“Home Automation” vs Integrated Home Automation

Here at Synergy Multimedia, we are tasked with sifting through all of the latest products and buzzwords for our clients, recommending only those technologies and products that actually work and add meaningfully to our clients lives.  Major companies like Google, Apple, AT&T, Comcast and ADT all are hawking “home automation” products.  Some of these options are great for the entry level but are lacking significantly in almost any of the metrics our clients demand.

Let’s take for example Nest from Google.  In a nutshell, this is a modern take on a technology that hasn’t changed much at all in 30 or more years – simple relays triggering your heat or a/c to come on and off.  This product does some automatic adjustment of your hvac system based on when it thinks you are home or not and based on how you’ve adjusted it in the past.  Which would be great if it actually KNEW you were home or not, except it doesn’t.  It relies on motion to know whether someone is home or not.  What happens if your thermostat is not centrally located in a place where it can reliably view your motion?  You guessed it – it’s as good as those 30 year old relay thingamajigs.

Honeywell’s new thermostat at least uses a technology called geo-fencing where it uses the built-in GPS in your phone to know if you are in close proximity to your home.  This seemed like a cool idea until I thought about it a bit more deeply.  Let’s say I set the radius to 1-mile around my home.  That would mean if I were at the community pool the system would think I am home, if I’m at the library across the street the system would think I am home, etc.  Thus, the only really reliable way for this to operate in “away” mode is if I set it to a 0-mile radius around my home.  When I come home, the system goes to the comfort setting.  At the very least, this is better than the Nest method, but doesn’t provide any REAL benefit.

The major issue with these and every other system from every major manufacturer is they are not integrated.  The Nest app just does hvac and their smoke and CO alarm.  Honeywell just does hvac and possibly security.  AT&T and Comcast do security, cheap, low resolution surveillance, hvac and “lights”.  Whenever I use the quotes, I mean that word in it’s most BASIC sense.  Because they are not sending out electricians to your home, the only possible way they have of controlling your lights is with a plug in lamp dimmer.  That’s it.  Seriously, when did lighting control mean I can only control my lamps – not my exterior lights, not my interior recessed lighting, nothing except for lamps?  That’s what I mean by “lighting” control.

And that, folks, is the Achilles heal of all except for the REAL automation systems out there.  They lack any sort of integration.  They do one thing and they do that one thing in the most basic way possible.

Contrast that to our Integrated Home Automation System.  No quotes.  We integrate your hvac system, your lights (all of them!), your shades and window treatments, your security and surveillance (in 1080p quality or higher), and your whole-home Audio/Video, something none of these other systems even try to touch.  That means we can give you a single app, without switching, with control whether you are home or away, of ALL of your home systems.  That means when you arrive home and disarm your security system the shades rise, the climate goes to comfort setting, the lights greet you if dark etc.  That means when you go to sleep and press the sleep button on your single remote on your beside table, all of the lights in the home turn off, all of the TV’s and sound turn off, the shades lower all to their sleep setting until you get up in the morning and the reverse happens.

This, folks, meaningfully adds to your life.  That’s what we provide, and we think about all of the various use cases and pose the question, does this work in a way that enhances your life through providing more comfort or saving you time or saving you energy and do it in such a way that’s the best method available on the market?   If the answer is no, then you’ll never hear us trying to sell you that product or system.  If the answer is yes, then you are Living with Synergy.  And yes, I know Synergy is such a cliché but it sums up what we do in such a perfect manner that you truly do get a whole that adds up to greater than the sum of the parts.