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Have a phone? Control your home

Apr 28th, 2015
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Imagine living in a home that obeys your command, where every device and system can be remotely controlled. You can use your tablet or smart phone to control the home theater, dim lights, lock doors, turn up the heat and switch on the alarm. Not just from anywhere in the house but from any place in the world.

Sounds like a scene from a Sci-Fi movie? The truth is, the thin line between reel and real will disappear soon with smart homes set to become a reality in Kolkata. A city developer has already announced a smart apartment project. Several others are firming up plans to integrate home automation technology in mid-category and high-end developments.

“From access control that allows you to open or lock the entrance to your apartment when you are in office to switching on the air-conditioning before you leave for home so that it has the ambient temperature by the time you reach, home buyers will soon have a range of home automation options,“ said Rishi Jain, director of Jain Group that has just announced Kolkata's first smart home project `Dream One' in New Town, Rajarhat.

Home buyers in `Dream One' can integrate electrical switches and electronics in the apartment -lights, air-conditioning, televi sion, music system with the cellphone to allow remote access.

In addition, there will be access con trol so that doors can be opened or locked remotely. “If a relative or a friend arrives when no one is at L home, you do not have to return.Just check the person's image by accessing age by accessing the CCTV camera installed at the door and use the app to allow entry . One can provide access to the entire flat or just the living area,“ Jain explained. While he has the first-mover advantage in Kolkata, other developers like Merlin Group, Unimark, Mount Hill, PS Group, MC Kothari, Sandhu Developers and Ideal Group are also in talks for possible integration of home automation solutions in their projects.

“Smart homes are already a reality in Ben galuru, driven by demands from employees in the IT sector. In Kolkata too, there is a demand for enhanced security and convenience features, particularly in Salt Lake and New Town Rajarhat,“ said he Sushil Mohta of n Merlin Projects, who is also the president of the Bengal chapter of the Con federation of Real Estate Develop ers' As sociation of India (Credai).

Piyush Bhagat of Space Group is working on a smart home project to not only enable resi dents access their home from office but also work from home. “Automation will become a standard feature, much like ACs in cars. That is the direction we are headed to,“ he said.

Rahul Pahwa, vice-president (business de velopment) at iYogi, a firm that offers home automation solution, says there is great potential for smart homes in Kolkata as it is a developing market. “Home automation has become a matter of lifestyle and convenience,“ he explained.

With additional investment pegged at only Rs 2-3 per sq ft, home automation is accessible to all. The system can be customized to individual needs and budgets. If there is a concern, it is about the system's robustness to function 24×7 without a hitch. It will be hugely inconvenient if a software glitch or network issue affected the functioning of the home.

“The cost will depend on client's needs. It could start from 3-4% for an apartment priced Rs 1 crore and increase as additional features are added,“ explained Suvankar Das, manager of home automation systems firm Hager.

While the cost of basic automation could work out to be Rs 3.5 lakh that includes lighting and security for a three-bedroom house, it can be slashed by selecting fewer features.

The most sought after function on a buyer's wishlist is usually security, followed by automated and energy-efficient lighting systems.

via Times of India