October 2020

Home Is Where the SMART Is: What’s your home’s intelligence level?

Author: Cheryl Alexander

Our homes are our havens for security and comfort, so making our houses safer and more convenient is a high priority. Improving a home’s intelligence is a big market, and in a world where technology changes seemingly overnight, it can be hard to keep up. To help you navigate, we have compiled a short list of some top smart home technology that is available right now.

Smart kitchens
These days, the advantages of a smart kitchen go far beyond simple home improvement. Consider that the newest smart refrigerators can quickly access their own contents and help you compile a grocery list. Some even offer web browsers and the ability to order groceries from home. Kitchen genies can act as your personal nutritional or diet coach by offering you the components of any food in your pantry including caloric values and fat content. Smart ovens offer multiple appliances rolled into a single powerful unit. Think air fryer/broiler/convection oven/dehydrator/slow cooker/toaster/warmer all rolled into one. You can then choose from over 200 automatic recipes, including a guided video cookbook. You can even control this device through an app and check in on the progress of your meal using Alexa. Your phone will alert you when it is done. And the oven chamber is spacious.

Smart bathrooms
Smart bathroom technologies are now more economical and ecological than ever. For example, some toilets do not require hands or paper. They have temperature-controlled water, spritzing wands, and automatic dryers (already in use and common in Asia). You can opt for seat warmers, LED lights, and motion sensors that raise and lower lids. Also, there are self-cleaning toilets with antimicrobial seats for the germaphobes in your family. Digital faucets, too, are a great way to conserve water and energy, offering reduced tap flow and digital temperature-control settings, which conserve money and water. Consider, too, touchless technology or infrared tap technology that “reads” the user and turns off when it senses that hands are not under the faucet. There are even programmable features, such as a timed shower setting or a tooth-brushing option that run for an allotted time frame.

Improved home security
When it comes to your home’s security, many advances in technology are available. The 2020 Houzz & Home Report reports that “the frequency of outdoor security cameras has increased from 18 to 20 percent, with more than 4 in 5 of those purchases having smart technology.” This rise in usage of high-tech digital door locks, smart sensor cameras, motion sensors, and smart video doorbells emphasizes homeowners’ desires for systems that enable automation to start right from their home’s perimeters. The advanced potential of Artificial Intelligence also provides a more robust and smart security system. As well, current trends to improve the virtual security of smart home users are on the rise. The industry continues to vigilantly protect the networks that run smart homes to keep them safe from hackers and people with ill intent. Smart home security allows homeowners the confidence that that their family and belongings are safe on their property.

Smart lighting
In addition to adding convenience, smart lighting will save you money, and you can control these from your phone. Programming your lights to shut down on a certain schedule can ensure that you never waste money on electricity. Smart lights can adjust as per individual patterns and circadian body rhythms with automated lighting solution functions for different times of the day, weather, and climate. For example, cool blue is perfect for a tough morning, and a warmer light is best for evening relaxation.

Integrated whole home systems
Completely integrated home control systems are the way of the future. As the technology progresses, users are turning to platforms that can manage it all. Instead of a new system for each automation, now homeowners are turning to systems that control the entire home, from home theaters, to music, to appliances, and even outdoor patio shades.

Smart building materials
Imagine getting notified when there was a change in the structural integrity of your home’s foundation or learning about a termite infestation before it spreads. Building materials are becoming more sophisticated, and soon smart building materials will be an essential and standard part of any new home, allowing homeowners to know about problems as soon as they happen rather than when it is too late.

Multifunctional switches and displays
With the increasing advancement in technology, annoying switches and displays on walls will be a thing of the past. Smart switches and displays offer endless possibilities—from live video streaming to personalized room scenes. While touch panels monitor the energy consumption of a building or entire home, its voice-control feature automates the whole connected system with one voice command. Furthermore, the artificial intelligence and auto-learning capabilities on these smart switches and displays provide a more secure and personalized home to homeowners, depending on their requirements.

Voice control
Imagine coming home after a long workday, plopping down on your couch and simply commanding Alexa to switch on the fan. Smart home technologies provide this kind of voice control, which can bring exciting possibilities to robotize every aspect of smart home automation.

Augmented Reality (AR)
It is no secret that AR is making a huge mark on the tech industry. Some projections have the AR market reaching $149 billion by 2025. This industry will change the way we watch television, interact with cooking tutorials, and talk to family members who live far away.

At the end of the day, the best thing about introducing smart technology to your household lies in the fact that you do not have to do it all at once. You can choose and prioritize how and what you should do when it comes to these investments. Also, it allows you to modernize your home gradually instead of having to face the bulk of investment expenses right away. Believe it or not, smart home technology will soon be pervasive, and everyone will have the opportunity to add comfort, convenience, and quality to their lives by enjoying intelligence at home.

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