Being a homeowner myself, I can understand the desire to cut expenses wherever possible but it is just as important to move with the times. Connected homes, where smart devices are continuously supplying information to your phone via the internet, are slowly finding their way into the lives of the average homeowner. Home comfort appliances, such as a smart thermometer or a smart juicer, can cost upwards of $700. Even given these high costs, at least one of these devices can now be found in homes even though some people have not entirely embraced them.
Where to begin?
I find that the technology giants have made ventures into the ‘connected homes’ market such as Phillips and Google, with their purchase of Nest. If you can afford these devices their products should be your top choice but there are more feasible gadgets out there as well. A small example would be Flic which looks like an aqua colored piece of gum stuck on the wall but costs $34 and can do many tasks such as editing your playlist and sending tweets using your internet connection.
Some Handy Picks Off The Rack!
If you have the extra money to put in to try out these smart devices and the change they can bring to your life, I find the following to be of excellent quality and extremely useful to everyday life.
How to control all of these connected devices
Homey is like those central computers that used to play the villain in sci-fi movies. It connects with most internet controlled devices such as your phone, computer or tablet and then forwards commands to gadgets all over the house such as thermostats. It is like a large central remote control placed in your hands making life extremely accessible and easy and limiting how much you need to move around in your home. You can even control Homey using your voice alone which is a major plus for burglar alarms and other security installations.
Securing your home
Canary is a smart security device for the average home. The company boasts that it can elicit a response from the proper authorities within minutes due to its superior sensors if burglars have entered your home. Canary provides instant video and audio evidence to the police which means your call will not be dismissed or put on hold. The sensors are automatically activated when you leave home and put on alert. What’s even more interesting is that you can get HD recordings of any time of the day to view later and there is a 360-degree view around your house of who came and went.
Control your home’s environment
Nest was one of the first companies to come up with the smart thermostat which could control and regulate the temperature of your home via an app on your phone or tablet. It impressed the internet giant Google so immensely that it bought the smaller company in 2015 but the trend has been slow to catch on and subsequent gadgetry hasn’t sold out as many units as expected. Nest has also come out with Nest Protect which is a smoke detector which does not use traditional ionization technology but more advanced photoelectric sensors.
Smart Lawn Maintenance
If you maintain any kind of garden or lawn, then watering your plants can be a constant hassle. The smart technology of Rachio Wifi Sprinkler Controller enables the whole ordeal to be carried out from your phone on the go even if you aren’t at home. Furthermore, you can regulate how much water you use and when to stop the water flow. The sprinklers are more than just automatic; they are adjusted according to soil type and the kinds of plants you have in your home and watering is done specifically catering to that. You can also get rain forecasts so that schedules do not result in over-watering.
Set the Mood with Smart Lights
The tech giant Phillips has come out with the smart lighting system knowing as the Phillips Hue. This system uses an app to basically control all your lights and their degrees and dimmers with one basic control including when you aren’t at home. The system can tailor to needs and can sense presence making for a well-lit home. It can be activated via voice control and more than one person can use the app depending on who lives in the house. Wireless lighting is not immensely popular now but is beginning to make a difference.
My Final Word on Home Comfort Devices
In my opinion, the extent to which you will adopt smart technology is of course heavily dependent on your budget but also on the ways you believe it can change your life for the better. There may be no realistic need for a smoke detector that use photoelectric technology as opposed to regular dual sensor smoke detectors but the shift to greater connectivity seems to suggest that control of these devices can be brought to the tips of our fingers and right to our phones. And that might not be such a bad idea after all.