The home automation space is poised to continue growing in 2015 and beyond. There are more companies and investors behind these companies that want entry into your home to make it smarter, more energy-efficient, safer, comfortable, and cost-effective. Here are the top 18 in-home automations across all segments, including hubs, security devices, energy-saving devices and monitors, appliance controls, and systems, which you should consider for your home:
- Apple and HomeKit: From your phone and tablets to your television and computer, to your entire home, Apple plans to control just about everything in your life. Its HomeKit home automation system is a hub that will give connectivity to all automation in your home, including numerous home automation products from other companies. You can use Siri to give it voice commands, and it will include its AppleTV in the hub along with virtual rooms.
- Google and Nest: Google's acquisition of Nest and Dropcam provides it with a full feature hub and additional security and energy-efficiency features in addition to the overall smart home command center. Google also plans to add voice command to its overall solutions. The Nest thermostat has already been named as the best thermostat solution on many home automation technology lists.
- Samsung and SmartThings: Named as the best smart home hub by CNet, Samsung's SmartThings provides a whole home solution that also is intended to eventually connect to all of Samsung's home appliances as well as tablets and smartphones. It is admired for its low-entry price point and user-friendly implementation and overall use.
- Belkin: This company is proving that just about anything related to the home can be automated and added to a home automation system, and this includes a remote control crock pot. Belkin also offers a host of other beneficial home automation products, including light switches, video surveillance, energy-saving outlets, and switches.
- IControl Networks: This company is known to provide some of the best home surveillance systems within the home automation market, including cameras that feature high-quality night vision. Additionally, it tracks sound and motion, temperature, humidity and local weather alerts, which keep you informed whether you are at home or away.
- Wink: As a connected home hub solution, Wink supports most products and connectivity channels, but is continuing to work on its pairing capability. Reviewers like PC Magazine believe that Wink has great potential for becoming one of the best affordable home hubs on the market.
- Logitech: Known for its universal remote solutions for home theater systems, Logitech is starting to move into home automation with its sights set on providing a whole home automation system. However, according to reviewers like PC Magazine, it has a way to go with its home hub solution but will continue to offer exceptional functionality for controlling home entertainment systems.
- Lutron: Focused on providing you with control over interior and exterior lighting as well as shading, Lutron's home automation products work in a single room or the entire house through a remote you can use from your car, a mounted keypad, tabletop control, iPad, iPhone or Android device.
- Honeywell: The company has long understood what it means to create a comfortable home environment and is now applying that expertise to the home automation space. Homeowners can take advantage of smart thermometers and more to improve energy efficiency within the home and create greater convenience.
- Trane: Long known for its HVAC systems, Trane is now expanding its product line to leverage the knowledge of heating and cooling with smart thermostats and energy-efficient devices to help home owners be more informed about their energy consumption and associated costs.
- SimpliSafe: With a minority investment from Sequoia Capital, this security home automation startup is an out-of-the-box solution that has won rave reviews and is already installed in thousands of U.S. homes.
- Nexia Home: Using Z-wave technology, Nexia Home delivers a home bridge that monitors and controls your lights and locks as well as other features on your home. It allows you to use a Web platform as well as smartphone or tablet to control your home.
- August SmartLock: Considered a leader in the area of smart lock door systems, August offers attractive solutions that match the look of your home and delivers the consistent technology solution to control when doors are locked and unlocked -- even when you are away from home. While it is one of the more expensive options, consumers have been adding this system to their homes as part of an overall smart home strategy.
- Kwikset's Kevo Lock: Lock company Kwikset is moving into the home automation market with its Kevo Bluetooth electronic lock. Now, your smartphone serves as your key to lock and unlock your doors.
- HomeSeer: This award-winning whole home automation system has been noted for its comprehensive compatibility with other types of software, control technologies, and wireless technologies. Having been available for over a decade, HomeSeer continues to update and enhance its value with the latest technology and features, including cloud-based remote access.
- Vera: This home automation system is known for its remote access capabilities and provides a way to program random events to make it appear that someone is always home. It is also compatible with many types of home automation devices, including smart thermostats and HVAC systems, light bulbs, door sensors and more, but not home entertainment automation systems.
- Crestron: This big-budget home automation system is typically professionally installed and involves all aspects of what can be found in a smart home. Many home automation companies have created features and components for Crestron, so it supports a large network of home automation solutions. The company has also been developing automation solutions for businesses and schools, often topping the list of whole system automation solutions.
- Zipato: This is a modular, DIY-friendly, low-cost home automation system from Europe that is breaking into the U.S. and offers the benefit of being able to build it to fit your home needs. If something breaks within it, that module can be replaced rather than the whole system needing replacement, plus it can evolve with new technology as it comes to market.
From components and appliances to whole home automation systems and hubs, these large tech brands, utility and energy companies, and innovative startups are working on the solutions that will give you the power and information to control your house, making you and your castle smarter in the process.