A guide to turning your home into a “smart” home
The smart home craze is underway and there’s a ton of things you can do to implement these devices and gadgets in your home.
Homes have undergone countless updates and evolutionary changes in the millennia since we started living indoors – glass windows, indoor plumbing, gas, power, and electricity, to name but a few examples – and the same holds true today. Homes continue to evolve to meet our needs, provide for our protection against the elements, and allow us to live in comfort. The latest evolution of the domicile is the “smart” home.
You can think of a smart home as a house that is capable in many ways of thinking and caring for itself. A smart home may maintain its own internal temperature, lock the doors automatically, or allow you to interact with the home in more intuitive and convenient ways. As with computers, the smart home aims to make your life easier by becoming smarter and more capable. Make no mistake, the smart home is the home of the future. If your home isn’t quite there yet, this five-step guide is for you!
Home Automation Systems
One of the best ways to transform your home and the way you live your life is through home automation products. Home automation systems make it easy to control everything in your home with the click of a button and give you peace of mind when you’re away from home. If you’ve seen how the Enterprise functions on Star Trek, then you’ve seen modern home automation systems in action.
A home automation system from ADT allows you to remotely control the temperature, lock or unlock doors, turn appliances on and off, remotely monitor your home with built-in cameras, and more. You’ll never think twice about whether you locked up – because that information is right at your fingertips, on your smartphone or tablet, whenever you need it.
Smart Multimedia Solutions
The traditional cable box is slowly but surely going the way of the dodo bird. In its place, smart multimedia devices – including smart televisions, dedicated streaming devices, and smart Blu-Ray players and video game consoles – are beginning to become the new centerpiece of the home. And it’s easy to see why.
With Netflix becoming more and more popular with each passing year, and the variety of programming becoming more diverse than ever, there’s quite simply less and less need to have a cable subscription. Smart TVs and streaming devices like the Apple TV make hundreds of thousands of hours of entertainment programming available on demand. In the smart home of the future, you will be able to watch anything you want, anytime you want. In fact, you can pretty much do that now.
Smart Home Appliances
It isn’t just our televisions and tablets that are becoming smart. With the Internet of Things now a reality, even our refrigerators, dishwashers, durable vacuum for hardwood floors, and washing machines can now be connected at all times. And this means that you can wash your clothes from the office, right from your smartphone, or check the contents of your refrigerator while you’re at the grocery store, simply by peering inside.
Of course, today’s smart appliances do more than connecting to the Internet; they also run more efficiently, learn on the go, and provide you with greater freedom of choice and flexibility. In essence, they are Rosie the Robot without the legs (or the snarky attitude).
Energy Efficient & Energy Saving Solutions
Smart home systems can make our lives easier, but they’re capable of even more. They can also reduce our impact on the environment by being more efficient and eco-conscious. Thankfully, there are a wide range of energy-efficient products on the market – some of which are “smart,” others of which are simply a smart buy. If you live in an older home, for example, simply upgrading your original windows with modern energy efficient windows can dramatically reduce heat loss and lower your energy bills.
And Energy Star appliances, many of which are now becoming connected, can further reduce your energy consumption by running more efficiently. With modern building materials, smart energy-efficient appliances, and supplemental power sources, like solar panels and windmills, it’s possible to build a zero net energy smart home.
Smart Routers & Wi-Fi Hubs: The “Modern” Butler
Finally, we get to the fun part of the modern smart home: the personal digital assistant. Smart routers and Wi-Fi hubs like the Amazon Echo and Google Home allow you to “talk” to your house. You can play your favorite music, get the latest weather forecast, ask about local traffic, turn on your favorite movie, or even interact with other connected devices throughout the house, all via voice command.
In essence, these modern routers act as your very own butler. Except, in this case, the butler is less Alfred from Batman, and more Jarvis from Iron Man – it’s an entirely new school approach to age-old problems and can transform the way that you interact with, and live in, your home.