21 JULY 2013 SUNDAY PAGES 12 B U FFET VO ICES PEOPLE WELLNESS MIND GAMES BOOKS ART & CULTURE THOUGHT FOOD ASTROLOGY ENTERTAINMENT PRAKASH SINGH TSR SUBRAMANIAN J S RAJPUT RAAVI BIRBAL SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV SHEELA RANI CHUNKATH TISHANI DOSHI DAS SREEDHARAN MAYTHIL RADHAKRISHNAN 3 THE FEMALE INDIANA JONES CHERRY-PICK OF GIFTS A CLICK AWAY 5 THE LION AND THE CHEETAH DEMYSTIFIED SURVIVING A SOCIAL SLID INTO CHAOS 8 HEALTHCARE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS YOU GOT TO MOVE TO STAY FIT 9 NURTURING SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION & CULTURE SPIRIT OF SPORT MAKES US GAME FOR LIFE 10 TEN MINUTES OF BRILLIANCE THE SHORT + SWEET FESTIVAL 12 IN CONVERSATION WITH KIRAN RAO OF WIDE ANGLES AND HIS LOVE IN FOCUS Home Smart Home Automated living spaces are in as the average Indian discovers the beneﬁts of using technology to make their homes safe, secure, energy efficient and fun places. Adarsh Matham reports M adhavan, or Maddy as his friends call him, has been in Rome on a twoweek holiday. The day before he is to come back, his house, located in a leafy suburb outside Chennai, wakes up and gets ready for his return. Actually, it never slept those two weeks. Once, it had to wake up Maddy in the middle When Maddy landed in Chennai, he pressed a button on his smartphone, to get his house ready for his return in an hour. On came the air conditioners. Since the air conditioners knew the outside temperature and the temperature that Maddy preferred at home, they adjusted themselves so the house would be evenly cooled. The curtains and blinds opened on all windows except those on the sunny side. Lights switched on to required brightness so that Maddy’s eyes could get used to the indoors easily. When Maddy’s car neared his home, the garage detected the RFID chip in the vehicle and opened the door so Maddy could drive in directly. As Maddy got out, the NFC chip in his phone was detected by the front door even as it looked at him to make sure that it was indeed Maddy, not some intruder with his phone. Since Maddy had grown a beard in the last few weeks, the door got a little confused and wouldn’t open at which point Maddy had to intervene and swipe his finger on the finger recognition sensor on the knob. Tired from his long flight, Maddy went of the night when one of the sensors on the western perimeter set off an alarm. Even as it woke Maddy up, it sent a portion of the CCTV footage from the western side to Maddy’s e-mail. It turned out to be just a cat. Another time, when a tap in the main toilet started leaking water, it had to call up Maddy again. When the plumber that Maddy called up turned up at his doorstep, Maddy tapped into the live CCTV stream from his home on his tablet, opened the door for the plumber and made sure that the leak was fixed, all the while sitting in the beautiful Italian capital. straight to bed after setting the alarm for 6am Monday. As the clock struck six, the curtains in his room opened to let in sunlight, and the speakers in the house started playing distant rooster wake up sounds. As Maddy got out of bed, the accelerometers in his bed sensed that he was up and sent out messages so that the toilet seat was heated to the right temperature, and so the coffee machine started brewing. Maddy made his way to the toilet mirror to brush his teeth, which sensing his presence started displaying his Twitter timeline and the day’s latest news. With a quick swiping gesture, they were replaced by his work email and his calendar schedule for the next week. After the shower, Maddy got dressed, drank the coffee, threw the cup in the dishwasher and made his way to the door. As he stepped out and closed it, he selected the hibernate mode on his phone which sent the house into hibernation. It will wake up again the moment Maddy leaves his office, and prepare for his arrival home. If you thought this description of a single day in Maddy’s life is straight out of a futuristic science fiction novel, you would be wrong. The setting is not futuristic. And the technology is not fiction. Thousands of homes around India are being fitted with technologies very similar to Maddy’s. The future that we have always dreamed about is here. Now. In 2013. Welcome to the world of Home Automation. A world where the place that we spend most of our lives in, and the place that has more or less remained the same in the last 100 years finally steps into the 21st century. A world where our homes become more intelligent and more helpful thanks to technology. A world where the intelligent home gives us time to do what we do best, and what we want to do. A world which makes our homes safe, comfortable and fun places. Wikipedia describes home automation as the process of ‘automation of the home, housework or household activity.... to provide improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency and security’. Even though many view home automation as a quintessentially modern technology, the idea of automating tasks in a home has been with us for decades. Porch lights that come on when they detect ROBO MAGIC One of the ﬁrst steps towards automating homes is the use of domestic robots which perform household chores autonomously. Some of the more famous ones... Ecovacs WINBOT Series 7 (Approx. `17,000) iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Gadget (Approx. `43,000) When you want to vacuum the ﬂoors using the Roomba, all you have to do is place the robot on the ﬂoor and switch it on. Since the powerful robot uses multiple sensors to make 3D maps of the cleaning environment by scanning that environment 60 times per second, it gives a great clean on any type of ﬂoor, in the tightest of spots. The only time you have to worry about Roomba is when the “bin full” sign starts ﬂashing. This robotic watchman is capable of patrolling your house. Equipped with a camera, it is capable of detecting movements and intruders, shooting video of suspicious activities and can alert you via email or SMS. Once alerted you can control the robot from wherever you are, can drive it around and can see a live feed from the robot. For all these, the `5.5 lakh tag is a small price to pay surely? BHASKAR RAO says the fact that an Eloka installed system sends an SMS to his mobile whenever there is an intrusion in his house keeps him happy when he is away from home. motion, refrigerators that start beeping if left open for too long, or air-conditioners that come to life at a pre-defined time are all examples of primitive automation technologies. Alternately if you are a geek and are extremely wealthy you could get an automated house built, just like Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, did on the shore of Lake Washington in late 90s. Every guest that enters his house reportedly has to wear a pin that contains the guest’s information and which automatically adjusts room temperature, music, lightings and even art on the high definition screens. Even if you are not Bill Gates and wealthy, you could still get your home automated, but you have to be a bit of a geek as navigating the bewildering set of controls that accompany automated systems are not for the faint hearted. It is only in the last few years that the idea of turning our homes into digitally autoTurn to Page 2 To clean your glass windows there is nothing better than the Ecovacs WINBOT Series 7. All you have to do is place it on the window and switch it on. The WINBOT automatically determines the size of the window and plots a path to clean it efﬁciently. Can be used on glass doors, railings and shower stalls with glass. Gostai Jazz Security (Approx. `5,50,000) VINOD KUMAR T
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