Smart Home Perceptions

Smart home technology, also known as home automation, can be exciting for some and daunting for others. As a consumer, you may struggle with making home automation decisions.

What is a smart home? A home equipped with lighting, heating and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by phone of computer.

Smart Home

It’s a term used to define a residence that has appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TV’s, computers and security camera systems that are capable of communicating with one another and can be controlled remotely by time schedule. They can be controlled from any room in the house or from any location in the world by phone or smart home apps and the Internet, or other network devises. You can contact your smart home on the Internet to make sure the dinner is cooked, the central heating is on, the curtains are drawn and the gas fire is roaring when you get home.

As technologies have taken off, builders and consumers have incorporated more and more technological features in our homes.

How has this changed how we live in our homes?

A smart home can provide its homeowners comfort, security, energy efficiency and convenience with a touch of a finger. Smart home products can provide the same benefits that technology and personal computing have brought us, convenience and savings of time, money and energy. More and more people are becoming aware of the ability to make their homes truly smart and energy efficient through monitor use. Many home controllers have built-in monitoring systems to calculate and log usage by all connected devices. This gives the homeowner critical information to make changes and adjust the system as necessary. This also helps to improve efficiency as the smart home system learns the occupant’s behaviors. For example, to have the home cooled down or the heat to come on by the time you arrive home. With home automation, energy, water and other resources are used more efficiently, which in turn helps save natural resources and money for the consumer.

Many homes do not have these appliances and systems built into them; thankfully, homeowners can retrofit smart products into their finished home. All of these products can be selected from various manufactures and many are DIY friendly and were created with retrofitting in mind. For example, you can install smart light switches without needing to run new wires. When doing a retrofit in a new home, it is important to make sure smart devices are able to exchange data and interpret that said data. To make use of the information, using the same protocol or, at least complementary ones allows your system to work with various devices.

Smart Home Technologies

Nearly every aspect of life where technology has entered we have seen the introduction of a smart home alternative:

  • Smart TV’s
  • Smart lighting systems that can be controlled remotely. They can be programed to detect when occupants are in the room and adjust lighting as needed and regulate themselves based on daylight. Click to read the full article on smart lighting.
  • Smart thermostats, which allow homeowners to schedule, monitor and remotely control home temperatures. These devices can learn homeowner’s behaviors and modify settings to provide maximum comfort and efficiency. Click to read the full article on Smart Thermostats.
  • Smart locks and garage-door openers, which allow users to grant or deny access to visitors. Smart locks can also detect when you are home and unlock the doors for you.
  • Smart Security cameras. Residents can monitor their homes when they are away or on vacation. Smart motion sensors are also able to identify the difference between family members, visitors, pets and intruders, notifying authorities if suspicious behavior is detected.
  • Kitchen appliances. There are a plethora of smart kitchen appliances. Energy Star appliances provide energy savings. Many smart refrigerators can keep your family schedule, shopping list, show you recipes and store your foods the way you want, plus send you messages when you are at the store from your shopping list.
  • Household system monitors. For example, system monitors can sense an electric surge and turn off electronic devices or sense water failures/freezing pipes and turn off the water, avoiding damages.

Many homeowners feel that the greatest benefit of home automation is providing peace of mind.

Some of the cons with a home automation system

Home automation systems have struggled to become mainstream. For some, the drawback is the perceived complexity. Some people have trouble with technology or some will give up when the first issue arises. Manufactures are working on reducing complexity and improving the user experience for all types and technical levels.

Consumers are concerned about the security of their smart data and worry about data privacy. Manufactures collecting data can be a concern. Trust and transparency are critical to manufactures; they must work to build trust with users.

How do smart homes work?

A smart home consists of devices and appliances that work together to create a remotely controllable home network. All devices are controlled by a master home automation controller called a smart hub. The smart home hub is a hardware device that acts as the central point of the smart home system and is able to sense, process data and communicate wirelessly. It combines all of the different apps into a single smart home app that can be controlled remotely by homeowners.

Smart home technologies are advancing and can provide you with the comfort, security, energy efficiency, savings and convenience you crave.

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