Creating a Smart Home
We’re living through incredible disruption in the way homes are built and used, and the pace of change and disruption is sure to accelerate the coming years. Is creating a smart home on your list of priorities?
While there aren’t nearly as many smart tools, systems and appliances today as there will be in the near future, you can still take active steps to make your home smarter, more comfortable, more convenient and more efficient. Here’s a look at just some of the products you can consider when creating a smart home.
The 10 Smart Home Products You Can Get Now
Can’t wait for the home of the future? Get started now by checking out these 12 products currently on the market.
The smart thermostat is quickly becoming of the most popular smart home appliances. You can find an array of different options, including the popular Nest Learning Thermostat, the ecobee3 and the Lyric T5.
If you want to be able to dim lights without getting up from your seat, invest in a system like the Caseta Wireless Dimmer by Lutron. From the comfort of your couch, your bed or your kitchen table, you can turn off or dim lights when integrated with Amazon’s Echo or Apple’s HomeKit.
You can place smart home security cameras in strategic areas throughout your home for increased security. Consider options like available through Canary, and you’ll be able to monitor your home and what’s going on there from anywhere in the world.
Never again do you have to worry about turning off the iron or coffee pot while away from your home. Products like the WeMo Switch from Belkin plug into your regular outlets, and they allow you to switch on or off the outlet itself (and hence whatever is plugged into it) from a smartphone app.
No one likes a dirty home, which is why smart vacuums and mops are such welcome additions to the smart home universe. The Roomba is a well-known product that’s more robot than vacuum. You can schedule it to go to work while you’re away at the office (or elsewhere). The Braava Jet Mopping Robot by iRobot can handle a number of tasks, mopping, sweeping and damp sweeping included.
Open your doors from around the world using a smartphone app when you choose items like the Kevo Kwikset and August Smart Lock. We recently wrote about the best remote control locks for house doors. Check out the article and see if one of the options makes sense for you.
7. Garage Doors
The world’s largest garage door openers manufacturers are investing in smart technology that allows you to check the status of your door, as well as open and close it from your phone. Have you ever gotten to work and wondered whether or not you remembered to close the garage door? Worry no more with products like Chamberlain’s MyQ.
8. Leak Detectors
When you’re away from your home for extended periods of time, you may worry about break-ins, fallen tree limbs and other threats to your home. Leaks may also be a concern, but you can get leak alerts delivered to your phone using items like the Honeywell Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector.
Smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa are becoming more and more popular for how they can enhance a full home automation system. Check out Alexa or one of Amazon’s competitors to get a smart assistant for your home.
You can now answer your doorbell from your own phone with products like the Ring Video Doorbell. Items like the Ring also use motion detection so that anyone who visits or snoops around your house will be documented. This is great for safety and peace of mind.
What to Expect in the Future
Now that you know what types of products you can invest in now, what about products sure to appear in the future? Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect out of the homes of the future.
Expect the stick-frame homes of today to go by the wayside tomorrow. A new approach to modular home-building will introduce better materials that lead to faster, less expensive and more durable construction. Homes will be able to withstand natural disasters while requiring little maintenance.
Keeping a house staff was a sign of affluence in the Elizabethan period. Before we know it, staffed homes will become a sign of modernism and forward thinking. Only these homes will be staffed with robots (rather than people) that pick up, operated appliances and even serve drinks.
Homes consumer about 25% of all energy in the United States — a staggering number. In the future, homes will have built-in systems that track power usage and budgets, that analyze appliances and equipment, and that automatically respond to changes in weather with energy-saving adjustments.
Would you believe: Toilets in the future will do many things that currently require a trip to the doctor? Smart toilets will analyze urine for diabetes and stools for colon cancer. They will even be able to detect pregnancies.
When you walk into your home of the future, it will welcome you with a customized experience. The thermostat will adjust to your liking, the lighting will match your preferences, and even your favorite music will start to play.
In post-World War II America, homes proliferated in the suburbs and grew in square footage. Today’s young Americans will prefer smaller homes in urban settings that promote a more efficient, more connected lifestyle in a smaller footprint.
Last Thought on Creating a Smart Home
Almost everything listed above is going to require a powerful Internet connection. If your Internet isn’t up to the task, you’re going to experience a lot of appliances and products that seem to work slowly, that seem to buffer incessantly and that seem non-responsive to your commands.
The better and faster your Internet connection, the easier it’s going to be the create your smart home.
Have you already started on creating a smart home? Let us know about your experience (and the types of products you’ve chosen) in the comments section below. Or, send us a message anytime via our contact form.
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