Have you come across the term smart home and wondered what it meant? The term smart home means automated home. In this guide, we will talk more about what a smart home is, and why it’s beneficial to have one. Read through to get the crux of the topic.
What Is Smart Home?
The smart home comprises gadgets, devices, and home appliances with wireless connectivity. When connected to the home Wi-Fi internet network, they communicate with each other, a smart bridge, or a mobile phone app.
You can effortlessly control these devices from anywhere using a connected smartphone or mobile app. A few premium smart devices go the extra mile to offer energy savings and personalized services.
At the center of any smart home ecosystem, you’ll find a smart speaker. You can ask it to adjust the home lighting, heating, and so on. These are essentially small, voice-controlled computers that can search the web or manage your schedules.
All the features of a smart home can be built into a building or added later, and controlled by various methods, including apps, remotes, switches, voice commands, or artificial intelligence.
What is smart home technology?
Smart home technology is based on the IoT (Internet of Things): the principle of using internet connectivity to everyday objects. Although in times past, the internet was intended to be used primarily by computers, we’ve been able to use it for countless other things, such as phones, cars, medical devices, and of course, connected homes.
The mechanisms of a smart home are fairly straightforward. First, you need a router, which acts as the nexus through which all your other connected devices can communicate with each other, as well as with more remote devices, like your phone or PC. Then, all you need are smart devices — even just one — that connects to the router and can be controlled remotely. Once you have it set up, then you’ve officially upgraded your home to a smart home. That’s all it takes!
How Does a Smart Home Work?
Smart home automation is no longer something that seems so strange, or probably has a futuristic thing, it’s not. While we still quite haven’t figured out how to install KITT from Nightrider in your refrigerator – you can have about every aspect of your home linked up to your network.
You’ve no doubt seen ads for wifi-connected light bulbs and thermostats. These features of your home you can control from anywhere in the world, though it doesn’t stop there. What if you could have your garage door open as you drive down the street? With Smart Ventilated Steel Shutters Perth you can. Are you looking to have your favorite Spotify playlist simulcast across your entire home? That’s possible with a Savant System.
Smart home automation can do this and more. With the right devices and trained professionals, you can have your whole house connected. Chances are you already use smart home features every day. Do you have a coffee pot with a timer? Or a sprinkler system that goes off when you’re out of town? Well, that’s automation.
Top Smart Home Ecosystems
A big choice to make when creating a smart home is what smart home ecosystem to select. These are currently the three big names.
The e-commerce giant developed the virtual assistant Alexa for its Amazon Echo devices. But Alexa has grown to an extensive range of other devices.
Alexa speakers support various smart skills like voice calls, online news, entertainment, scheduling, multi-room audio, and many more. If you want to build a smart home set up with Alexa, you need to buy smart devices that show the Works with Alexa tag.
HomeKit is Apple’s smart home system. You can control devices through a HomePod, HomePod mini, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Mac. Instead of relying on individual apps, you’ll control everything through Apple’s Home app or with a voice command to Siri. Make sure to look for smart home devices that are compatible with HomeKit.
Most Android smartphones, tablets, and Chrome OS computers support Google Assistant, Google’s smart home system. It is also available on iOS devices. To build a Google Assistant smart home, you need a Google Home or Google Nest smart speaker and compatible devices.
What Can Be Automated?
In reality, almost anything electronic can be automated. Individuals with extensive resources can take it to the extreme. For example, Bill Gates has his entire house connected, down to microchipped pins visitors that store data on preferred lighting levels, music, temperature, and more. For the average person, that’s a little out of the question. Fortunately, there’s a lot to choose from, and the options are growing every day.
One of the most practical and widely-used products is a smart home security system. These will typically include cameras you can access remotely and an alarm system that can be set from your phone. You can upgrade your system by adding smart locks as well, which are incredibly useful if your kids get home from school before you, or if you need to let a repairman in.
Another big draw to smart home automation is sustainability. It’s always a good time to start thinking green, and a smart home can help! Sure, you could leave your A/C on all day, but that’s draining on the environment, your wallet, and the life of your unit. With a smart thermostat, you could tell your unit to shut down while the house is empty and start cooling down when you leave the office, saving 8 hours of wasted electricity without sacrificing comfort.
Sustainability and security come together with smart home lighting. Ensuring that all your lights are off is obviously great for your electricity usage, but it has other applications. If you live alone or often come home to an empty house, being greeted by a dark, unlit home can be frightening! And not just around Halloween.
Benefits of smart homes
Why live in a smart home? There are lots of benefits to making your home connected.
- Full control over your devices: Ever leave home and worry you left something turned on? Or want to turn the heat on while driving home on a cold winter day? Unlock the door remotely for your spouse or kid? A smart home lets you command your home even when you’re far away.
- Comfort: A smart home can be very cozy — not only can you remotely control its functions without leaving your favorite chair, but you can also automate some routine housekeeping chores, like vacuuming.
- Accessibility: For the differently abled, a smart home could make a world of difference, giving them the ability to live more independently than ever before.
- Physical security: Almost all home security systems are connected to the internet, and for good reason — they’ll let you lock your doors remotely, check any cameras in real-time, and they’ll notify you and the police automatically if something goes awry.
- Save money: While the cost of making a home smart can be pretty significant, once the systems are set up, you can easily track your energy and water usage, heat and light only in specific rooms, and control energy output to other devices.
- Preparing for the future: More and more homes are becoming smart, and soon, it will be the expected default. Connecting your home now makes it ready for the future… and certainly raises its value on the market.
- Bragging rights: Let’s be honest — we all want to impress our friends and family, and a cool sci-fi house is just the way to do it. Hope you like having guests over!
How do you make your home a smart home?
The short answer is either “all at once” or “one step at a time.” Still, there are a few things everyone will have to do to get ready for their new-and-improved home appliances and smart devices.
Upgrade your WiFi. Since all smart home devices use the Internet to communicate, you’ll want to make sure you have WiFi strong enough to handle information sharing. For larger homes, you may want to even consider getting multiple routers.
Do your research. There are so many smart systems and smart home devices available that it’s a smart idea—pun intended—to familiarize yourself with a few different options before settling on one.
Identify your needs. Figure out exactly what you’re looking for from a smart home, and then pick the areas you want to start addressing right now. From there, it’s a cinch to pull from your research the smart home system and smart devices and appliances that will meet your needs. There’s nothing worse than buying a fancy new gadget only to have it gathering dust in a corner a few weeks later because it’s not something you need right now–especially a costly one!
Smart Home Technology Privacy and Security
You can follow these basic steps to secure your public cloud-based smart home from threats:
- Don’t share your home Wi-Fi password with anyone.
- Use strong passwords, memorize them, and change them frequently.
- Inform the service provider if you see any unusual wires connecting to your line.
- Update the firmware or app of the smart devices like the smart bridge, Amazon Echo, or Google Home.
In conclusion, while smart homes might have their share of problems, you shouldn’t have to worry about securing the devices connected to your home network. The advantages of smart homes outweigh the disadvantages.