It's hard to believe, but only 10 years ago, smart light bulbs and thermostats started cropping up in homes. It was the first taste of the futuristic homes we've been waiting for since The Jetsons. It was easy to see why they caught on so quickly. While home buyers were amazed by these advances in technology, they don't hold a candle to what smart homes are capable of now.
With all of the advances in smart technology, we aren't just working with timed programs but intuitive devices that can respond to our voices. You can now do things like lock your home, start your laundry, turn off lights, or start a vacuum cleaner all from your devices. You don't even have to be home to do it.
These smart features can even learn and adjust to your habits, allowing them to "predict" what will be helpful with your lifestyle. Imagine coming home after a busy day and having your home greet you, turn on the lights, start the coffee maker, and put on some of your favorite music. Smart homes can already do that and more.
What distinguishes smart homes from homes with smart devices is the nature of communication; devices in a smart home—from dishwashers to entertainment systems—are capable of communicating signals and information between each other, which allows them to adapt and predict your habits.
The Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat is a prime example of the kind of communicative technology found in a smart home. Not only does the device react to its environment by using a remote sensor to gauge the temperature, but it can be connected to Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, which allows it to access external information and provide the same service that those independent devices offer. This thermostat is highly rated because of its innovative technology which entails multiple sensors to assess temperature and occupancy, and it adjusts the temperature accordingly.
Another example of smart home technology is the August Smart Lock, which provides home security as its name suggests. Though this lock is not compatible with every deadbolt, it does possess the ability to connect with Siri and Apple’s HomeKit, which allows the user to interact with and control connected devices from nearly any location. This lock permits users to ensure their homes are safe and secure no matter how far away they are. It can also connect with other devices that use Xfinity Home, Nest, or Logitech Harmony, which further enhances the device’s network.
Other devices such as the Phillips Hue Starter Kit, which enables wireless control of light brightness and power, and the highly rated iRobot Roomba i7, one of the most recent iterations of the Roomba family which features WiFi connectivity and smartphone controls, all function in the guise of a smart home, communicating with other devices and networks in order to simplify your home life and complete tasks more efficiently.
The integration of smart homes is still a process, and though many homes make use of some smart devices, the network of communication between devices is often lacking. Smart devices have already affected how we navigate our lives. Someday, smart homes will revolutionize the way we think about technology and everyday tasks. With the steady influx of innovation and technological development, that future may be nearer than we think!