What if all the devices in your home could connect to the internet? No, we’re not just talking about computers and phones – we also mean things like speakers, lights, kitchen appliances, clocks and countless other items. And what if all these things could all communicate with you, send information to your smartphone when you’re out, and listen to your commands?
Well, as you may already know, this has already started to happen, and there are more opportunities than ever to turn our houses in to smart homes. With the rise and rise of home automation and the ‘Internet of Things’, our houses have become increasingly intelligent. And as technology continues to develop, they’re set to become even smarter over the coming years.
A smart home is simply a home kitted out with a communications network that connects various appliances which can be remotely accessed, controlled, and monitored.
These smart devices (such as lighting, heating, and electronic devices) are connected to the internet. Many can be controlled via smartphone apps, tablets, or computers. In addition, the next generation versions come with the ability to learn your habits as time goes by – and eventually, they become clever enough to predict what you might like them to do and plan accordingly.
Well, that depends on which devices you have. By using the technology in your home, you’ll have the ability to both control and view what’s happening there – even if you aren’t physically in the building. For example, if you want to keep an eye on your pet while you’re out, you could install a camera and check in on them whenever you need to.
Smart homes aren’t a gimmick – they can help you save energy, increase productivity, and make your life easier. For one thing, you could make a difference to the size of your utility bills – installing a smart thermostat makes it easier to ensure your heating is only on when you need it. Wherever you are, this can be controlled with the touch of a button on your smartphone, so your home will be nice and toasty when you walk through the door. And if you happen to forget to switch off the heating before you leave work, you can easily sort that out while you’re heading to the office.
As your smart devices transmit important information to you, you’ll also be able keep a close eye on exactly how much heat, water, and electricity you’re using via your smartphone.
One way to turn your home into a smart one is by installing a network that connects your compatible appliances and devices. Alternatively, you could just purchase individual devices that connect to the internet and hook up with your smartphone.
Aside from the smart thermostat, one of the most popular smart home devices available today is the voice assistant. You might have head of the Amazon Echo or Google Home, which are a kind of personal helper that you can control using speech. You can activate them by using a keyword (like ‘Alexa’ for the Amazon Echo, or ‘OK Google’ for Google Home’) and then say a command or ask a question. The device will then process what you said and obey your request or answer your question in just a few seconds.
Robot vacuums are another option, which can really take the hassle out of boring household chores. Some allow you to schedule cleanings in advance via your smartphone, while you sit in your comfy electric recliner chair. Either way, you’ll hardly have to lift a finger to get the place looking spick and span. Just bear in mind that this technology is still pretty pricey compared to a standard vacuum cleaner, so it’s up to you whether you think it would be worth the investment.