Home automation is the use of one or more computers to control basic home functions and features automatically and sometimes remotely. An automated home is sometimes called a smart home.
Home automation can include the scheduling and automatic operation of water sprinkling, heating and air conditioning, window coverings, security systems, lighting, and food preparation appliances. Home automation may also allow vital home functions to be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world using a computer connected to the Internet. Besides the functions already mentioned, remote control can be extended to telephones and answering machines, fax machines, amateur radios and other communications equipment, and home robots such as automatic vacuum cleaners.
The fundamental components of a well-designed home automation system include a computer (or computers) with the appropriate programming, the various devices and systems to be controlled, interconnecting cables or wireless links, a high-speed Internet connection, and an emergency backup power source for the computer, its peripherals, and the essential home systems.