Home automation, technically referred to as Domotics, is a niche within industrial automation (or building automation) that specializes in remote controlling private properties such as houses for the comfort and security of its residents. Home automation companies derive their inspiration from industries, which use Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, and software to control the ecosystem (entire industrial environment and processes) via the internet; but are implemented in a smaller ecosystem called smart home.
The main difference, however, is human interface. Domotics uses simpler, self-explanatory control interface of which ergonomics is the most vital property. Some of the smart home automation standards and bridges in use include INSTEON, X10, KNX (standard), System Box, LonWorks, Crestron, C-Bus, Universal Powerline Bus (UPB), UPnP, ZigBee and Z-Wave.
Many home automation systems use the much acclaimed Raspberry Pi motherboard, which is known for its compatibility with various Operating Systems used in robotics, IoT and AI. Home automation can allow controlling every indoor object from doors to the ambient climate, giving the ultimate comfort to its users, increasing the hype and demand for automation. Such an evolving and thriving application is bound to brew competition.
Here are the top 5 home automation companies known for their automation systems:
- AMX Richardson
- Crestron Electronics
- Home Automation Inc. (HAI)
1. AMX Richardson
Amx Richardson is a Texas-based home automation company, whose platform is also being used by the NASA, has products that span from home control and automation, switching, distributed audio and video through to technology management.
AMX’s products integrate a vista of technologies into a reliable, consistent, scalable automation system.
The company uses single-system boards to manage a wide range of home electronics, including
- Distributed audio & video circuits to provide customized sound frequencies for different areas of the house.
- Automated doors, Entryways & Gates for auto-lock and auto-unlock controls for windows, doors, and gates.
- Security camera surveillance or intruder alert systems that control CCTV cameras outside the house and relay the visual data automatically and also sound alarms.
- Remote access to whole home systems for remote monitoring of private properties via the Internet and enabling direct human communication with the automation system.
- Environmental controls – Appropriate temperatures can be maintained using pre-programmed system settings.
- Intercom Communications
- Personalized Event Sequencing uses sensors to respond to the presence of houseowners at their front door, and automatically turn on the lights, turn on the TV and change the channel, or adjust room temperature.
Life/Ware home automation media servers and extenders are renowned for their intelligent and fast processing powers that work both for whole home automation systems as well as solely for entertainment purposes.
Their product line has a barrage of audio/video distribution products, lighting and climate controls, as well as security and surveillance systems.
While Life/Ware is mainly software, they also supply an array of hardware components.
- Embedded Windows XP with a 40-GB hard drive
- In-Wall 8.9" & 12.1" HD Touch Panels
- External storage devices up to an additional 2.25 TB capacity
- Third-party automation devices to ethernet-connected device converter; and much more.
Control4 is a scalable home automation system that can be cabled or wireless, depending on customer needs. It offers customizable home automation products such as whole-house audio, surveillance cameras, door locking mechanisms, and light and temperature controls. Any smartphone (remote control), touchpad, computer, or tablet device can be used to control it. Control4 develops its entire product line on the popular platform ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4), which transmits control information using RF signals between devices in the system.
Their device array includes in-wall switches and dimmers, outlet switches and dimmers, button keypads, handheld remotes, thermostats, and I/O extender. It also uses 4Sight service to control non-entertainment devices online or using 3G/4G networks in iOS, PC or Android devices. It also uses both wired and wireless Ethernet communications. The company also provides 5" & 7" Touch Screens with in wall-mounted or table-top enclosures with an intercom option; 7" Touch Screens with an imbedded camera; 4 & 8 Zone Multi-Channel Amplifiers; 16 port Audio Matrix Switch; iPod dock and much more.
4. Crestron Electronics
Crestron Electronics uses its own architecture – 2-Series Engine and Dual-Bus – integrated with master controller technology. These two architectures (models) range from compact- and economical-room boxes to full-featured, scalable systems for home automation. The highly-customizable device includes an array of wired and wireless touch panels – tabletop or wall-mounted.
For audio/video distribution, Crestron offers several channels of Multi-Room and Surround Sound Audio Amplifiers, the Adagio line of Home Entertainment systems, and an array of Digital Audio and Video Processors.
5. Home Automation Inc. (HAI)
HAI is renowned for safety and security solutions along with energy consumption management. The company supplies the Automation Simplified® line of products for entertainment and comfort solutions.
Its Omni Family product line offers the best in security systems. The Omni series includes the OmniLT, Omni IIe, and OmniPro II, which are full-featured security solutions for residential condos through to small businesses.
It also owns the lesser used Lumina brand of lighting products. However, the Omni & Lumina both offer thermostats and temperature sensors apart from their regular set of products. HAI offers its Home Control for Windows Media Center to add the ability to directly control the smart home’s lighting and ambient temperature and humidity from the media center's remote itself.
HAI another product, ProntoLink, a ProntoScript integration module for the Philips TSU9800, TSU9600, or TSU9400 Pronto remotes, enable pre-programmed screens in order to add the HAI functionality into a standard Pronto project. HAI offers the Hi-Fi brand of multi-room audio, system allowing the user to listen to music uniformly throughout the house without reduction in decibels or any sort of distortion.