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It is cheap and easy to turn your home into a smart house

It is easier now to convert your home to a smart home.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Several new initiatives, especially crowd-funded projects have brought down the costs from several thousand dollars to within reach of a common man's budget.

Smart home or a connected home is when you have your electronic devices connected to the internet and can communicate to them through your smartphone or now even through gesture control. Latest technology even enables a lighting system to switch itself on when you get into the house, provided it is dark.

Sam Plug and Sam Strip are part of the latest Kickstarter project aimed at raising funds to create devices that can get your home automated through two simple devices a plug and a multiple socket chord.

It allows you to remotely control and automate any devices plugged in to them. The developers have integrated several sensors into the device allowing it to track the surrounding environment, temperature and motion and to measure the amount of electricity consumed by the connected device.

Based on the information collected one can set the rules for the devices to react, e.g., you may set a rule where the fan or an air-condition unit can be switched on when the temperature goes above a certain degree, turn on the lights when it gets dark, stop charging when the device is fully charged, etc.

The team of five who are part of Senseplug (www.senseplug.io) developing the project have incorporated two USB charging ports with 2.1A supply for faster charging.

Early backers were able to pre-order a Sam Plug for $49 and a Sam strip for $79. The options available now include a price-range starting $109 for Sam strip up to $450 for a full house automation with a 10 pack set. The devices will be ready for shipping by November 2014, according to its developers.

Plugaway is another recent successful Kickstarter project that raised $162,835. The Beijing-based company is developing similar Wi-Fi connected plugs and LED bulbs and have enabled control of the devices through an iOS and Android app, allowing you to switch off or even dim your lights.

The developers have left the source code open for anyone be it small firms, interior designers, developers, restaurant owners, even hobbyists to custom-make separate apps in their own style with limitless functionality.

According to the developers, the smartplug itself will run on only 0.2W and support devices up to 2500W to enable devices ranging from a small stereo to heavy devices such as ACs and TVs.

What's more a user will even get al alert on the phone when there is a breakdown.

The Plugaway LED's are frosted acrylic bulbs and uses 6Ws of power with an estimated lifespan of 30,000 hours. According to the developers the LED bulbs have an output of 450-500lm and compares to a regular 50W halogen bulb, thereby enabling energy savings of 85 per cent.

While the above mentioned projects are still in the process of being produced, Belkin has already launched its WeMo home automation switch.

The $50 switch is a Wi-Fi enabled plug that enables you to switch on and off connected devices and has a custom-made iOS and Android app. Here again a user can schedule rules from your smartphone.

For $80 you can order a WeMo Switch along with a motion kit that enables you the device to switch on or off upon detection of motion up to 10 feet away. The sensor sends a wireless signal to the WeMo Switch to turn the connected device either on or off. All the three above mentioned devices work with IFTTT

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© Emirates 24|7 2014
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