Five Apps: Control your home with these automation solutions

Nest (free app that requires purchase of Nest hardware)

The "media darling" of home automation is the Nest, a controllable thermostat and associated app. Nest took the rather mundane home thermostat, applied some exceptional industrial design, and made automating the device fairly easy. While certainly not the first automated thermostat, the Nest device is Wi-Fi enabled and doesn't require any additional hardware. It also claims to "learn" your habits based on how you adjust the temperature. It can turn down the heating and cooling while you're away and send you pretty emails detailing your energy usage.

By Patrick Gray

Patrick Gray works for a global Fortune 500 consulting and IT services company and is the author of Breakthrough IT: Supercharging Organizational Value through Technology as well as the companion e-book The Breakthrough CIO's Companion. He has spent ...