Home automation provides a convenient way to control home appliances and systems. Making life easier for homeowners, automation and saves energy by programming devices and systems to operate within certain requirements. Controls and graphical user interfaces (GUI) for home automation can be as simple as dimming lights using a wall-mounted touchscreen or as feature-rich as a network of smart home systems programmed with a main device controller or mobile application.
The smart home, outfitted with cutting edge home automation technology, might be a geek's* paradise but there is also strong growth. With market revenues projected to reach $187M by 2025, smart home and home automation products offer existing manufacturers and new entrants opportunities for a number of reasons.
1. Energy doesn't come cheap
A big driver for homeowners looking for automation technology is the cost of heating and powering our homes. Energy isn't getting any cheaper, and aiming to decrease energy consumption is a mission of the financially savvy and environmentally conscious among us. Using a home automation system to pre-program home temperatures or to set appliances to run during peak hours saves electricity. That means more money for Friday night takeout.
"Occupancy sensors, which can identify if a person is in the room, can reduce energy use by 30 percent. Daylight sensors are even more efficient and can lower your usage by up to 40 percent." - IoT For All
2. Keeping our homes - and families - safe
You weren't expecting visitors? Check out the interface of your home automation system to see who's knocking at your door at 11:00 PM. Home security systems are gaining in technology prowess and complexity. Designing an intuitive interface to interact with security systems increases security and safety, and by association, peace of mind.
3. Because convenience
Smart homes lend convenience to busy households. Well-designed home automation interfaces allow homeowners to interact with and control their homes in ways that maximize convenience and savings.
The best home automation interfaces are designed with users in mind. A smart appliance GUI that helps plan and cook meals more efficiently is a growing trend in consumer kitchens. Simplicity is key, but intuitive and easy-to-use controllers require elegant design, exhaustive testing, and multiple iterations, which can be time intensive. Designing with AMETEK Crank's Storyboard allows teams to keep UX and UI designers engaged in the entire development process, resulting in systems that are finely tuned and highly functional, without dragging out timelines.
A simple, easy-to-use home automation demo, built with Storyboard
Check out the following home automation demo on the Microchip SAMA5D4, featuring video playback. This interactive user interface was built with Storyboard to manage various aspects of a home, including lighting, heating & cooling, and home security.
*We use the word "geek" with much admiration and respect, obviously.