While customization in the home is not a novel idea, bringing technology into the equation can be complicated. Whether it’s a thermostat or smoke alarm – too many companies have limited their offerings to one-size-fits-all technology. But is that really what you’re looking for? Hunter Douglas, a leading window fashions company, commissioned some technology enthusiasts to give their take on a few favourite ‘smart home’ gadgets for streamlining daily activities, and all of it with a personal touch. Here are the results:
- Many brands rely on an algorithm to set a schedule, but for the smartest windows, PowerView Motorization (from Hunter Douglas) puts the scheduling decisions in the hands of users. With the handy app, a scheduling feature gives you the ability to set Scenes – different combinations of shades and shade positions – to operate automatically on specific days and times based on your unique personal preferences. You can even schedule multiple room Scenes to activate simultaneously. Do you want to be up with the sunrise on Saturdays? No problem – you can also link your shades to the exact sunrise and sunset times, precisely calculated by PowerView based on its knowledge of your specific location.
If needed, you can choose to override the schedule at any time by manually activating the scenes with the artfully designed Pebble Control, offered in seven on-trend colours, with a wall-mounted control also available. Simply press a button to set the shades in motion on command. Shades can even be operated while you’re away with the RemoteConnect feature.
- Netatmo has taken home security cameras to a new level with a line called Welcome. It uses facial recognition technology to send the names of programmed users, up to 16 people, it sees directly to your smartphone. Better yet, Welcome alerts you when a stranger passes in front of the camera. You can be notified when children or elderly parents are home, and more importantly, when the camera sees an intruder.
Welcome allows users to customize each person’s privacy settings through the free app, including disabling video recordings or notifications, so each family member can find his or her perfect fit. An added bonus: Welcome is beautiful and sleekly designed, measuring only six inches in height.
- Hesitant to give the dog walker or housekeeper a key to your home? August Smart Lock-HomeKit Enabled removes that worry with encrypted locking technology and an app that puts total control in the hands of users by eliminating a physical key. Through the app, you decide who gets a key and when. You can issue family members a 24/7 virtual key, the dog walker one for a specified time period, or remotely unlock the door for the out-of-town guest that arrived unexpectedly.
With Auto-Unlock, August senses your approach and unlocks the door for you, without you having to reach for your phone and the EverLock technology will automatically lock the door behind you – so no more digging for keys or wondering if you locked the door when you left. August is easy to install too; it simply replaces the interior portion of your existing deadbolt but does not require you to change your exterior door hardware. The system can be installed and operational in only 10 minutes.
With these and the many other advanced technologies being introduced now at a rapid-fire pace, there’s never been a better time to join the smart home revolution.
More information is available at www.hunterdouglas.ca.
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