In case there was any doubt, we’re living in the golden age of technology development. In the past couple of decades, we’ve gone from relying on corded phones for the bulk of our communication to tiny computers in our pockets that are capable of dozens of simultaneous communication functions.
If smartphones were one of the major tech developments of the 2000s, a next big step in the 2010s, is the development of smart homes.
What is Smart Home Automation
Smart home technology generally refers to any suite of devices, appliances, or systems that connect into a common network that can be independently and remotely controlled. When your home technology works together in one system, it can also be referred more loosely as a “connected home”. For example, your home’s thermostat, lights, audio speakers, TVs, security cameras, locks, appliances, and more are all connected into a common system, which can be controlled from your smart phone or through a mobile touch screen device.
Smart home automation allows you to tap into high-tech functionality and luxury that wasn’t possible in the past. As technology development continues to expand, so will the possibilities for consumer home automation to make life easier and more enjoyable.
The Major Advantages
You might think of smart home automation as a nifty way to keep up with the latest technology, or an opportunity for homeowners to show off, but there are some amazing (and indisputably) practical advantages to home automation. Want a couple of examples? Here they are:
- Managing all of your home devices from one place. The convenience factor here is enormous. Being able to keep all of the technology in your home connected through one interface is a massive step forward for technology and home management. Theoretically, all you’ll have to do is learn how to use one app on your smartphone and tablet, and you’ll be able to tap into countless functions and devices throughout your home. This cuts way back on the learning curve for new users, makes it easier to access the functionality you truly want for your home.
- Flexibility for new devices and appliances. Smart home systems tend to be wonderfully flexible when it comes to the accommodation of new devices and appliances and other technology. No matter how state-of-the-art your appliances seem today, there will be newer, more impressive models developed as time goes on. Beyond that, you’ll probably add to your suite of devices as you replace the older ones or discover new technology to accompany your indoor and outdoor spaces. Being able to integrate these newcomers seamlessly will make your job as a homeowner much easier, and allow you to keep upgrading to the latest lifestyle technology.
- Maximizing home security. When you incorporate security and surveillance features in your smart home network, your home security can skyrocket. There are tons of options here — only a few dozen of which are currently being explored. For example, home automation systems can connect motion detectors, surveillance cameras, automated door locks, and other tangible security measures throughout your home so you can activate them from one mobile device before heading to bed. You can also choose to receive security alerts on your various devices depending on the time of day an alert goes off, and monitor activities in real-time whether you’re in the house or halfway around the globe.
- Remote control of home functions. Don’t underestimate the power of being able to control your home’s functions from a distance. On an exceptionally hot day, you can order your house to become cooler in just enough time before you get home from work. If you’re in a hurry to get dinner started but you’re still at the store, you can have your oven start to preheat while you’re still on your way home. You can even check to see if you left the lights on, who is at your front door, or make sure you turned off all your media while you’re away.
- Increased energy efficiency. Depending on how you use your smart-home technology, it’s possible to make your space more energy-efficient. For example, you can have more precise control over the heating and cooling of your home with a programmable smart thermostat that learns your schedule and temperature preferences, and then suggests the best energy efficient settings throughout the day. Lights and motorized shades can be programmed to switch to an evening mode as the sun sets, or lights can turn on and off automatically when you enter or leave the room, so you never have to worry about wasting energy.
- Improved appliance functionality. Smart homes can also help you run your appliances better. A smart TV will help you find better apps and channels to locate your favorite programming. A smart oven will assist you with cooking your chicken to perfection — without ever worrying about overcooking or under cooking it. An intelligently designed home theater and audio system can make managing your movie and music collection effortless when entertaining guests. Ultimately, connecting your appliances and other systems with automation technology will improve your appliance effectiveness and overall make your home life much more easier and enjoyable!
Home management insights. There’s also something to be said for your ability to tap into insights on how your home operates. You can monitor how often you watch TV (and what you watch), what kind of meals you cook in your oven, the type of foods you keep in your refrigerator, and your energy consumption habits over time. From these insights, you may be able to analyze your daily habits and behaviors, and make adjustments to live the lifestyle you desire.
The Future of Home Automation
There’s another advantage to smart homes, but it would be cheating to include it in the above list. Rather than all the advantages of smart home technology today, the biggest advantage is about how smart home technology will develop in the coming years.
The sheer amount of consumer interest generated by smart home technology means the world’s biggest tech companies and innovators have entered a race to outdo one another. That means bigger, better smart home tech is constantly being developed to match our digital needs and the industry is on a tremendous upward trajectory.