As smartphones started to become more and more prevalent, it was inevitable that people would seek new ways to incorporate them into their lives, including their homes.

Home Automation: The Newest Way To Improve Homes

Karen Clark

Home remodeling projects usually consist of upgrading current décor to match the latest trends, styles and appliances. Homeowners may work tirelessly (or pay someone else to work tirelessly) in an effort to create a room that reflects their tastes and usually adds value to their homes. These projects can involve a fresh coat of paint or new lighting fixtures, possibly knocking out a wall and sometimes even hiring an entire crew of contractors to get everything just right. 
In addition to color palettes and accessories, though, there's also the increasingly common practice of introducing smart-home technology into remodeling projects. 
While items like new paint and new appliances will always play a big role in home renovation, an emerging trend making its mark on the industry involves automated "smart home" controls. 

Cool ways to make a ‘smart home’

Traditional renovation projects usually focus on creating a space with aesthetics – whether it's a style overhaul or replacing old or damaged flooring. But a home remodel  focused on smart home technology also means changing not just how the home looks but also how it functions. 
Many people may have heard the term "home automation" even if they’re not familiar with its vast capabilities. Some home automation features include: 
  • Automated operation of blinds and curtains 
  • Remotely controlling door locks and other security functions 
  • Using voice commands to control lighting, temperature, entertainment devices and more
Since many home automation capabilities involve controlling appliances and systems such as HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), homeowners can also program a customized schedule for their thermostats. Reducing usage during peak demand times could help homeowners cut down on their energy bills.

Trends in the home renovation industry 

It seems that the people who are most likely to choose these types of smart home renovations and upgrades are homeowners ages 55 and older. In fact, over the past 20 years, the Baby Boomer generation has been responsible for one-third of all home renovation projects. 
Meanwhile, home technology for aging adults continues to evolve. Projects in development include home-based sensors that remotely monitor vital stats so that the patient doesn’t have to leave the house to get his or her glucose levels measured. Clearly, technology and markets are moving to meet the needs of the largest generation that's also expected to live longer and more independently than any other in history.

The future of smart home improvement

As smartphones started to become more and more prevalent, it was inevitable that people would seek new ways to incorporate them into their lives, including their homes. The final frontier may be integrating control every single one of your home’s systems – HVAC, lighting, entertainment, security and more – into one centralized unit, like a tablet. 
It’s probably just a matter of time before this sort of technology becomes widely available in mass markets. If companies make everything smart, it could not only change the way we live but also optimize the places we live. 
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of HomeToys

Comments (10)

hi again, for the sudo nano /etc/dnsmasq.conf, is it #address=/double-click./ #address=? (Rpi IP) or #address=/double-click./ address=? or #address=? thanks!
hi, firstly thanks alot for this instructions! really awesome... i have a question step 2 during the edit DNS, do i need to add a # infornt of the "address=/"? also which IP is this ""? is it the pi's Ip or the PC? thanks
Is it normal that I have to run these commands every time I restart the server? echo 'export rvmsudo_secure_path=1 ' >> ~/.bash_profile source ~/.bash_profile sudo ln -s ~/.siriproxy /root/.siriproxy rvmsudo siriproxy bundle rvmsudo siriproxy server
Hi Saman Amighi Would be interested to see what kind of expressions you are using Regards mark
You cannot use port forwarding. Only VPN would work Regarding not connecting, read through the troubleshooting. I encountered most problems and solutions are there
Does the Siri Proxy work through Port Forwarding? In other words if I am at work and I want to shut something off at home does it work when you are away from your home network? If So, do you put your home router address and port in somewhere to connect? Thanks!!
Brilliant stuff, tried with VMWare, and all worked great and thought I would attempt with Raspberry Pi next but it seems I cannot seem to get it to work. When opening Siri on my phone it seems to try make a connection showing : start conn #, @zip_stream=#, @consumed_ace=false, @name="iPhone", @ssled=false> over and over again, but never gets past it, do you know where I can start looking to right this ? Great stuff though been having some good fun with this
Great project, instructions and image download. I can't believe it worked, Raspi config worked perfectly. The only minor change I would recommend is matching the instructions on .63 with the ipconfig -a ... .219. It confused me for a bit on which DNS address to use. It worked perfectly after that. I use the commands for controlling x10 devices with the x10 firecracker and bottle rocket modules. 5 lines of code and it works great. Had to learn ruby a bit to get the regex and variables to work. Thank you very much.
Hi James Thanks for the update. Unfortunately, the installation process (apt-get) gets the latest stable version of any of the packages, so anything with a version no is likely to change in the future. Hopefully readers will realize that they are getting an error because of a version no difference. Thanks again Did you get your running BTW? Mark
InvalidByteSequenceError notes: CFProperty-2.1.2 may not be installed in the directory shown by the author. I found CFProperty-2.1.2 was installing in /ruby-1.9.3-p385 and not /ruby-1.9.3-p385@SiriProxy as the author shows. Also note the p374 descriptor in directory name /ruby-1.9.3-p374@SiriProxy was p385 on my install. So my copy syntax was: sudo cp -r ~/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p385/gems/CFPropertyList-2.1.2/* ~/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p385@SiriProxy/gems/CFPropertyList-2.2.0

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