Smart Series: What is a smart home?
Our Smart Series investigates the homes and people that are utilising technology and innovation for an easier and better life.
I’m sure that in your hand or in your pocket – even lying next to your computer – you have a smart phone. This is a phone which connects to the internet and has a selection of useful apps ranging from games to entertain bored children and yourself, to apps which give you information about plane flights and weather, at your convenience.
But if you have a smart home, your smart phone will also have an app which controls your house. With a smart home (not a smart phone – don’t get them mixed up, it’s easy, they’re both so connected) you can control and regulate your household lights, room temperature, security system, appliances and any other technology within the house through your smart phone.
The app or device with which you regulate your home allows you to turn on lights, or begin washing machine cycles – or even set off your robot vacuum cleaner – from anywhere inside or away from your home. Smart homes are made possible through the interconnection of household technology through Wi-Fi. The ability to control your home’s technology maximizes your day, saving you time spent rushing around flipping switches and locking doors.
Smart homes increase safety, and leave you worry-free. You can control the security system of your house from your phone, locking or unlocking the house from a distance, and the camera function installed in many of the Smart Home security systems allows you the owner to review who called on you during the day, and leave messages to loved ones to find upon their return home.
Your smart phone will also be connected to monitoring systems such as smoke alarms, or leak alerts. You will have no need to be concerned about leaving your home, with the knowledge that you will receive a notification if your smoke alarm goes off, allowing you to dial for emergency help or simply switch the alarm off is toast is the culprit.
Above all, Smart Homes allow the owner to invest in the health of the future. By controlling all devices from a smart-phone app, you can ensure that all technology is only on while in use, cutting down on energy consumption and costs. Setting your washing machine or dishwasher to go off at a certain time of day can also save on energy costs, particularly with solar power. You can set the appliances to turn on at the height of the day, when there is most power, which is also the time when most people are at work.
You can invest in your future in another form. Smart homes for the aging or disabled population allow for in-home convenience which can keep elderly people at home and independent for longer. As well as the ability to control the house from a screen, monitoring systems can be set up to keep an eye on anyone with health problems, meaning your or other members of the family can visually check or be notified of any changes.