INTRODUCTION TO HOME AUTOMATION
1.1 What is Home Automation?
Home automation is the residential extension of "building automation". It is automation of the home, housework or household activity. Home automation may include centralized control of lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), appliances, and other systems, to provide improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency and security. Home automation for the elderly and disabledcan provide increased quality of life for persons who might otherwise require caregivers or institutional care.
A home automation system integrates electrical devices in a house with each other. The techniques employed in home automation include those in building automation as well as the control of domestic activities, such as home entertainment systems, houseplant and yard watering, pet feeding, changing the ambiance "scenes" for different events (such as dinners or parties), and the use ofdomestic robots. Devices may be connected through a computer network to allow control by a personal computer, and may allow remote access from the internet. Through the integration of information technologies with the home environment, systems and appliances are able to communicate in an integrated manner which results in convenience, energy efficiency, and safety benefits.
Although automated homes of the future have been staple exhibits for World's Fairs and popular backgrounds in science fiction, complexity, competition between vendors, multiple incompatible standards  and the resulting expense have limited the penetration of home automation to homes
of the wealthy or ambitious hobbyists. Possibly the first "home computer" was an experimental home automation system in 1966.
1.2 Overview and benefits of Home Automation
PC based electrical appliances control is an interesting PC based project, mainly useful for industrial applications, home automation, and supervisory control applications. This