You've probably seen one of the latest Apple commercials. The husband turns to his wife and asks, "Did we turn off the lights." The savvy wife, with her iPhone and Schlage LiNK app, responds with something like, "WE turned off the lights," while she does the same on her phone without her husband's help.
The commercial caught my attention, and I wanted to see what kind of capabilities this Schlage LiNK app had. Turns out the system is powered by Z-Wave technology to smarten typically unintelligent aspects of living. Some of the things you can do include:
- Lock and unlock doors;
- Turn on and off Z-Wave enabled lights;
- Control your thermostat remotely;
- Monitor access and use of a lock; and
- View video of your home.
The system seems perfect for deep green types — you can control heating, cooling, and lighting from afar — but maybe it's not. Schlage's light module won't work with CFLs or LEDs. And if you have a programmable thermostat already, the ability to remotely control it may or may not provide additional energy savings.
That said, it's interesting to see smart products paired with smart phones. This is where some folks can learn and save energy, such as with Wattvision (sells a sensor paired with online access to an electricity monitor), PowerHouse Dymanics (provides circuit-level electricity information and has an iPhone app in development), and Control4 (provides a free app with home automation).
Are you using any apps to monitor or save energy?
Media credits: Apple.