is sit down, chill out and relax with the family. Thirdly, we believe it should be discreet. That means no wires, no clutter, no gaggle of different controllers on the wall and no mass of remotes on the coffee table. Equipment should be discretely and securely mounted in carefully cabled and managed racks away from view.
With the technology mounted away in racks, the most important point of interaction with the systems is the user interface. Brilliant develops custom interfaces for our customers that can be used on a variety of devices - Touchscreens, iPhones and iPads, smart remote controls and even your TV. The beauty of these interfaces is that they are controlling all the different systems in the house through a whole house control system like AMX
Whole house control systems tie together the different technologies we work with. Touch screen panels or smart remote controls can be used to access audio, video, lighting control systems and deliver control up through a simple, unified, integrated control layer for the user.
For many people this is what they mean when they talk about Smart Homes. A simple bespoke interface controlling a whole house's system with no clutter and no mess