Wireless technology continues to advance every year. It leads to innovations in many ways, one of which is Smart Home technology. Smart Home is a blanket term for home automation, which consists of wirelessly controlled devices replacing conventional devices in the home. Examples of these devices include doorbells that let you see and talk to visitors, thermostats that automatically adjust temperatures by learning your behaviors, and lightbulbs that can dim and change color to suit your mood. Other examples include automated cookware, appliances and security.
Why do we have Smart Home technology?
Smart Home technology is intended to ease the stress of home maintenance and provide home owners with security and control over their place of comfort. It is also intended to reduce energy waste by letting computers do all the hard work.
Products such as Nest’s Learning Thermostat aim to save energy and reduce monthly bills. Over time, the thermostat learns when you’re at home and when you’re not, and automatically adjusts the temperature accordingly. Thanks to a mobile app, the thermostat can be controlled via Wi-Fi, allowing you to fire-up the heat/air-con when you leave the office or turn it off when you’re on the other side of the world.
Smart lightbulbs like the popular Philips Hue provide the ability to change color and dim the lights using a Wi-Fi enabled app. While changing color provides no energy-saving benefits, the ability to dim the bulbs does. When you’re not in need of a bright room, dim the lights and save money on your energy bill. Up to 50 Hue bulbs can be connected at once, leading to a controlled home from anywhere in the world.
Smart plugs for auto on/off
Several companies create smart plugs, which can also be wirelessly controlled. Smart plugs are possibly the best Smart Home product. Any device or appliance plugged into a smart plug can be turned on/off by using a mobile device. A few apps allow the plugs to be scheduled, so they turn on at exactly the right moment. For example, a coffee maker connected to a smart plug can be scheduled to turn on at 7am, giving you a freshly brewed pot of coffee when you get to the kitchen. Additionally, when you get to work and can’t remember if you turned the stove off, a smart plug helps to make sure it is.
While saving energy and cutting your monthly utility bill is a major reason to upgrade to a Smart Home, security is another reason. Smart Home technology has made home security much more affordable. Installing security cameras, door cameras and motion sensors has never been easier. Wi-Fi capability provides the ability to see who is ringing your doorbell when you’re not home; motion sensors detect if an intruder is inside and sends a notification to your mobile phone; and cameras installed inside the home let you see if Fido is going through the trash again.
When it comes to security, not everything revolves around Wi-Fi. Most devices that are controlled via Wi-Fi can also be used with Bluetooth. Bluetooth enabled door locks can unlock the front door when you get home, so you don’t have to fumble with keys or worry about getting locked out.
Be a better cook
Do your cookies come out unpalatable? Are you just too tired to mix up the right amount of ingredients after a long day? Smart Home kitchen products are making cooking effortless. Ovens, air fryers, fridges and coffee makers are becoming smarter. The June Intelligent Oven makes roasting a breeze. Place a dish inside, select what you’re cooking using the app, and the oven uses built-in cameras to cook food to perfection.
Meanwhile, the Perfect Bake Pro ensures you use the right amount of each ingredient to make the perfect baked goods. It’s a Bluetooth kitchen scale that comes with an app containing recipes and step-by-step guides. By placing a container on the scale, it tells you how much to add of each ingredient and when to move onto the next one. Your next batch of chocolate chip cookies will be one to remember.
Finally, Crockpot has got a Wi-Fi enabled version for the most delicious slow-cooked recipes you can come home to. Sure, security and energy saving is nice – but cooking delicious food with little to no effort is even better.
By now, you’ve heard about Amazon Echo or Google Home. These are two major Smart Home products created by their respective companies. Voice control brings a sleuth of features and convenience to a Smart Home. All your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connected devices can now be controlled by voice – from anywhere in your house.
“OK Google, turn down the temperature to 23 degrees.”
“Alexa, turn on the home alarm system.”
“Siri, dim the lights to 50%.”
Voice assistants are convenient to use on a mobile device, but become even more so when it comes to home automation. Most Smart Home products on the market are compatible with one or more voice assistants.
The future is smarter
Home automation is the future of our homes. Smart Home products are innovating our “dumb” devices and appliances, leading to a truly futuristic home. Anything and everything we use today will eventually be controlled by our smartphones. The convenience, security and savings are major advantages to a Smart Home.
What does a Smart Home look like to you? Have you bought/will buy Smart Home products? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.