While it sounds like something out of the Jetsens, more functions in our homes can be remote-controlled by computers and an Iowa company is helping light the way. Kathy Krafka Harkema, spokeswoman for Pella Corporation, says they’re working with the Lowe’s home improvement store chain to develop what’s being called Iris.

Krafka Harkema says, “With the convenience of Iris, you can not only control the heating and cooling in your home, but you can also open and close the blinds or the shades in your Pella windows and doors.” Pella’s part of the innovation is called SmartSync technology, which will integrate the windows into the Iris home management system.

“You can open those to let in the sun, close them to keep out the heat in the hottest part of the day, and you can do that all with the convenience of a cloud-based system,” Krafka Harkema says. “With your smart phone or your computer, whether you’re home or away, you can automate the functions of your home easier than ever.”

The system is designed to help conserve energy and, if you’re out of town for work or vacation, it can give the appearance your house is still occupied. “You could open a single blind or a single shade in a Pella window or you could operate a group of them, say all on the south side of your house, or you could close just the bedroom or open just the kitchen,” Krafka Harkema says. “The choice is yours and you’ll be able to automate that so you can set it, say, from sunrise to sunset.”

The windows being designed for this system will be made in the south-central Iowa town of Pella, where the 86-year-old company is headquartered. A Pella release claims the company’s between-the-glass blinds or shades featuring this technology can manage the sun’s light and heat more than two times more efficiently than windows without blinds or shades.

Iris is being unveiled this month but the system won’t be available until later in 2012.