Articles Home Tips and Advice Smart Homes: What You Need To Know About At-Home Technology

Smart Homes: What You Need To Know About At-Home Technology

Imagine your entire house connected to the Internet. You have access to every device in your home wherever you may be at any moment. From security to home entertainment, take a look at which devices make life more efficient when made smart.

Imagine your entire house connected to the Internet. You have access to every device in your home wherever you may be at any moment. You can easily be talking to the delivery guy through a CCTV system, or mindlessly monitoring your puppy from another room.

In a smart home, lights can turn on with a push of a button from your smartphone or a voice command. And this doesn't just work on home lighting but everything else you own at home that plugs into electricity and connects to a network.

A smart home is a house that can be managed by a home automation system. Attributes in a smart home such as lighting, temperature, and appliances can be controlled and monitored remotely as they are interconnected through the Internet. Homes react to voice commands and remote controls received from a smartphone or tablet.

At-home technology is becoming more and more popular as people are learning of the many benefits from living in smart homes. Firstly, there's the convenience and ease in accessing whatever home appliance anytime, anywhere. There's also the reassurance from the security features that come with many smart devices. And at certain occasions, there are financial savings that come with efficiently using up electricity since many devices can be automatically turned off when not in use.

Security: Recording Devices, Locks, Sensors

Outdoor security camera atop a house number sign

Generally speaking, smart homes are safer homes. From outdoor cameras to door and lock controllers, the home security industry has grown in such a way that there's now a smart solution for almost all home security issues one may encounter.

A security camera is the quintessential smart security device that many invest in for home safety. In the past, a traditional security camera had footage saved on a physical hard drive hooked to said recording device. Aside from the amount of work involved in extracting the data and setting the camera and drive back up, there's the additional issue of security risk in that physical drives can easily be stolen or broken.

Fortunately, there have been many advancements in technology that now allow us to use smart recording devices without the bulk of a storage device and the immediate risk of losing data. Recorders, so long as they are linked to the same network, can easily upload security footage to the cloud or to a wireless device such as a laptop. Some systems even allow you to communicate through them, which helps in contactless (timely) transactions and deliveries.

Home locks are another attribute that has been initiated into smart technology. Gone are the days when you'd forget to lock your doors and have to rush back home just to lock up. Certain lock systems can now be accessed anywhere and can even generate unique codes for anyone who has access to the property.

Other smart home security devices that are less conventional include motion detectors and climate sensors. Motion sensors linked to lighting and alarm systems can easily inform a homeowner when someone opens a door or a window. Smart thermostats and smoke detectors help manage ventilation in a home and can even assist in isolating carbon oxide emissions through your vents. If you live in a single detached home located in a flood-prone area or just want to be safe from potential leaks, flood sensors can help mitigate water damage.

Smart Appliances

Close up of smartphone connected to a Google Home device

Smart appliances are probably the gateway for many to smart homes. Nowadays, most brands carry a plethora of smart home appliances kitchen devices like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, even trash bins. You can easily track what goes into your fridge and what gets thrown out, or when your vacuum's cleaning cycle has ended.

Less popular smart appliances like smart washers and dryers (that automatically turn off after every cycle), and baby bottle cleaners (that adjust temperatures based on what's plugged in) are also gaining traction thanks to the time saved from automating these chores. Indeed, when maximized, smart appliances help make home life more efficient.

The trick to making a smart home work is building an ecosystem where all appliances work harmoniously. By investing in home automation devices powered by AI tech (Alexa ring a bell?) and using smart plugs and extensions, you can connect most of your appliances to a single automation system that's accessible via an app on your mobile device.

Home Entertainment Systems

Seamless home entertainment is possible with smart appliances and electronics currently available in the market. Internet-connected devices and streaming media have made cords and ports almost unnecessary in home entertainment setups.

Smart TVs are at the center of every smart entertainment system. Chances are your current TV is already a smart device, and if not, there are many ways you can turn it into one. Plug and play devices such as TV sticks and small boxes are able to connect older TV models to online streaming apps and websites.

In terms of sound, integrated home theatre systems and sound bars are typical in smart homes. There are a variety of speaker types that have the flexibility to play just about any sound from any device connected via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Some smart speakers even have the capacity to sync audio all throughout a space so long as they're interlinked through a single network.

Some people, especially those who grew up before the Internet, avoid smart technology at home because of the proposed learning curve integrating tech in daily house chores. Others don't even bother to try it out because they refuse to be reliant to internet connection, or have qualms about linking everything to the web. In some cases, people who see their homes as an escape from the rest of the world avoid the complications that come with technology, and more so if they're engrossed in tech and media at work and socialization.

At the end of the day, whether or not you want to keep up with technology trends in the home is up to you. There's a merit in being unplugged and avoiding the noise that comes with using the Internet, and a comfort in tradition and simplicity. But there are also clear advantages to learning about technology and figuring out how it can best serve you in your home.

There's no shame in trying out somewhat unconventional technologies and seeing if they make sense for you. Smart homes don't have to be overly complicated they just have to be efficient.