Home Automation – To Do Or Not To Do

An Anonymous Testimonial

We just shifted to a brand new house in a high rise in Mumbai one year back. One of the most difficult part of the journey was the house hunt. Even more difficult was the selection of how the interiors should look. Of course we had an awesome interior designer on board, he spoon fed us with the best options available in every selection. But the selection had to be done by us and with so many brains in the house working in this direction, coming to a common consensus was really challenging.

Off all the selections, the most difficult choice to make was whether to automate our home or not. Irrespective of who is spending money on the house, every family member is an equal shareholder and is given a democratic right to give an opinion in every single selection for the new house.

With the wide demographics of techno savvy kids of the 21st century to freedom fighter generation grandparents in our home, the decision became even more confusing.

Our confusing automation journey began with a visit to an exhibition where there were about 15 brands displaying their automation systems. All of them were pretty much doing the same thing, controlling the lights, fans, air conditioners, curtains and audio video equipment from a phone or a tablet but all of them claimed to be the best. Although we spent a lot of time at each trying to clear our doubts, we just got more confused and put off by the whole idea.

Which is when our Interior Designer introduced us to this company called Inicio Automation, based out in Sion, Mumbai. A modest looking residence turned office is what it looked from outside, but once you enter their experience center, you get lost in the world of automation and entertainment.

We were so fed up with the never ending discussions within the family already, that home automation was almost a NO for us. Our interior designer insisted on taking this last demo before we conclude and insisted that the entire family should come together and make a sound final decision, YES or NO whatever it may turn out to be.

Maulik and Dhiral, the idea-tors of Inicio Automation, gave us personal attention since the interior designer had put in a special word.

The demo experience was flawless, the systems seemed to work seamlessly, the hospitality was amazing and the highlight of the experience was that never through the entire meeting did we feel that they were trying to sell us something. They understood our requirement in detail and guided us on what systems will be useful for us and which ones can be avoided. Whether we went ahead with the automation or not, we built a great rapport with the hosts.

And when the demo was done, bombardment of questions began. My grandfather, who never fails to mention that he had spent a night in jail with Mahatma Gandhi, started debating, “Your systems are good Beta but your generation has gone lazy, you do not even want to get up and switch on a light. In our times people were healthier and lived longer because we didnt have so much luxury. I dont want any automation in my room for sure.”

To this my grandmother instantly replied,” Arre, you are too rigid and old-schooled. You should move on with time. In our times, people used to make kids get up and change channels for them, thank God they invented a remote. If you don’t want to feel lazy, give up the remotes too. I want automation in my room, that’s final. These system are all having a manual backup as Maulik explained, you use the manual override using their keypads and remotes and I will learn to use the iPad. If I can use Whatsapp then why can’t I learn to use this simple automation app.”

My mother, like all mothers, had one single common doubt in all selection rounds. She was repeating this same question to every vendor, “How much maintenance will this demand?”. She added one practical query this time around, “What about maids and servants? How will they operate all this in my absence?”. Dhiral showed her the keypads which made the operations even more simpler than the orthodox switches by having engraved labeling on the switches describing the function of each one.

The children were super excited and already started playing with the iPad. Our 7 year old superhero could practically operate everything without any training, it was that user friendly.

The paymaster was all hears. Everyone had already asked and solved most of his doubts. The only deciding factor now was how badly this was going to make his pockets bleed.

The best part about Inicio Automation was that they were not married to a single brand. They had multiple options which could practically suit any budget and could offer an equivalent of every variant of home automation systems that we saw at the exhibition the other day.

They solved all our confusions and finally offered a system that fit into our practical needs and didn’t drill a hole in my dad’s pocket.

Apart from the teething problems that we faced in the first week, we needed their service just twice in this year and that too because we changed a couple of equipment. But mom’s super happy with the zero maintenance systems. Dadi never touches the keypads, she is an iPad-only user and Dadaji is happy using the manual keypads.

Although the decision making process was a difficult one, the first thing that I showcase to any of my friends visiting my house for the first time is the automation, I simply love it.