For those of us “of a certain age,” we remember how cool Star Trek: The Next Generation was when it first aired. A glimpse into the future, the show was filled with the same space travel and interactions with alien races as the original series with a sleeker feeling and decidedly more decorum from the ship’s captain. However, one feature that was particularly appealing to viewers (aside from being able to “beam” anywhere” was the computer operating system aboard the Starship Enterprise. With the ability to do everything from stir a perfect cocktail to virtually transport you to another world, Trekkies everywhere hoped that one day we would be able to simply tell a computer to do something for us and have it do it.
Hold on to your hats, folks because when it comes to whole-home automation, the future is now. These features of the Star Trek computer are well within our grasp.
1. Integrated Speaker System
One of the best parts of Star Trek was the crew’s ability to walk into any room on the Enterprise and have their voice commands followed. While home automation devices like Amazon’s Dot and Echo, Google Home and the upcoming Apple Home Pod provide a lot of voice-activated features, their size limits the power of their speakers. You might be able to play a song in your kitchen where your device is sitting, but it is difficult to have that song played throughout your home. In the next few months, HS Tech will introduce an amplifier system that enables you to connect your automation device to your home’s integrated speaker system. Not only will your favorite song play everywhere in your house, but you will also be able to control your device from everywhere in your house.
2. Voice Activated Climate and Light Control
Who can forget the hologram deck in Star Trek: The Next Generation? These immersive experiences incorporated lighting, climate, and sound into a seemingly endless virtual reality experience. Then, with voice commands, the hologram would change, or the simulation would end altogether. Today, you can integrate your home’s climate and light control system into a total-home automation system allowing you to control everything in your home with the touch of a button. From one panel or one smartphone app, you can turn on or dim the lights or adjust your thermostat, so you are greeted by a cozy house while conserving energy. The next step will be having these features be voice activated rather than controlled with a keypad or app. With the ability to integrate Dot, Echo, Home or Home Pod into your home automation system voice activated controls are here and will only get better.
3. Remote Security Features
It seemed whenever the Enterprise crew were under attack; someone would override the computer’s security system to board the ship at will. Fortunately, integrated home security systems have exceeded the Enterprise’s level of safety. Video doorbells and app-controlled security systems, including the ability to remotely lock and unlock your doors, are already available with many integrated security systems.
While today’s integrated automation system will not make you the perfect cup of tea, this technology makes what was once thought to be a dream, a reality.