It was 1996. John Major was Prime Minister and Bill Clinton was in the White House. Mad Cow Disease had just hit Britain and The Spice Girls were at the top of the charts.
If you’re an old git like me then that will all sound like 5 years ago. But it’s been two decades since the year I started writing about home automation – so 2016 is a bit of a milestone.
From Here to Now
When you’re close to something and you see it everyday, change can be hard to spot. But taking a step back and looking around, it’s a very different home tech world we live in today.
Related: Automated Home – The First 10 Years
Twenty years ago (before the word ‘blog’ was invented), ‘Automated Home’ started out as ‘UK Home Automation’ and trying to buy some smart home kit was a little akin to joining a secret cult. Today you can walk into your nearest big box store and buy a bulb that uses a tenth of the energy, produces millions of colours, last for years and is controlled by a mysterious cloud in a foreign land or a sliver of glass that lives in your pocket. #progress.
But fast forward 20 years and look at the difference with something like this Home Automation in the Cloud piece from earlier this year.
It’s easy to forget all the things that we take for granted these days, high quality images, embedded video, social media, comments and forums, all of which go hand in hand to produce something that’s hopefully a lot more informative and engaging.
The Tech Future?
Not to be melodramatic, but the planet is facing some very real problems that have come into even sharper focus with recent weather events and this years COP21 United Nations conference on climate change.
Home automation, Domotics, Smart Home, Internet of Things, whatever we’re calling it this year, has a new raison d’etre. It’s no longer something to save us getting off the sofa, it may well be part of the solution to save us from ourselves. AI and machine learning will be part of the millennial’s toolkit to reduce our energy consumption and tackle the other challenges ahead.
This Blogs Future
Blogging can be a drug, it can take up a lot of time but it’s rewarding too. I’ve made many friends along the way and I get to chat with people in other countries on a daily basis.
After more than 2,600 blog post, and around a million words I’ve learnt an insane amount about home automation and have been given opportunities to travel that I wouldn’t have had without the blog.
There are some changes coming for Automated Home over the next few months, including a more mobile-friendly responsive layout (at last) and an upgrade for Otto, our robot mascot.
Stay Tuned for Prizes
To help celebrate our 20th I asked some of the companies we’ve covered over the years if they’d like to donate some smart home kit to give away to our readers.
There was an overwhelmingly generous response and now there’s thousands of pounds worth of prizes ready to be won in the weeks ahead! (more on that soon).
As well as all those companies there are many others to thank. Everyone that has helped with the site (especially Steve, Li & Trevor, Stubbs and Ant), plus all the forum and mailing list mods and members.
Especially thanks to you the reader for your loyalty, for sharing the posts and giving your support and encouragement over the years. It has meant a lot.
Happy New Year.