It’s been a long time coming, but the new (read: “presentable”) site is finally here along with all the bells and whistles – like this shiny new blog.
To inaugurate this historic moment I’d like to start with some musings on the great question of life: “WHY?” This not being a philosophy blog, I’ll stick to the big “why” I often hear when it comes to home automation.
“Why do I need automated blinds/lights/locks/etc.?”
The easy deflection of that question is “why do you need a remote for your T.V.?” or “why do you need a mobile phone?” Every modern necessity was once a luxury, and the only difference is the price. At some point, before a remote came standard with every TV, our forefathers reached a moment when the price of remotes was low enough, the number of channels was high enough and the chasm between the TV and the couch was wide enough that buying a TV with a remote finally seemed like a good idea.
Why do you need to be able to dim the lights and close the blinds with the flip of one switch? Someday soon the question will be “how else would you do it?” For the last decade, home automation was the domain of tech savvy do-it-yourselfers with some programming and soldering skills, and the well-to-do with $200k to blow. Over the past two years, that’s changed, with a number of complete product lines coming out that offer most of what high end systems offer at a small fraction of the price. Companies like Insteon and Z-Wave aren’t household names yet, but they could be. A fairly complete lighting automation system based on either product line will set you back by about $2000 – putting it well within reach of your average homeowner.
Depending on how Star Trek you want to make your home, you can spend much more, but even if you want to walk into a room and say “Computer – play back last log” you’re still within $10k which is ten orders of magnitude less than it used to be.
If there’s one peculiarity of the home automation industry, it’s that most of the players don’t know of each other and aren’t really sure what’s possible when their systems work together. Walk into a Ford dealership and the sales-guy will know what a Pioneer sound system is even if they don’t come with the car, but walk into your local Best Buy, and you can bet the rep has no idea what a Leviton coaxial amplifier is, even if this equipment is essential to properly wiring a modern home with the latest internet-ready TVs.
So if the pros don’t know, you can bet consumers don’t either and that’s why S.H.A.R.K. is here. There’s an ocean of home automation ideas out there and the market will belong to whoever learns to swim in that ecosystem: lights, blinds, stereo, TV, alarm, video cameras, thermostats, motion sensors, locks, garage doors, poodles, etc.
Our mission is to make everything in your house work together through one interface. Stay tuned for more, and we’ll show you how we’re making it happen.