The idea of the ‘smart home’ is one that existed firmly within the realms of science fiction some decades ago, but which today is closer than ever to becoming an everyday norm. According to a recent survey, more than half of all households in the UK now contain a smart device. Making a smarter home is possible via a number of commercially-available products – but which are the best to make your home smarter?
Smart Speakers and Hubs
The smart speaker is a popular entry point to cultivating a smart home, with products like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest becoming widely available – and widely used – in recent years. They are the perfect introduction to smart technology, being intuitive, easy to use, and practical products with a wide range of household use. Many place their smart speaker in their kitchen, where it can provide a soundtrack to their cooking while also reading them a recipe. Smart speakers can also be integrated with other smart products, including…
Smart lighting technology is a relatively recent addition to the roster of commercially available solutions, and an innovative way to bring your home well and truly into the 21st century. Smart lighting can be installed in conventional light sockets, using the power provided to power additional circuitry that enables remote control.
These lights are also often LED, meaning multiple colors are available at the touch of a button. And, as touched upon above, smart speaker integration means you can turn lights on anywhere in your home with a simple voice command.
Smart technology can even be employed in the bathroom, where digital showers enable you to control hot water temperature down to the degree. Digital showers make for a sleeker, more controlled washing experience, while Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled shower systems can be activated via app or smart speaker to pre-heat before you get in. Both of these possibilities are all the more useful to those with disabilities, allowing more accessible and intuitive control over a crucial function.
IoT-enabled tech has already been introduced to many homes in relation to central heating, with smart thermostats allowing people to control their heating with ease. Certain smart solutions allow users to target individual rooms or zones for heating, which can cut energy costs significantly; app access also means users can pre-heat their homes before returning from their commute, or turn their heating off remotely when setting off on holiday.
Lastly, there is a number of home security solutions with smart capabilities, that can be used to boost confidence in your home’s security and give you greater control over who has access. The most common iteration of this technology can be found in the video doorbell, with products like Ring allowing users to remotely communicate with people on their doorstep, wherever they are. The camera is also a useful way to monitor who has been on your property, and a strong deterrent for would-be criminals.