Apple’s iPad can wear many hats. It’s a game machine, a music player, an ebook reader, a notebook, and an entertainment device. It’s so advanced that you can even use it to control your entire home. That’s right, the iPad integrates with several different home automation systems, allowing you to control elements like lighting, temperature, alarm systems, and more.
If you’re feeling ambitious and want to get your hands dirty with a serious DIY project, check out a few of these systems and apps that will turn your house into a home straight from the future.
Nest ($249) – Nest is an advanced thermostat system that integrates with your current heating and air conditioning solution. Nest is quick and easy to program, and it is guaranteed to save you money within days using its habit learning capabilities. When you are out of the home, you can use the accompanying mobile app to connect to your thermostat from anywhere, to turn it down or up based on your preferences. Nest may be pricy, but it is a gorgeous temperature solution that’s sure to make your life easier.
Philips Hue ($199.95) – The Hue lighting system from Philips allows you to control your home lighting environment with your iPad or your iPhone. For $200, you get a starter pack of three connected light bulbs and a bridge controller, which connects the bulbs to your home WiFi system. Your iDevice can be used to turn the bulbs to any color of the rainbow, and you can even create light settings based on your favorite photos. The accompanying app comes with several different lighting schemes for different moods, and the bulbs can even be used to help you wake up in the morning.
Crestron – Crestron makes a wide range of home automation systems, including the Total Home Technology set up that streamlines and simplifies the technology in your home for both comfort and convenience. With the system you can control blinds, lights, alarm, temperature, and your home theater. You can use the Crestron Mobile Pro G to transform your iPad or iPhone into a touchpanel that is able to control all of your home automation features. Crestron isn’t a cheap solution, but it is the ultimate in luxury.
Savant – Savant is another company that designs total home automation systems. With Savant, you can use your iPad or your iPhone to control lighting, climate, security, audio/video components, digital media, and more. Savant boasts the world’s most integrated Apple-based control system, and it was the first company to produce native home control apps for Apple’s devices. This is another system that will cost you some serious cash, but if you’re looking for a complete home automation solution, it’s a great choice.
Belkin WeMo ($49.99) – Want home automation on the cheap? If so, the Belkin WeMo is the accessory that you’re looking for. The WeMo plugs in to your existing light sockets, turning them in to smart sockets. You can turn your lights on and off remotely, or turn on the TV when you’re out of the house. You can also set a timer to turn lights on and off. The WeMo uses your iPhone or your iPad and connects to your home WiFi, allowing you to access your lighting from anywhere. There’s a switch and a motion detector (which sell for $99 together) allowing you to trigger lights and other electronics with motion.