smart home automation

From Smartphones to Smart Homes

The Clapper…the first in home automation!

Remember the “Clapper”? This year it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary! It was the latest and greatest in “Smart Home automation” of its time! You could actually be in bed and turn off your lights by simply clapping your hands!

From “the clicker” to the first remotes for several electronic devices.

However, the Clapper was not the first product in wireless smart home automation. That honor goes to the Zenith Space Command, nicknamed “the clicker” developed by Robert Adler in 1956 as the first successful wireless TV remote. In 1980 Viewstar, a Canadian company, successfully developed and introduced the first TV remote to use infrared technology that not only was capable of operating the television, but also various other electronic products. And from there, it was made possible for “regular” homeowners to afford these wireless remotes to operate your TV, your VHS, your stereo…all from sitting in your favorite chair. However, you still needed a separate remote for each.

From telephones to smartphones.

Of course, it is a well-known fact that Alexander Graham Bell was the first to transmit his voice through an instrument from one room to his assistant who heard the command through another instrument in the next room.  The command? “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.” Mr. Watson obeyed the command, entered the room where Bell was and acknowledged that he not only heard, but also understood what Bell had said to him! The year was 1876. The birth of the telephone.

Although it wasn’t referred to as the “smartphone” until 1995, it actually made its appearance in 1992 as the Simon Personal Communicator. Along came the iPhone in 2007, and the rest, as they say, is history. But, it seems, there still is one part of such interaction that hasn’t changed in 140 years…we still our using our phones to tell someone in another room to “Come here.” However, there may be one difference: instead of our voice, we are probably using our fingers.

From smartphones to smart homes.

It’s been almost 25 years since the first “smartphone” entered the scene. With those first smartphones (if you had the $899 to pay for one) you were not only able to send and receive faxes and emails, you were also able to write notes and keep an address book. It also had a calendar, a world clock, and a way to schedule appointments. It had all the features of a cell phone and a PDA (Personal Data Assistant) in one.

Remember when you got…

  • Your first TV remote?

  • Your first VHS remote?

  • Your first CD player remote?

  • Your first DVD remote?

Remember when you tried to get them all programed onto one remote?


….it’s not only possible to have all your audio/visual equipment on one remote…



And not just your audio/visual equipment….

but also…

  • your lights

  • your thermostat

  • your security

  • your pool

  • your home theater

  • your patio


or even


Your Smartphone is now your remote for your entire Smart Home!

All of this and more is available with the smartphone app from  Savant Systems, LLC.

  • Do you want to change from Sonos to Blu-ray without leaving your chair?

  • Do you want to adjust the lighting in your kitchen while getting dressed in your bedroom?

  • Do you want the lights on and soft music playing as you come in the door at the end of a long day?

  • Do you want to stream Sonos playlists while entertaining friends on your patio?

  • Do you want to conserve energy while you’re away, but want the temperature just right when you’re at home?

  • Do you want to monitor your home’s security cameras from anywhere in the world?

All of this, and more, is possible with just a tap on your phone. Or, if you want, you can just use your voice.

Questions? Call us at 616.677.0100,

email us at,

or send us a message.

We have an experienced, knowledgeable staff that will have the answers you’re looking for.

Visit for more information about Savant Systems, LLC.


Back to Alexander Graham Bell and the History of the Telephone….

What happened when Bell tried to sell his patent to Western Union?

“Later that year, [1876] Bell and his financial backers offered to sell the patent for the telephone to Western Union, but Western Union dismissed the telephone as a useless toy that would never amount to anything. That inspired Bell and his partners to keep the telephone patent for themselves, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

A “useless toy”!?!?!  

This “useless toy” can now control almost all digital appliances, window shades, garage doors, hot water heaters, door bells, security, sprinklers, and even pet feeders. We are living in the Age of IoT, the Internet of Things, and KVO Communications and Savant will help you and your home be part of it.

Call us at 616.677.0100,

email us at,

or send us a message.

We’ve come a long way in home automation since the “Clapper”.


Savant Systems LLC:

History of first telephone conversation:

History of Remote Control:

History of the Smartphone:

In pictures –

In text –


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