There are smartphones, smartwatches, smart TVs, and smart refrigerators on the market. The car you drive may also have smart features built-in that regulate steering and help you parallel park. It’s only a matter of time before the smart house comes out of yesterday’s fantasy and into today’s reality.
In their own way, smart homes are only a minor upgrade to the conventional home. Comedian George Carlin had a point when he said that houses are “piles of stuff with a cover on it.” Inside that pile of stuff, you’d find outlets for electricity, heating, and communications. Technophobes are already capitalizing on horror stories about invasions of privacy and Alexa’s creepy laugh, but even they realize that all homes will be automated in 20 years.
In order to understand this new wave of housewarming technology, let’s consider the benefits that a smart home would offer.1 Personal Security One concern, if not THE concern of home selection, is security. Lock manufacturing companies, such as Kwikset, are already getting with the 21st century. Most modern homes come equipped with electronic door locks. Apps such as Latch make it possible to open and close your doors with a swipe from your phone.
Let’s not also forget about another modern day miracle- video door entry panels. Take the worry out of every surprise visit by clearly seeing if that’s your favorite aunt or a Jehovah’s Witness ringing your doorbell.2 Save on Energy All the automated features probably mean a higher electrical bill. Not so. For starters, the interior lighting of most smart homes is lit by LED bulbs. The 20-year lifespan of an average LED bulb would save you the trouble of hoarding replacement bulbs. Not to mention the reduction of wattage needed to run them.
As for climate control, swap out your analog thermostat for digital. Most smart home systems utilize a Nest Learning Thermostat for all indoor heating and cooling. Nest’s thermostat is Energy Star certified and records your frequent climate setting and adjusts itself accordingly.3 Easy to Use Being in control of so many household appliances could be a chore, but not if they’re voice activated. Thanks to the efforts of mobile app developers, activating certain components is just a “please” away. Amazon Alexa is a free app that can be taken with you anywhere. Its compatibility doesn’t end with the Echo smart speaker. Load it onto your smartphone so you can listen to all the songs in your record collection while you go jogging.4 Comfort It’s true when the ads say, “Alexa is your personal assistant.” The Alexa app encourages a healthy, comfortable method of living. This assistance can be handy in situations like remembering how much flour goes into a cookie recipe or forgetting to turn off the lights before you go to bed. If you weren’t interested in cooking dinner tonight, ask Alexa to place a takeout order. Now, all you need to do is kick back and binge your favourite shows.