With a smart house you can customize your house exactly the way you want it and all the features that you want and need. The possibilities are almost endless with a connected home. One think you might want to do is to have your coffee maker set to turn on when you wake up so coffee is hot ready when you want it, but you can do that with a cheap timer. With a connected home you can do this and much more. Imagine if your house knew your schedule and could adjust your thermostat at night when you go to bed to be a little cooler while you sleep and then turn the temperature up right before you wake up so the house can be already warmed without having it on all night (you can also turn off rooms that nobody is in at night so you don't waste power). But it doesn't stop there, what if your house could turn on the bedroom and bathroom lights when you want them on (or whenever somebody enters the room), and at the same time warmed up the tile floor in your bathroom and pres-teamed the shower? While you are in the shower you could be listening to the speakers hidden in the ceiling, and when you go into another room it could instantly begin playing the same thing you were listening to where you left off. After you get your coffee the coffee maker will automatically turn off when its time to leave for work. Then as you leave you can check if your garage door is open and close it if you need to and set your alarm from you smart phone. And while your at work the thermostat will adjust as necessary to save energy and you can access functions at work from your smart phone or work computer and control your house and access the video cameras to see what is going on while you're away. You can even watch shows from your home DVR right on your phone so you won't miss any of the shows that you recorded, or even watch live TV so you can watch the football game on the subway on the way home and your wife won't miss her soap operas while taking the kids to the park.
The list goes on with things that your house can do for you automatically. Whatever you can think of you can be done nowadays - the only question is price. Bill Gates has equipment in his home that knows where you are and as you walk from room to room it turns on and off the lights, switches on the music and plays music that you like and plays different music when other people walk in depending on what they like, and the pictures on the wall are huge TV monitors that display paintings and pictures that change depending on who is in the room and what they like. As you can see there are endless possibilities when it comes to connected homes. But don't think you have to be super rich to afford to build a smart home, you can also keep it simple and cheap if you want. As mentioned before, you can use simple timers to achieve some tasks that you could do with a connected home. You can also use cheap motion sensors, such as motion sensors that turn on or off when people walk in or out of the room. Light sensors could be installed to sense when it is dark outside to turn on the outside lights and close your curtains. This way you could have all the functionality with a fraction of the cost. To determine what you need, it all depends on the system as a whole, so if you only want one or two rooms with a few automated or remote controlled items you could do this with a much simpler set-up than if you need to wire 10 rooms with full functionality in all rooms with remote internet access. You will most likely need to come to a compromise based on the wanted features and your budget.
Home automation doesn't only let you do cool things that save you time and trouble, it can also add to your safety and security. If you have video cameras and sensors throughout your house and an alarm system you can catch intruders and warn them to leave. And if they don't leave your alarm system can automatically call the cops - even using cellular networks in case the burglars cut off the phone signal and it can all run on a battery backup so it will still function with the power out as well. If a smoke detector comes on, the system can call the fire department and turn on in ceiling sprinklers to put out the fire. You could also wire your elderly parents home with safety and security systems as well and you could add more functionality to fit their individual needs such as having a small device on them at all times in case they get hurt and can't reach a phone.