Home automation is pretty amazing technology and with the ever expanding Internet of Things we're going to see the space continue to grow. At CES 2015, we caught up with a company called Easydom, whose Nexthome system will automate your entire home with ease. And the best part? With Microsoft on board as a partner the whole system is built on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone.
It even has a neat party trick using the Microsoft Band.
The hardware from Easydom is a modular, Wifi connected block that you use to connect your existing home systems to. Rollaway blinds, interior lighting, security systems and so on. Using the apps as an interface you can then turn on the lights, roll up the blinds, check on the security system and look at any CCTV cameras you have around. You get the idea.
Easydom also works with the Nest thermostat, allowing you to tie this in to the rest of your home automation system and use the Nexthome app to interact with the Nest.
Both the Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone apps offer the same, full, functionality as each other, but Easydom hasn't stopped there. The company also has the Easydom Glass, a full Windows tablet PC that you can mount to the wall and use as a central command hub using the Nexthome app. But you can also use it to check Twitter, surf the web, absolutely anything you would normally do on a Windows computer. The Glass isn't at all necessary, you can just as easily use any other Windows 8.1 device like the Surface Pro 3 or any laptop or desktop that can download the app.
Besides complete control over each individual item in the system the applications allow you to set up different scenarios based on certain parts of the system, times and situations. For example, you can set a timer to turn on the lights in your bedroom at 7am every weekday to get you up for work, but leave them alone at the weekend so you can sleep in. Or set it up to turn on your sound system and play your Spotify music when you want to party. Endless possibilities.
Oh, and the party piece I mentioned using the Microsoft Band? Cortana support is built into the Windows Phone app and as such you can use it on the Microsoft Band to execute commands through the Nexthome app. I saw it demoed and with the phrase "Cortana scenario disco" the booth erupted with music. Obviously it works just the same using Cortana on the phone, but I won't lie, seeing it done with the Microsoft Band is extremely cool.
All in all it looks like a really well put together, extremely slick home automation system for Windows and Windows Phone users. It's incredibly easy to use yet still powerful enough to allow for some really deep, precise customizations. We've only barely scratched the surface at CES, but it's definitely one to watch. If you want to find out more check out their website here.
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