10 More of Your Home Control Requests


Here are some highlights from this week's entry into the Electronic House and Control4 "What Do You Want to Control?" contest.

Nov. 10, 2009 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Every day on Electronic House we try to give you good ideas and inspiration for ways to improve your home through technology, including the convenience benefits of home automation.

So we’ve been pleased to see all of your creative ideas on how winning a home control system could benefit your own abode. You’ve been serving them up to us in the form of entries for the “What Do You Want to Control?” contest that Electronic House teamed with manufacturer Control4 to provide.

The contest is ongoing this month, so click here to enter. And if you need more inspiration, here are some highlights from what others want a new control system to do in their home:

Our house is driving us crazy! Although my father says it’s old age, it really comes down to the previous owners who thought they’d ‘modernize’ the house. Can you believe they put 12 light switches in the kitchen alone! Tackling this one problem with automation would add years to my life ... but while we’re at it here’s more I’d love: 1) Whole-home audio: Baby Mozart in Eli’s room, something motivating in the kitchen, a little Electronica in the morning to wake the family up; 2) Door locks - Why is it that you always lock your keys in the house on holidays when the Locksmith charges 3X the norm for house calls; 3) Video/Sat/DVD in the home theater and bedroom; and 4) Security controls & remote-video monitoring - my wife asks for this so she can check that the house is ‘empty’ before she comes home while I’m away on business. —Gregory, Calif.

I’d love to be able to call my A/C and cut it on when we come in from vacation or just to turn my lights on at night and off in the morning by a call, when we’re gone. —Kara, Fla.

We have our home theater setup in our family room. So we need this room to be a mild-mannered Clark Kent family room during the day and then in a click of a button transform the family room into a Super hero family home theater ... with blinds to darken the room, lighting control to lower or turn off strategic lighting and to lower the thermostat. What’s that? The front door doorbell? Then we want to check on the security cam to see what kryptonite is ringing the bell interrupting our family time together. And I need touchscreen interface for my Supergirl! —Preston, Fla.

I want my irrigation system to only run when it my yard needs it. The presets of M/W/F, 6 a.m., for 20 minutes in each zone, don’t factor in mother nature. I find myself watching the late news to guess if I should turn the system off for the next morning. Some type of monitor in the yard that measures moisture and its depth (such as those used for indoor plants in pots) could send a signal to the system so it could automatically turn off. If that isn’t possible, send an alert to my keypad that tells me to turn the system off. —Pam, Ky.

I have been hooked on audio/video and home automation since the first time I got a programmable remote. I set up my first home theater in my bedroom at my parents’ house and never stopped dreaming about whole-house audio/video. Then I moved into my own place and got hooked onto a small X-10 lighting project. My fiance and I have just bought our first home which was built in the early 50’s and it needs updating. My goal is to have one equipment closet to service each room in the house and have room for future upgrades. On top of all that I want to make the house green/energy saving as possible. My only problem is I cannot figure out home to control this system and keep it simple enough for my fiance. —Christopher, Md.

We are about to begin our dream house remodel project. We live in a rural community and the houses are really behind the home automation and networking curve. Since this is a house we plan on living in for 40 years this is our shot at setting it up to accommodate home technology for future needs. We want to control entertainment systems, lights, and temperature systems in a more efficient manner and also show friends and family the future of home technology. —Kyle, Minn.

Two adults, seven children, friends, relatives, etc. and one bathroom? Are you serious? At least let me control the traffic. Sound a discreet “buzz” when someone enters, a “ding” when they leave, and I won’t have to get up and then stand in the hall and wait! Love ya all, Grandma! —Karen, Mo.

I would like to control all the speaker wires running all over my room. I don’t have wireless speakers to my sound system and it’s ALL out of control. —Kathy, Va.

I would like to have a touchscreen interface to control everything: lighting, HVAC, music, video, security and yard/garden watering. I have a large collection of music that is in FLAC and videos including Blu-ray that I would love to digitize and have available on any TV or stereo in the house with a push of the button. A system that could record and display data about the living conditions in the house and outside would also be desirable. Monitor the temperature and lighting in each room and adjust automatically if they are undesirable and the room is occupied. Allow the data that is collected to be viewed for any data range so that decisions about home energy costs could be made with all important data available. The security system control would ideally monitor any security camera in the house and automatically show a camera that detects anyone approaching the house on the touchscreen. Automatically water the yard and garden based on how much water the plants actually need by tapping into weather data. Finally, I would love it if the control system could also be set up to monitor my reef aquarium and send alerts when anything is out of the ordinary. —Jonathan, Fla.

I want to control how much electricity I use. I also want to know exactly which which outlets in the house that are using the most energy. If there was a central brain connected to the breaker box and each outlet had a specific IP address or something like that, then it could tell me which plug is using the most energy. Also, at night when none of the electronics are on, the brain has the ability to turn off the power plug so the electronics would not still suck energy even though they are off. I would like Control4 or the TV makers to be able to split the screen where I can watch TV on half the screen and have the Internet on the other half.
—John, Texas

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