Homeowners have been forced to choose between the autonomy provided by standalone smart devices on the one hand, and the robustness, sophistication, and extensive device support of professional automation systems on the other.
Customizing the Smart Home: Putting the Power Into the Homeowner's Hands
Crystal Watts | Control4
Reprinted with permission from Control4's blog:
In the past few years, we’ve seen a growing divide in the smart home market, centered around the fundamental differences between mass-market smart devices and professionally installed home automation systems. And as one-off smart devices grow smarter and more feature rich, not to mention more popular, that gulf has only gotten deeper. In short, homeowners have been forced to choose between the autonomy provided by standalone smart devices on the one hand, and the robustness, sophistication, and extensive device support of professional automation systems on the other.
Until now, that is.
When >> Then, a new feature of Control4’s 4Sight subscription services, bridges the gap and gives homeowners the best of both worlds: the freedom to enhance, edit, and add to the automated events in and around their home, combined with the reliability, extensive device support, and unparalleled customer service that only a professionally installed automation system like Control4 can deliver.
So, what is When >> Then, exactly? Simply put, it’s a slick and intuitive browser-based interface that asks homeowners a very simple question: “When X happens, how would you like your smart home to respond?” For example, by navigating just a few simple screens, a homeowner can set straightforward commands like “When I press the top button on the keypad in the kitchen >> Then play my favorite Spotify playlist,” or “Whenthe sun rises >> Then turn on the kitchen lights.” Schedules and triggers can also be set to activate multiple automated events, for example; “When it is 6:00 p.m. >> Then turn on living room lights, lock the front door, and tune the television to channel 246.” With nearly 11,000 supported third-party consumer electronic devices in the Control4 ecosystem, the options for customization are nearly limitless.
And the personalization options aren’t merely limited to devices in and around the home; homeowners can also quickly and easily set up triggers that send push notifications to their smart phones as well. Parents might choose to receive a pop-up alert when their kids unlock the front door at the end of the school day, for example, or when the living room TV is turned on.
It’s exactly the sort of personalization that Control4 homeowners and dealers alike have been requesting for quite some time. But getting it right was no easy task. It required a very intuitive, yet flexible interface: one that allowed for rich customization without the need for the homeowner to have any experience or expertise in programming. Getting it right also meant designing a personalization environment that allows homeowners to see what sort of programming their dealers have already done, but in such a way that they don’t have to worry about undoing, breaking, or interfering with professionally programmed, automated events.
In short, Control4’s new “When >> Then” functionality gives homeowners the ability to tweak their homes to fit their lifestyles and needs, secure in the knowledge that they can fall back on the support and expertise that a Control4 dealer-managed system offers. It represents freedom, but also a safety net. It unlocks personal customization capabilities for one of the most advanced control solutions on the market, in a way that virtually anyone can comprehend. And best of all, it allows homeowners to tinker and experiment, without fear that they’ll do any lasting harm to their advanced home control and entertainment solution.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of HomeToys
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