By Jack Lee
Smart homes first started when labor-saving machines were introduced to our society. From the 1900s, it’s been self-contained electric or gas powered home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, or dryers. With the introduction of the X10 in 1975, everything home related started becoming much more technological. Today, the idea of a smart home has come a long way with residences equipped with technology that allows for easy connectivity, monitoring and controlling, either from a central device or remotely. Moreover, the smart characteristics of a home today both boost home energy efficiency as well as the over-all value of the home.
Smart home technology provides homeowners the convenience to adjust or control things with much less effort. For example, homeowners can now schedule appliances to function at certain times of the day. When the family goes on vacation, lights or the television can be scheduled to turn on at specific times in order to give an impression that people are home, which could be an excellent way to deter burglars.
“People can choose to buy individual home-gadgets and use them separately via their own, individual apps and devices. Many homeowners, however, choose to have the entire home automation system set up. Smart home automation systems are taking the front seat when it comes to home technology and design. Let’s take a look at current trends.
IoT and Smart Home Tech
Homeowners should be looking forward to the further development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the very service that enables the easy interoperability of home appliances and technology. With major companies realizing the need for single, seamless user-experience technologies, there will be some major developments and advancements that will make it much easier to control and adjust home technology and appliances with the use of the Internet. Some of these will include the Nest Learning Thermostat, heated driveways and smart refrigerators, which will, with time, only become more affordable.
Voice-Activated Smart Home Assistance
“Always listening” smart speakers that can respond to your voice commands, play music and control your smart home have begun to abound. From Amazon’s Echo to Google Home, competition of these automated personal assistance devices will be heating up.
With increased energy costs, why not make use of the sun’s energy to make the home smart? In fact, daylight harvesting maximizes natural light to increase the productivity and efficiency levels of the home. Some of these are motorized shades that can be integrated into a smart home automation system and work in such a way that the space uses less artificial light on sunny days, and more artificial light on cloudy ones. These are also effective in protecting furniture from UV rays. They can be controlled with Apple/android apps or with a remote control.
Automated Lawns and Gardens
The lawns and gardens will also become automated to enable control of the outer environment of your home. For example, the sprinkler system will be able to be programmed to recognize when it is raining so that it functions accordingly. It may also be able to detect levels of humidity and soil type. This can also be remotely controlled and monitored so even when homeowners are away, the lawn or garden can be watered regularly and kept in a healthy manner. The most recent trend is providing a multi-functional device that is equally a sprinkler controller along with another function i.e., the Yardian which provides a smart integrated sprinkler controller in tandem with a highly operational security camera.
A pool is an expensive investment. One has to have the right climate and the space for it. But if you can afford this luxury, a few pool trends will be making splashes this year. Various types, such as infinity pools or rooftop pools, are predicted to be 2017 hits. Apart from these, waterfalls, grottoes and natural-looking pool spaces have already been introduced as well. Pools are not exempt from new technology including automation controlled LED lighting, chlorine-free purification and high capacity filtration.
Most new kitchen appliances will have the option of using the phone/tablet app to control them. This will make many things faster and more efficient, saving us energy as well as time. You will be able to tap your phone’s screen a couple of times and set your coffee brewer on while you’re still half asleep in your bed. Cooking a roast will eliminate the temperature checks from the procedure and will be as simple as pressing on a few buttons to secure a perfect cooking time and temperature.
Smart home systems will continue to advance as long as technology does too. Soon enough, all homes will be equipped with highly-advanced technologies that will make maintenance and home functions much easier and more convenient. Everything will be programmed and controlled in ways that will suit every homeowner’s personal lifestyle and schedule.