Smart Home Technology
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home, or smart house, is a home that incorporates advanced automation systems to provide the inhabitants with sophisticated monitoring and control over the building's functions. For example, a smart home may control lighting, temperature, multi-media, security, window and door operations, as well as many other functions.
Smart homes use 'home automation' technologies to provide home owners with 'intelligent' feedback and information by monitoring many aspects of a home. For example, a smart home's refrigerator may be able to catalogue its contents, suggest menus, recommend healthy alternatives, and order replacements as food is used up. A smart home might even take care of feeding the cat and watering the plants.
Many new homes are being built with the additional wiring and controls which are required to run advanced home automation systems. Retro-fitting (adding smart home technologies to an existing property) a house to make it a smart home is obviously significantly more costly than adding the required technologies to a new home due to the complications of routing wires and placing sensors in appropriate places.
While Pert Home Automation, a Smart home solution based in India explains smart home thus: "When we talk about a smart home, we mean a house that
welcomes “intelligent” technology. A smart home isn’t your average run-of-the-mill home. It's a fully automated, kick-ass power home!"
A fully powered smart home is innovative, self-sufficient, well-connected, secure and energy efficient.
Some examples of Smart Home products;
Nest Protect – The Smart Smoke Detector
Philip Hue – Philips Hue is not just a smart bulb, it's a smart lighting system. The smart lights, Hue Bridge, and smart controls will forever change the way you experience light.
Nest Thermostat E – Smart home thermostat that helps you save both energy, and its costs.
August Smart Lock Pro - control who can come into your house in your absence using your smartphone or computer.
Ecobee Switch+ : ecobee Switch+ is the first smart light switch to come with built-in Amazon Alexa. Ask to control your lights, help you out with a task, play music or podcasts, or control other voice-enabled devices in your home.
Sure, you’re thinking Yes! Smart Home automation is definitely worth investing your money and life into. You may be right, let's have a look at some pros and cons just before you round up your opinion.
You can manage all your home devices from one place; (this brings in a convenience factor. all you have to do is control them from an application on your phone.)
You will be maximizing your home and personal security; (Perhaps you forgot to lock the door, set the alarm, you can simply activate that on your device too.)
You remote control home functions; (imagine on a hot day, just before getting home from long day at work, you can set the temperature to cool.)
Improved Appliances functionalities; (Smart TV to find better apps and channel to locate your favorite programs. A smart oven will assist you in making your Sunday Roast to perfection!)
Like every coin, there are two sides to the technology. Here, we briefly explore some smart home disadvantages.
Affordability; (The basic system consists of a burglar alarm, thermostat, outdoor lighting and a backdoor lock that can be controlled from a remote device costs as much as $2,500. High-end systems could cost as much as $1.8M). Home with pre-installed smart technologies are more expensive to buy or rent.
Learning the technology; some people are still relatively unfamiliar with technology. In as much as we claim to be of modern age, there’s an increase in the population of such people as we climb up the age pyramid).
Security and privacy concerns; it’ll be a mistake to forget that any system connected to the Internet is prone to being hacked. (Anyone could hack into the video feed since the home is connected; unfortunately private time in you. bedroom is definitely not so private anymore).
Lifestyle impact; the lazy becomes lazier! Smart home offers infinite level of comfortability and convenience. (This limits your daily activities, physically and mentally).
Also, some energy companies may have lower patronage if and when smart home is within everyone's reach.