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This research is a pioneer attempt to establish theoretical foundation and a framework for technical developments in home automation. This study suggests the need for an International Technology Roadmap for Home Automation (ITRHA) to formulate a need based vision of typically 10 to 15 years and stresses the need for HA to cater for the specific requirements of family home users. The concept of family life cycle is used to understand the temporal needs of family. In order to formally describe a coherent set of family processes, their relationships, and interaction with external elements, a reference model named family system is established that identifies external entities, 7 major processes, and 7 subsystems to manage smooth functioning of these processes by allocating resources and interfacing between processes and external entities. The family system reference model can be used to conduct detailed requirement analysis and thus identify potential HA products and services meeting realistic user needs.