Control panel

Before we start, why don’t we check out this video brought by the HKT Smart Living?

A home control panel integrates electrical appliances in a smart home as they are connected through a computer network. It is regarded as a human-machine interface device which allows people to interact with the home automation system for control and monitoring. In other words, it acts as a universal remote centralizing the home settings.

With smartphones and tablets becoming more and more popular nowadays, applications running on these hi-tech gadgets are taking up the job of a specialized terminal for total home control. With one touch on the screen, the devices, i.e. the home control panel and the appliances, can “communicate” via wireless transmission or the Internet, enabling us to manage lighting in the house, open and close the curtains, switch on the air-conditioner, etc, no matter where we are.

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Control panel (PCCW EYE)

1.   Price

  • The set-up cost is high, especially for hardware installation, such as high-speed networking cables, in-wall sockets, wireless routers. For example, the HKT Smart Living Basic Package costs $19900 (2 circuits lighting control, air-conditioning control, curtain control, 1 handheld controller, customized smartphone apps, scene-setting service).
  • There is also ongoing cost for electricity to run the control system and cloud-based services supporting the device.
  • On the other hand, increasing complexity of the control panel, increasing maintenance costs.
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Floor plan for renewing the home network of a smart home

2.   Accuracy

  • In fact, a control panel is no different from a remote. By only 1 touch on the screen, it can simply operate according to the fixed programme installed accurately.
  • All electrical home appliances can be remotely controlled without errors.
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Programmes respond to “commands” accurately.

3.   Security

  • The control panel security system is difficult to maintain as it extends beyond the home by wireless connection to the Internet.
  • This online condition allows the access by hackers.
Security system of a smart home

Security system of a smart home

4.   User-friendliness

  • Control panel integrates control of home appliances anywhere at fingertips, especially when apps on smartphones can do the job as well.
  • In addition, touch-screen is simple and not physically demanding for us.
  • For instance, when people forget to switch off lights before leaving, they can do so on the street by remote control.
  • However, as total home control relies on only 1 control panel, it is not easy to get used to a complex system.
  • There will be over-reliance too. We can do nothing when the device is not working, which disrupts our life order.
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No matter which system you use (iOS or Android), smartphones can be control panels of a smart home.

5.   Functionality

  • A control panel is multi-functional.
  • We can control all electrical appliances, including lighting, curtains, air-conditioner no matter where we are.
  • It can also make automatic phone calls or messages to home owners when there are emergencies.
  • Moreover, it improves our lifestyle by setting pre-programmed scenes creating various home ambiances for different occasions. For instance, when we are having a party at home, we can choose the “party mode” and lighting, AV equipment, curtains and other home settings will all automatically adjust for the party.
All home settings will automatically adjust according to particular programmes.

All home settings will automatically adjust according to particular programmes.

After the above analysis, we rate control panel the followings:

Rating_control panel