May 05, 2009
| by Lisa Montgomery
We worked with a commercial plumbing supply company to install the appropriate flushing mechanism and gave the client a special key fob that he could use to activate the flush from his car. Come to find out, he has asked for the system because someone in his house never flushed a specific toilet and it frustrated him to no end. His wife thanked me for providing the service.
After hearing these stories, I started thinking about slightly unconventional automation setups I’d like for my own house.
Party-Perfect Pictures: I think I’d get a lot more use and enjoyment out of my digital photo frame if it was automated. The same party button that activates the lights and sets the music could turn on the frame and start a slideshow.
Stormy Weather: In Michigan, the weather can turn on a dime, and every year we lose a patio umbrella to the wind because we didn’t close it up in time. If the umbrella could be automated to close whenever it got too windy, we’d save a bundle of money.
Morning Announcements: I admit it, I’m a nag. I don’t like to do it, my kids don’t like to hear it and frankly, it’s completely counterproductive. Maybe if an automation system could remind my kids to pack their backpacks, grab their band instruments and tie their shoes before bolting out the door for school they’d actually listen. I’d like the announcement (in a voice other than my own, of course) to come through an in-ceiling speaker planted right above the service door.
Custom Cushioning: Some car seats are smart enough to adjust to the driver, so why can’t the recliner in my home? I’d like a home theater command on my remote to not only start the A/V system and dim the lights, but also set the adjust the recliner exactly how I like it.
Have some ideas of your own? We’d love to hear about them.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.