The smart home is the future. We’ve all heard about it, but what does that really mean? It means that your home will be more like an extension of you: it’ll communicate with you, learn what you like and don’t like, and adapt to your needs. Smart technologies can even predict when certain parts of your house need maintenance before they break down! The following guide explains some common smart home technologies, how they work, and why they’re so beneficial for your home.
Smart home technology
Smart home technology is a term used to describe a home that uses smart devices to control various aspects of the home. It’s also known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Traditionally, these are devices that are able to connect with each other via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or another network protocol and communicate with one another. In this way, they allow people to monitor their homes remotely and automate certain functions of them.
Smart plugs are an easy way to bring smart home technology into any room of the house. All you need is a power outlet, and you’re good to go!
Smart plugs allow you to control appliances and lights from your smartphone using your voice or a remote control. For example, if you have a lamp plugged into one of these devices, you can tell Alexa or Google Assistant to turn on/off the light with just your voice. You can also schedule when something turns on and off through apps like SmartThings or IFTTT (If This Then That).
Alexa is a virtual assistant that can be used to control smart home devices. It’s an Amazon-developed cloud-based service that uses voice recognition, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing (NLP) technologies to create an interactive user interface through which users can access information and services by speaking queries.
Alexa is available on all Alexa-enabled devices with the exception of Google Home devices.
Google Home is an AI-powered smart speaker that responds to voice commands. It can play music, set alarms, and answer questions about the weather or nearby restaurants. You can ask it to help you play a song on your Google Play account or stream Netflix from your television using Chromecast (a dongle that plugs into any HDMI port). Since it has Bluetooth built in, you can also use it to control other smart home devices with simple voice commands such as “turn off the lights” or “open my garage door”.
Apple HomeKit is a home automation platform that allows you to control smart home devices from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and Apple TV.
With HomeKit-enabled products:
- You can ask Siri to turn on or off lights in a room.
- You can ask Siri to raise or lower the temperature of your thermostat.
- You can ask Siri to unlock doors using the Home app on an iOS device.
IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a service that allows you to create chains of simple conditional statements, called applets. These applets can be triggered by time (e.g., “Every day at 8:00 PM send me a text message”), location (“If I’m near the grocery store, remind me to buy milk”), or any other event or action that can be detected by web services and connected devices.
The beauty of IFTTT lies in its simplicity: Each applet consists of two parts—a trigger and an action—and each applet has zero more than two actions associated with it; for example, you may want your lights turned off when you leave home for work every morning at 6AM and back on when you return home at 6PM every evening.
Stringify is a smart home automation app that allows you to connect your smart home devices to create custom triggers and actions. With Stringify you can create triggers based on data from your devices, such as when a door opens or closes, or when the temperature goes below 70 degrees in the evening. Then, using those triggers, you can perform actions like turning on a light or changing the thermostat.
Here’s how it works:
- Install the Stringify app on your phone and follow their step-by-step setup process where they will ask which devices are compatible with their system (a list of compatible devices can be found here).
- Once installed and connected with all of your smart home equipment through Stringify’s app (either iOS or Android), users will be able to set up different “recipes” called automations that work together in order achieve tasks.
Smart thermostats are designed to be controlled remotely. You can adjust the temperature settings on your smart thermostat from anywhere, including while you’re away from home. Smart thermostats also have many other useful features that make them ideal for the modern household.
Some smart thermostats are capable of learning your habits and making adjustments based on those habits. If you tend to keep the house cooler in the summer and warmer in winter, a smart thermostat will learn this and begin adjusting itself accordingly without asking you for input.
Other smart thermostats may be able to automatically adjust their settings based on certain factors like humidity levels or light intensity (if your house has window shades). This means that if it starts raining outside, these types of smart thermostats can lower their room temperature by several degrees so as not to waste energy heating up a room full of moisture-heavy air that would otherwise need more cooling than usual due solely to raindrops falling outside its windowsill!
A third type uses sensors throughout your home’s interior areas instead: when one reaches its desired temperature setting threshold level during an afternoon nap time nap session (elements such as air quality & humidity levels), each sensor communicates with its own independent processor which then adjusts fan speeds accordingly until all sensors achieve equilibrium again.
A smart doorbell is a camera that you can install at your front door. The device connects to your home network, allowing it to send live video and audio of people ringing the doorbell to your mobile device or computer. Smart doorbells are also able to integrate with other smart home devices, such as motion sensors and alarms.
You could use a smart doorbell if:
- You want to see who’s at the door even if you’re not home at the time (and maybe even talk with them)
- You want more peace of mind knowing that someone ringing your bell isn’t just another person looking for something but someone who actually needs help.
Smart lighting systems are a great way to automate your lights and make them easier to use. You can control smart lighting by voice, phone, smart home devices or apps, and even smart home systems.
Some of the things you can do with your smart lights include:
- Turning them on or off when you’re away from home (if you’re most concerned about security).
- Setting timers so that they turn off after a certain time period (for example, if you want them to turn off at midnight).
- Automatically turning on when it gets dark outside (and then turning themselves off again in the morning).
Security cameras are an essential part of any smart home. They can be used to monitor your pets, children, and the outside of your home. You can also use them to monitor the inside of your home as well as yourself while you’re away from home.
Security cameras are great for securing your property against intruders or even animals such as stray cats that might try to sneak onto your property at night through an open window or door.
Robot vacuum cleaners
Robot vacuum cleaners are a great way to ensure your hardwood floors are always clean. These smart appliances have sensors that help them navigate through the room, making it easy for you to use and maintain. Some models even feature Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to turn them on and off from anywhere in the house.
- They’re convenient—you can set them up so they clean while you’re away at work or out of town.
- They don’t require any extra cleaning supplies; they use the same dirt bin that houses pet hair and other debris picked up by traditional vacuums. This means there’s no need for bags or filters either!
The smart home is the future
It’s a great place to live, too. You’ll save money and get off the grid at the same time—not just because you’re saving electricity, but also by not having to deal with bills or repair crews. Your lights will turn on automatically when you get home from work or your car pulls into the driveway; your thermostat will adjust itself based on how warm it is inside; your security system will know who’s entering which door and notify you if anyone leaves without telling anybody beforehand. It’s all about convenience, ease of use, efficiency: all things that make life healthier and more enjoyable for everyone involved!
As you can see, there are many smart home technologies to choose from. The best thing you can do is to try a few of them out and see what works best for your lifestyle. If you want some help deciding which one might be right for you, check out our guide on how to set up an Alexa-enabled device.