Having been to the Grand Designs Expo this year and having browsed the High Street I have been considering the demand for touch screens and the advancing and changing requirements for this type of technology within our homes.
There is a bubbling market for home automation systems and as touch screens solutions offer both functionality and aesthetically pleasing design they could be an ideal fit within this industry.
The integration of touch screen hardware into our homes would be relatively simple with a demand for touch screens to fit at key convenient ‘stations’ within the home, such as, by the front door, next to the bed, within reach of the sofa. Size and design of the units would most likely be influenced by the location and the functions they provide. At the ‘touch’ of a button we could have systems in place that allow us to turn on/off lighting, control heating and water, activate music, or pre-set ‘moods’ for rooms from any point within our homes. For example: a hallway may lend itself to a simple touch screen unit used as a central ‘hub’ with general running of household controls, such as security and lights. Whereas a lounge may support the use of a more complex all-in-one touch PC offering entertainment value and allowing users to access the Internet, watch films, set-up music (sound and visuals) all in one.
I foresee touch screen based home automation systems revolutionizing our homes and leading us towards an easier and more indulgent lifestyle. Home automation systems have the ability to be as complex or as simple in functionality as we demand; the level of software, size and design are all open to individual taste and needs as with most modern day technology. What’s more, the touch screen concept not only presents beneficial solutions for everyday living, but it also offers solutions that could greatly enhance the lifestyles of the disabled, handy-capped and elderly people with regards to greater independence and freedom within their own homes.
As touch screens allow for both multifunction and customisation each unit can be adjusted according to the individual taking their physical disabilities such as arthritis, mobility, eye sight, etc, in to account. As a result one unit could operate several household items and also adjust font sizes, key sizes and sound levels according to the individual’s needs.
Obviously, cost is a consideration. However, touch screen systems are now appearing on the domestic market and are far more accessible to the general population at affordable prices. So, what else is holding us back? Fear of the unknown and lack of understanding are certainly playing a part, but as the general public continues to embrace the technology the potential for touch screens in the home is huge and could lead to a dramatic change in how we are able to run and live in our lives.