What Can It Do?
To answer this question, it's almost easier to say
what it can't do. But if I did that, you may not think of
everything. So here's a partial list of things you may
consider doing with this program. Keep in mind though that
it's mostly limited by your imagination. And if you can
imagine something that can't currently be done, then please email.
More than likely it can do what you want, and even if it
can't, we make changes to the program frequently, so there's a
good chance we can make it do what you want.
Keep in mind, these examples are using specific
information so they are more clear, but you have the flexibility
to change the details of any of these examples.
Maybe your kids are still in school, and they're
old enough to be home alone between the time they get home from
school and you get home from work. You know they're good
kids, but don't you worry that something might go wrong where they
are not able to call you? Or maybe they're little hellions
and you're really not comfortable with them being home alone, and
nobody in their right mind will watch them. Well, in either
case, this is the program for you. If you have an Internet
connection that stays up all the time, like a cable modem or a DSL
line, then you can easily monitor your home and your kids from
work. You can install the optional client program at work,
and set up macros on the system at home to alert you if there is
no motion when motion is expected, or alert you when motion is
detected when there isn't supposed to be any. (Maybe your
bedroom is off limits but they want to find out why.) You
can also set up video cameras in strategic places throughout the
house so you can tell just who is triggering the motion
sensors. The network client program can be minimized to a
single icon on the bottom right of the computer, so with the
macros that can monitor sensors for you, you can concentrate on
work, and a message box will pop up if something abnormal is
detected. Then you can open up the program, check the
video and the log or call home and ask what's going on. If
they tell you something that's inconsistent with the log of motion
senor activity, then you'll know if you need to worry or not.
So you don't have kids, or you want to make sure
nobody is in the house before the kids are supposed to get
home. Well, with the same network client, you can be alerted
when motion is detected when none is expected. Then you can
check the video to see if it's your wife home to get something or
if it's an intruder, in which case you can call the police.
And you'll have hard evidence with exact time of the break-in and
snapshots of the intruder.
Perhaps you want certain rooms to light up and
maybe dim the lights automatically at certain times of the day on
certain days of the week. This is called scene lighting. Maybe you
have different lighting needs for holidays. Maybe you want
your lights do really weird things on Halloween. Or maybe
turn on some spooky music when someone comes to the door.
Macros can be set up to trigger on a certain time every day, or
only on certain days, or even only on certain holidays.
Do you have some rooms that you would like to be
lighted right when you walk into the room? You can set up a
macro to monitor a motion sensor and turn on the light as soon as
motion is detected. Then when no motion is detected for a
period of time, it will turn the light off. You can use
combinations of triggers too, so you can make it so you this will
only happen on certain days or certain times of the day.
Forget Me Not
When you leave the house, do you ever worry that
you may have left a light or an appliance on? Well, as long
as the light or appliance is connected to an X10 device, you can
set up a macro so that when no motion is detected anywhere inside
the house, it will turn all lights off.
Who goes there?
Ever wonder if you've had visitors while you're
gone? With a motion sensor and a video device on the front
of your house, you can create a macro to snap a picture or a video
segment so you can find out who was at the door. And with
the network client installed at work, you can also have it alert
you so you can find out right away who's at the door. You
can even have it play a prerecorded message for them if you like!
Ever forget to email people on their
birthdays? Not anymore! You can set it up a macro to
send an email on their birthdays. You can have it cc you too
so you're not too confused when they call to say thanks for the
nice message. Of course emails can be triggered by
anything. And you can buffer email segments so you can have
many macros adding messages to the email throughout the day and
then have it send it to you at a certain time.
Home Sweet Second Home
Do you have a cabin or a second home? You
can easily keep tabs on that too using the network client or the
video add-ons. Not only that, but you plan on going there,
you can remotely start a macro that will get everything ready for
you when you arrive. Or just turn things on and off
individually as you feel like it.
16 Isn't Enough
Maybe 8 is enough, but 16 isn't nearly
enough. At least not when you really get into this home
automation stuff. X10 only provides 16 unit codes per house
code, and a lot of control software will only let you use one
house code. But this one lets you use as many as you like
all at once. Do be kind to your neighbors though and only
use what you need.