Automation: The future is now.

“Hal, open the pod bay doors.”– “2001: A Space Odyssey”

Depending on which generation you were born in, “home automation” can either sound like a dream come true or give you flashbacks to “2001: A Space Odyssey” where the computer, Hal, became sentient and began defying its handlers.

But over the past few years, advancements in home automation have made remarkable progress and can bring ease of life to people of any generation. When thinking about a home remodel, consider how to incorporate home automation into your plans.

Apple’s Siri has been around since 2010 and Amazon’s Alexa was born in 2014, so we’ve been living with some forms of home automation for more than a decade. App-connected home appliances and devices have become the norm, rather than the exception.

There are refrigerators with on-door built-in app-connected screens that allow you to track what’s in your fridge and on your shopping list. The display can show your family’s schedule, play music or TV, and actually show you via a camera what’s in your fridge, so you don’t have to open the door and search for what you need.

App-driven ovens, fryers, and microwaves allow you to set timers for dinner, notify you when something is finished cooking, and start the heat, all while you’re at the grocery store picking up something you forgot.

Louisville’s own GE Profile manufacturer has been a leader in this industry for more than a decade. The Profile line of appliances features app-connected washers and dryers, water heaters, ranges, ovens, water softeners, and microwave ovens.

Their most popular GE app-connected appliance is the Opal Nugget Ice Maker, which is an app-enabled countertop ice maker that makes the uber-popular nugget ice cubes. These are air-infused, tube-shaped ice cubes that many say cool drinks better than traditional ice and are fun to chew on.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, GE Profile debuted the GE Smart Indoor Smoker. According to “The Hollywood Reporter,” “We literally followed our appetites to GE Profile’s CES booth, where we taste-tested (more than once) fresh samples of cajun-spiced popcorn made with the new Smart Indoor Smoker. The built-in temperature probe and active smoke filtration means you can whip up everything from smoked brisket and cocktail ingredients indoors without overcooking or making your smoke alarm go off, thanks to a process that circulates smoke from the fired wood pellets inside. The pellets are extinguished and then automatically collected in a water tank for quick and easy cleanup.”

Kitchen remodeling can become a way to step into the future and make your kitchen start working for you. 

Smart window shades and blinds are becoming increasingly popular. You can raise and lower your blinds or increase the light-blocking capacity of your blinds by signaling to a number of apps, whether it’s Siri, Alexa, or Google Home or others, that you want to do so. This is a great advancement if you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning and need a blast of natural light to motivate you. The New York Times has this great rundown on smart shades here.

Smart lighting systems for the home are wifi-enabled and connected to an internet hub in your house. They allow you to turn on and off your lights just by speaking or signaling to your app. Some systems allow you to change the color or brightness of the light, and others can create lighting “shows” with blinking, dimming, and color-changing lights. Some also help with energy conservation and can turn off lights in rooms that are being unused. With many home automation lighting systems, you can turn off the lights in your child’s room without leaving the comfort of your couch.

The Nest and other smart thermostats have been providing household cooling and heating automation for years. You can control your home’s HVAC system from anywhere in the world where you have wifi. On vacation and see that your city is about to experience a deep freeze? Bump up your thermostat from your vacay spot so your pipes don’t freeze or your cat isn’t uncomfortable. Long day sweating at your kid’s Little League game? When you get in the car, adjust your home’s AC so it’s cool when you arrive. Easy peasy. Peace of mind. 

Home remodeling today means you can rethink how your house functions, how to make it more energy efficient and how to step into the future each time you open your door. Making your home function in an automated manner can help you love it even more. Katharine recently shared an example of an automated system we installed into a home remodel:

We’re only going to see more spikes in home automation trends, so you’d be better off putting your fears of “Hal” behind you. This is the future. And at Bailey, we’re so excited about the future. 

Let us know how you want to rethink your home today.