As science advances and humanity evolves, it only makes sense that we develop smart home technologies: appliances, equipment, machines that assist us so we can engage in being smart.
At first glance, it doesn’t sound terribly exciting. We already have appliances. Why do we need smart ones? We already have smartphones. Why do we need smart… other things? The answer is rather simple.
Smart home technologies can think for themselves… kinda.
The primary advantage of the smart appliance over a regular appliance is the ability to think, rather than simply function. No, it won’t handle your work assignments for you, but the proper devices will make them easier, or handle other things while you’re occupied.
Smart home technologies are those that can be programmed to perform certain tasks at certain times in certain ways- they can adapt to our needs and memorize them- think of the memory bedding that adjusts to the sleeper’s preference, or lighting that provides a lot or a little light depending upon the user’s settings. Also- that smartphone you keep handy? It can link up with your smart devices, giving you unparalleled control.
Smart home technologies can follow your commands… remotely.
Be it with voice activation, wifi, smoke or some other means, smart equipment can receive and respond to our instructions without the need to be physically manipulated. This is particularly handy in situations where our hands are full, or we are far removed from home (think security. Think remote security- a house that secures itself.)
From energy efficient to life simplifier
We are all proponents of resources conservation. Who doesn’t like the idea that the utility bills can go down, provided we don’t have to keep watch and operate systems up or down and after our daily routine (and obligations)? Now, we can trust our thermostat and window blinds to take care of saving energy for us. Based on user's patterns and habit, the house heats up or cools down when appropriate, the shades come down at the peak of sun exposure. The two can even work hand in hand: see PowerView™ by Hunter Douglas that works with Nest, a new generation of “intelligent shades”.
The invention of the light dimmer was in itself remarkable, but is basic nowadays. Companies like Leviton, leader in the lighting industry, have developed dimmers that link to an app (or a hub) so you can remotely operate the ambiance. If manipulation is not your forte, it can even be voice activated via Alexa (Amazon Echo).
Appliances get their fair share of innovation, from a subzero fridge that purifies itself every 20 minutes to a dishwasher than filters debris so well it uses less water.
And since we are exploring what’s new in the kitchen, how about a backsplash that displays recipes, cooking shows or allows you to take a video call? (Alno Kitchens).
The next improvement is to just make the countertop a giant touch-screen. It will no doubt, mean managing a lot of apps, link to devices and possibly hours of training. The concept is moving smart home technologies from bells and whistle to the bell tower itself.
In a nutshell, smart home technologies allow us to do more with less. Because of them we are able to get more work done in less time, to store or prepare more things despite less space, or to contribute more with less energy. Smart systems are simply the next step in machinery, allowing us to become more efficient and devote our time to other things.