What is a Smart Home?
A “smart home” refers to a home with devices that are able to communicate with and be controlled by the home owner using a home’s WiFi network and various applications. These devices help provide security, energy efficiency, convenience and even comfort whether the owner is at home or on the other side of the world.
Imagine your appliances, lights, security cameras and systems, audio and video systems, heating and air conditioning, even window blinds all on time schedules or connected to the Internet. Once connected, they can communicate with you by sending bits of information. Then you have the ability to control these devices using your voice or remotely using your smart phone.
Home automation is the ability to control items around the house with a simple push of a button or with a voice command. For instance, it allows you to turn on a light by simply telling the light to turn on. Or, it enables you to open an app on your phone and turn off that light that you left on before leaving for work.
Privacy and cybersecurity have become buzz words around home automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the last year. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and device manufacturers need to work together to protect consumers from hackers who get in to home networks through unsecured smart home devices.
Some Smart Home Device Categories
Security cams can detect motion, sound, provide images, time-lapse and video recording and more.
Heating and Cooling
Smart thermostats may allow you to control your home’s temperature using voice control. Others have built-in Wi-Fi that connects to your phone, tablet or PC, allowing you remote control.
Smart lighting not only allows you to turn lights on or off, but some systems also allow you to control the intensity or even the color of the lighting. These can help you save money on electricity in your home.
Smart appliances connect with apps that keep you notified throughout the entire cooking process. Some will let you know when your food is ready.
Not only do smart vacuums do the cleaning for you, often they do a better job. You can control them from apps or program them to clean at a specific time.
Health and Fitness Devices
Fitness trackers can help you stay healthier. They track things like your BMI, water intake, muscle mass, activity and more. They also connect to apps to help you keep track of your health metrics.
Smart home devices aren’t only for the indoors. There are some great outdoor devices such as pool cleaners, sprinkler monitors, and lawn mowers, too.