Home automation is one of those technologies that a lot of people find interesting, but perceived complexity and cost keeps a lot of people from actually checking it out. Home automation allows you to do all sorts of things such as control lights or outlets at your home when far away or when nearby. I think most of us could appreciate the convenience of being able to turn off the lights upstairs when you're in bed downstairs and don't feel like getting up.
There've been a few interesting offerings that surfaced in the home automation realm over the last several months, and one of those is the new Insteon Hub. This device is now shipping at a retail price of $129.99. The Hub turns your iOS or Android device into a home automation controller using an app. The Hub is the central controller for whole home automation systems and you can connect to it using applications on your smartphone or tablet from anywhere in the world where you can get an Internet connection.
Using the Hub, you can control all sorts of devices within the home that are equipped with Insteon controls such as light bulbs, wall switches, outlets, thermostats, and more. You can also get e-mail or text message alerts from the Hub if motion is detected in the home, a door is opened, a window is opened, or from water leak sensors while you're away.
That feature may be particularly appealing to people who travel a lot and parents. For instance, parents could receive an e-mail when the door opens to notify them that their child is home from school. You can also use the alerts to know if your maid showed up or the repair man.
The Hub supports full dual-band communications, secure remote access, and powerline signal strength from Insteon and X10 signals. That means it should work with many commercially available home automation devices and sensors. The $129 price does not include any sensors or switches to automate your home and is only for the central controller, which is the brain of a home automation system.