Imagine this. You leave your home in the morning for work. On the way to work, you wonder if you have forgotten to switch off the lights in your room. Instead of rushing home to find out, you take out your smartphone and connect to your home automation system to check. You found out you did indeed forget to switch it off so you just turn it off from the smartphone.
While you are at work, your wife calls you to let you know that she will be going back early today. Once again, you use your laptop and connect to your home automation system via the internet. You set the thermostat to turn up the heat and the lights to turn on an hour earlier than usual so that your wife doesn't have to come back to a house that is cold and dark.
Does this all sound like something out of a science fiction novel or movie? The truth is that not only is home automation something that is science fact, the technology is cheap and easy enough for just about anyone to install in their homes on their own.