Simple monitoring: Smart homes are just the beginning


(BLOG): August 19, 2013  — To start … Simple Monitoring was a term I came up with to refer to the monitoring/reporting of simple, easy to understand variables such as temperature, humidity and motion, says Larry Bellehumeur.  It differs from Advanced Monitoring that can monitor dozens (or hundreds, even thousands) of variables and report them into complex systems.

In this blog post, we focus on how people are using Simple Monitoring solutions to change aspects of their day to day life. By now, you’ve probably heard of all the efforts to make your home more intelligent.  These efforts include a number of things like:

  • Having window blinds automatically close in certain ‘directions’ based on conditions (to close off sunlight in warm times and let in sunlight during winter).
  • Optimising ambient temperatures in the home to reduce furnace (boiler) and AC usage.
  • Using technology to turn off or close items such as lights / garage doors remotely.


By my guess … you haven’t seen anything yet

The next wave will allow communication / interaction with many items that you’ve never thought about communicating with – much of which is already available today! Here are some examples:

  • Using wireless (WiFi or short range radio) sensors to let you know which areas of your lawn or garden (or your potted plants) are in need of water (or are receiving too much).  This can even be customised so your prize plants that need a ton of water get as much as they need, while your cactus gets less.
  • Ever worry about what is going on at your rental home or cottage?  There are some great solutions to tell you what the temperature is, if there is water in the basement (to signify a pipe issue) or if there are any intruders in the home.
  • If you’ve ever had a sump pump in your house, you know the horror of what the combination of a rainstorm and power outage can do to your basement. While M2M solutions can’t help you stop the water, they can notify you when the pump stops working, to minimise potential damage.
  • Have a prized wine or cigar collection?  Many savvy collectors are monitoring temperature and humidity in their coolers and humidors today, using simple monitoring applications.  The same goes for your prized art collections …
Larry Bellehumeur
Larry Bellehumeur of Novotech

Bottom line

As mentioned in my previous post, people may not pay for the total ‘Jetsons’ experience, where everything is automated in their home.  However, using a common gateway in the home will allow you to pick and choose what you communicate with, based on your particular requirements. Now, that is something I believe people will pay for!

Larry Bellehumeur is executive vice-president of Sales and Marketing at Novotech Technologies


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