The concept of an automated home is not a new one: the idea has been floated since the 1930s at World’s Fair venues, and in popular culture as TV shows and movies imagine home life of the future – solidifying the public’s view of the benefits of home automation.
In the 1980s, modern versions of the automated home began to turn up in the marketplace. The concept of the “connected house” was first introduced by the American Association of Homebuilders, and formed the basis of what we now consider to be “home automation.” The connected house presented a new way to wire, connect, and control all of the devices in the modern home. However, it proved to be too expensive, cumbersome, and difficult to construct, and became limited to the luxury homebuilder market.
Throughout the 1990s, automated home technologies stagnated – for the most part, proprietary (and costly) systems were available only for luxury homes. These proprietary technologies were often system-specific, controlling only the home’s lighting or entertainment systems. Marrying these systems into a single, cohesive, easily controlled whole was a challenge tackled only by the most technologically astute systems integrators.