Make way for the iPad

Los Angeles Times reports that home automation is ushering in the era of the remote-controlled house. Some affordable options put the ‘Jetsons’ lifestyle within reach.

ERICA SALISBURY doesn’t like coming home to a shadowy cave at night, and now she doesn’t have to. By clicking a mouse from any computer, anywhere, or by triggering a remote sensor, she can illuminate her house like a stadium before reaching the front door.

“The whole house lights up,” says the very expectant Porter Ranch mother-to-be, who with husband Ben has made the leap to a digitally integrated home. “That’s important for me because I don’t like being in the dark.”

The Salisburys aren’t the only ones leaving the Dark Ages of knobs, dimmers and switches flipped by hand. Thanks to the burgeoning home automation business, couch potatoes can turn up the heat, turn down the AC, shut off an oven, check a security camera and scroll through their DVD or music library without moving a calf muscle.

New technology even allows them to personalize these functions from wherever they happen to be via the Web or cellphone, ushering in the era of the house you can take with you. The iPad.

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