It is undeniable that the very idea of home automation is appealing, especially to curious young minds. Imagine the world of possibilities that open up with home automation- when kitchens can download online recipes, order groceries and cook by itself, or when windows and doors can sense an intruder’s presence, and lock themselves down immediately. Of course, one would then wonder where the idea of home automation even sprouted from in the first place. Well, whether you’re a tech junkie or just curious about home automation in general, there is a lot more to the topic than just what meets the eye. Here is a brief history of home automation systems.
1700’s – 1800’s
Now, as we all are aware, home automation systems are built upon a myriad of inventions, most of which were first invented decades ago, which were then gradually innovated. Take Leonardo da Vinci’s automation concept plans as an example. It is widely regarded many of the older inventions, and even our modern devices are based on these plans. Of course, Leonardo was not the only inventor and artist in his time, and cannot be attributed to being the single man involved in inventing. There were various other inventors also came up with inventions that proved to be the base technology that we know as home automation today. Nikola Tesla, for instance, invented the first remote control to control a toy boat, and Richard Arkwright developed the first fully automated, water-powered spinning wheel.
1900 – 1979
With the dawn of 1900 come the inventions and widespread usage of home appliances, such as engine-powered vacuums, washing machines, sewing machines, and many more. These were invented at the time to help with the shortage of labor. Computers were also designed in this era, and in 1966, ECHO IV first came into being. Considered as the first home automation system, ECHO IV was never sold to the public and had many functions still present in modern Home Automation systems, such as being able to switch the appliance on and off, relay messages and type out a grocery list. Later, in 1975, the X10 project made its first appearance, which, until today, can still be considered a household name. It could also be viewed as a home automation system and served to control or as a bridge between appliances.
1980 – Present
It was only in the 1980’s,and 90’s when home automation began to be popularised, in the form of automated gates and garage doors. Gerontology was also famous at this time and focused on the elderly citizens. It was because of the popularity of home automation systems that research and innovation efforts were refocused, which leads us to today’s home automation technology.
All in all, it is difficult to imagine a life without home automation. In fact, home automation may be so ingrained in our daily routine that we may not even realize it. Remote controlled devices are considered to be a part of home automation, and appliances such as televisions and ceiling fans often come with this feature. Washing machines that can signal to the owner when it is finished with washing the laundry are also considered home automation. In conclusion, the history of home automation systems has helped our convenience in many different ways today.