Seven Cool Things You Can Do with a Smart Home
Seven Cool Things You Can Do with a Smart Home
Your phone is smart; your kids are smart; and your home can be smart too.
Smart home technology is constantly evolving and as the internet gradually takes control of our everyday lives you will soon be able to control most things in your house from your phone, and even your voice.
Here are our top seven smart home gadgets to help raise your homes’ IQ.
Change lighting with your mood
Lighting has always been a central part of our homes. We build our houses to make the best of the daylight but now technology enables us to highlight the best features of our houses through intelligent lighting, and it can even save us money.
Intelligent automated lighting can provide a wide range of scenarios to suit you. By selecting ‘pre-set’ scenes at a single touch you can enjoy mood lights for a friendly get-together, a romantic dinner or a family movie night in.
Intelligent light systems can also be fully automated with other devices in your home. For example, when the sun sets, the curtains would automatically close and both indoor and outdoor lighting would be activated.
Play your entire music catalogue throughout the home
Whether you’re an audiophile with a massive music library, or a casual listener it is now very easy to utilise different streaming services to instantly get the song you want. With smart home integration you can access all of your collections, both online and offline, from anywhere in the home. Multi-room music distribution systems ensure that you can play different tunes in different rooms or create a whole-house concert effect.
Enjoy a cinema experience in the comfort of your home
Home cinemas offer the ultimate entertainment with custom designed systems able to provide you with the perfect multimedia experiences from any source, on any screen type.
Bespoke, programmed control systems make it as simple as pushing a single button to prepare the entire system for your mode of entertainment. Want watch Sky TV? A single button will turn the TV on, put the speakers on to your preferred sound level and adjust the lighting to your liking. How about a movie on your Apple TV? Again, with a single button, you can turn down your lighting, switch to Apple TV and navigate through the content.
The best part is that you can do all of this on a single remote. If you can’t let go of traditional remotes with physical remotes, there is a smart remote for that. If you prefer to use your touchscreen tablet, there is also the option to custom build an iPad app so that all your control options are right in front of you.
Save money on energy bills
Comfort and convenience are not the only benefits of having a smart home system.
Smart thermostats can now work more intelligently to save energy by using a number of innovations that ensure that no energy goes to waste. Occupancy sensors detect when someone is home, internet connectivity helps you remotely change the temperature, and automation eliminates the need to manually adjust the thermostat. For example, a thermostat can be programmed that it will cool down when you’re sleeping and heat up before you wake up, or even turn the heat up as it detects that you’re heading home from work.
Intelligent lighting can also minimise your environmental footprint and significantly reduce the use of energy thanks to next generation LED technology.
Monitor your home even when you’re away
There is now a growing number of gadgets that can help in protecting your house and everything inside it. So whether it’s just a case of keeping an eye on your pets whilst you’re at work or detecting when someone steps foot on your driveway there are some brilliant options on the market.
Security-boosting devices include smart lighting systems that mimic your typical household lighting usage pattern while you’re away, automated smoke-releasing generators, cameras with facial and number plate recognition, and sensors that learn your behaviour and notify you when something out of the ordinary happens.
All of them can be linked to your mobile phone via integrated smart home controllers.
Talk to your home
Until recently, smart home technology was controlled by apps and automation, but recent advancements in speech recognition technology means that voice recognised control is now an option.
Apple’s HomeKit platform not only streamlines integration of home technologies to be controlled on your iPhone, but also offers the ability to control your household technologies by voice. Just by speaking to your phone, using phrases such as “Turn on the dinner mode” or “Set the temperature to 30 degrees”, you are able to get things done.
Amazon recently unveiled Echo which is a simple wireless speaker with 360-degree microphone. Echo plans to be the central hub to control your entire home and organise your daily life.
With no interfaces or buttons, we expect voice control to play a central role in the development of the so-called Internet of Things, connecting everyday devices and appliances with each other and with their users.
Enjoy a Smarter Kitchen
Understandably smart technology has been focused on security, comfort and convenience but now we are seeing more innovation in the kitchen and experts are predicting a big growth area.
By integrating with the home automation systems Crestron or Control4, smart stoves and ovens can notify you when the oven reaches the necessary temperature, when the timer completes or when the stove has finished cooking. Smart fridges can let you know when the door is left open or adjust the cooling power based on the time of the day.
Experts predict the introduction of smart ovens, hobs and cooker hoods that can be monitored and controlled from a remote device and also connected together into an ecosystem using sensors and cameras. So, for example, your cooker hood knows what is happening on the hob and can anticipate through sensors when the fan or light needs to be activated.