Outside of learning about these products at trade shows, staying at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas was my first experience using home automation. Upon entering my room during my stay for the 2013 International Builders’ Show, the lights automatically came on, the TV tuned to the room’s system options, and the curtains opened. (The view might be the only thing better than the technology!)
The controls were well-labeled, convenient, and self-explanatory. From various Control4 keypads around the room, through the television, or using a master touchscreen, I was able to control the room’s lighting, TV, curtains, thermostat, and perform other specialized functions such as calling the front desk. The only drawbacks were that the touchscreen was not very sensitive and wasn’t wireless (probably to prevent theft).
Overall, the system improved my stay and made me smile — and that was just three days in a hotel. Advanced features for home, such as home theater controls, distributed audio, security cameras, smart appliances, and numerous other sensors could make homeowners happier for a lot longer. —Lauren Hunter, senior editor, REMODELING. twitter.com/LaurenHunter_HW