A smart home can mean different things to different people. While for some their home is “smart” if a video doorbell can be viewed on a smartphone, but for others it might be as complex as having remote control of all of the appliances in the house including its security system. A smart home, then, is one that uses a single product or a number of linked products to automate tasks that would typically be done by humans.
Benefits of a Smart Home
The benefits of a smart home are many. They include:
- Saving energy
- Making life easier
- Feeling more secure with upgraded security
- Executing repetitive household chores
- Providing entertainment
How a Smart Home Works
A smart home works on the principle of the internet of things (IoT), which is a network of objects (speakers, doorbells, smart lights, etc.) that gather and share electronic information. The devices are connected to a central “hub” that is either a wireless or hardwired system or a combination of both and can be controlled from a smartphone, tablet laptop, or game console. Each item in the network is assigned a unique IP address, giving you the ability to access, monitor, and control the objects or features remotely.
What a Smart Home can Do
Save energy: A smart home can automate heating and air conditioning systems with products such as smart thermostats. Products that turn lights on/off and power down appliances when not in use can also save a household money on its energy bills.
Make life easier: Install smart lights that can be turned on/off with voice commands. Implement location rules to eliminate searching for electronic devices. Set up simple schedules to turn on lights in one room and off in another or dim the lights to change the ambience. Have smart devices open and close window treatments as required.
Help you feel more secure: Smart home security systems that offer services such as doorbell cameras, smart locks, messaging, voice communications, connection to any local mobile network, predictive maintenance, device monitoring, and motion detection are becoming more popular with homeowners. Typically when this type of security system detects an intrusion, it starts flashing lights on/off throughout the house; sends a notification to your cellphone; and scares away the intruder.
Handle household chores: How much do like vacuuming? Connected and automated devices like robot vacuums can vacuum for you while you’re doing something else that’s more to your liking. Other smart appliances that can help with household chores and simplify your daily routine include refrigerators, toaster ovens, ovens, cookers, washers, and dryers.
Entertain family and friends: Relax with family and friends while watching a movie or listening to music. Not to everyone’s taste? Change the movie or the song with a voice command. Keep track of a breaking news story or find out the score of the game your team played yesterday.
Smart appliances are smart: Smart home products and appliances have self-learning skills. A thermostat will remember your perfect temperature setting and adjust accordingly if the room becomes too hot or cold. A self-learning window treatment closes the blind when sunlight heats up the room or opens it when the clouds hide the sun. Your smart security system adjusts the angle of a camera for a clearer view or will alert you if its facial recognition component spots an unfamiliar face. A fridge detects you’re running low on milk and orders more online. Does it sound like science fiction? It doesn’t have to be with a smart home.