User Interface or UI is the space where interaction between humans and the buildings occurs. This is particularly challenging in a building control system due to the...
Smart home control explained. There are a number of ways that people can interact with smart homes and smart devices.
The most common is using internet connected devices such as phones and tablets. Here we take a look at tablets and whether they are the most effective, simplest way to control your home.
Smart home control tablet: how can I use it to control my home?
Tablets are small portable computers which accept input directly onto the screen rather than through a mouse or keyboard - i.e. they have touchscreens. They’re increasingly popular, with common examples being the iPad or Amazon’s Kindle.
In a smart house, the User Interface (UI) is the space where the interactions between the homeowner and the building occur. These interactions can happen through a variety of different features, such as mobile apps or advanced light switches, and one option is the UI tablet.
These UI tablets are mounted in the wall, meaning that they stay in one place and provide the complete control that you need in one fixed place.
What do you use a UI tablet for in smart home control?
You can use your UI tablet to manage every aspect of your smart home. Here are some examples of the elevated control that you can orchestrate with a UI tablet.
In a smart controlled home, you can preset audio to compliment your daily routine. Why not set up gentle music to play when your alarm goes off and create a relaxed morning atmosphere? Or make the most of multi-room audio by playing different music in different rooms, at different volumes!
Advanced security is a feature that is extremely convenient to achieve in a smart home. With a UI tablet, you can access an intercom or local CCTV, thus controlling who enters your home and offering you the ability to keep an eye on who approaches the property. Smart homes can also include break glass, door and motion sensors, information which can be accessed through your UI tablet.
You can preset your smart lighting in exactly the same way as audio. For example, you can use lighting to compliment your circadian rhythms and encourage a regular sleep schedule. Or you can create lighting scenes, such as bright lights for cleaning or dimmed lights for a dinner party. Setting up these scenes is easy with the touchscreen of the UI tablet. It’s also simple to turn off lights in rooms remotely. Check before you go to bed that all the lights are off and save energy and money.
You can also use your UI tablet to control heating, blinds, windows and doors or any other features that your smart home may comprise.
Are there any disadvantages?
One thing that these mounted wall tablets do lack is portability. Don’t forget that all these smart control features can also easily be controlled through an app on your phone, which you can take outside the house. However, that’s not to say that you can’t have the best of both worlds and use the mounted UI tablet and the phone app.
Another factor is the appearance of the tablets from an aesthetic perspective: there’s nothing fundamentally repellent about them, but they are still a piece of technology that will be a visible part of your home. After all, one of the amazing things about smart control is that it runs in the background and shouldn’t need much maintenance, and having one of these tablets in the wall may be an unwanted feature.
What are the alternatives?
As mentioned, your smart controls can be accessed from the app on your phone. This has the advantage of being portable and constantly accessible, wherever you are. All the features mentioned above that you can enjoy through the use of the UI tablet, you can also benefit from by using the mobile app. You can check door and lights on the move, ensuring increased energy and money saving.
Atamate offers the Haze light switch, which looks and feels like a standard lighting dimmer switch. In fact, it does so much more, offering you advanced control of audio and lights, as well as the option to receive real-time visual signals. A wall-mounted multi-function interface, it can be used to open and close, position, or adjust volume, as well as fading lights up and down as a normal dimmer.
You can set up a Haze to give real-time visual signals. The collar of a Haze can be configured to flash or glow in different colours. For example, if windows are left open it could flash red, if the children’s lights are still on after 10pm it could flash green. A Haze also looks exactly the same as any normal dimmer switch so there are no difficulties when visitors, babysitters or technophobes come over. Learn more here.
So there you have it - the options of UI tablets, apps and Haze switches are all open to you. However you choose to manage your smart home, convenience and control will always be integral to the system.