Recently I listened in on a discussion about home automation. A home owner who was planning to build a new house expressed his surprise that home construction companies do not propose any serious home automation systems. A plumber/electrician complained that he could not sell or repair such systems because he lacks the skills and the time to take courses and getting an external contractor in would make him too expensive. A teacher was raving about how home automation is the future, that intelligent buildings will help us save enormous amounts of energy and that we all must make our homes more intelligent.

As I was listening I wondered how home automation could make my life better. What would I like my home to do automatically? Know and control the temperature in every room? Automatic lighting? Nah, I am not going to program such a system. A house that cleans itself, that does its own maintenance? Now, that would be great! However, as far as I know, systems capable of doing that do not exist yet. Until their arrival I will continue living in a dumb house.