This sponsored post is produced by Alex Haro, Co-founder and President of Life360.

Talk of home automation technology has moved into the mainstream this year.  Last week Nest broadened its reach into the connected home with its $555M acquisition of DropCam. This week, they announced the “Works with Nest” developer program, designed to enable all home devices to work with the Nest Thermostat, providing automated actions across multiple brands in the connected home. They’re not alone; Apple recently announced its new Homekit platform to be released with iOS 8 this fall.

While Google and Apple will help drive mainstream adoption of home automation, there are a number of options available today, that will make connecting to the Internet of Things a simple and efficient experience, allowing you to automate key events in and around the home.

IFTTT and SmartThings

Built around the statement “if this then that,” IFTTT is a platform that enables users to set rules to automate repeated actions across a variety of smart devices and applications.

Users can create connections between the Philips Hue line of connected light bulbs, health tracking products from Withings, the Netatmo Weather Station, motion sensors and object trackers from SmartThings, the UP wearable device from Jawbone, WEMO home automation products from Belkin, and a number of products, such as a smart egg tray, from Wink, a partnership between GE and Quirky, a crowd-sourcing company.

All of these, when combined with, for example, Life360, an app that combines the power of family location awareness, messaging, and communications in one place, create some really exciting and potentially powerful partnerships.

SmartThings recently rolled out a new open platform that allows consumers to install connected devices and control them through a single mobile app. The platform supports an ecosystem of more than 5,000 developers and over 100 devices from a variety of manufacturers, making home automation simple and enjoyable today.

The Tip of the Iceberg

IDC recently estimated the Internet of Things (IoT) market would generate a staggering $7.1 trillion in annual sales by 2020. While smart home platforms from Google, Apple and Samsung will help drive adoption of home automation among the masses; early adopters can enjoy the benefits of this technology now.

The potential of the Internet of Things especially as it relates to the connected home and car is unlimited, and when combined with the power of location and the family will be truly exciting.

Location will be the anchor when it comes to the IoT world, and will play a critical role when it comes to home automation. We talk a lot about future potential, but much of this can be done today. Think of the following scenarios as just the tip of a massive iceberg: Worried that Junior leaves the lights on when he leaves the house? How about “If last family member leaves home, turn off Philips Hue light bulbs.” Don’t like arriving home to a cold house, use the power of location to set an alert that when you leave the office, the thermostat turns on, allowing you to arrive home to a warm house.

IFTTT, SmartThings, and location can create synergies between all of your smart devices and with a little setup can save time, money, and reduce stress. The future of the smart home is here, and it’s just getting started.

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