It’s official. Technology has actually brought the world to our fingertips, and it’s all accessible from the comfort of your home. Today, almost everything in your household – thermostats, TVs, speakers, lights, locks – can be connected to the internet and controlled remotely. This past year, smart home technology has made leaps and bounds, so that enjoying your home is as easy and convenient as possible. Here’s what you should know:
What is Smart Home Technology?
According to Smart Home USA, a “smart home” is one that provides its home owners comfort, security, energy efficiency (low operating costs) and convenience at all times, regardless of whether anyone is home.
Smart home technology allows homeowners to monitor their homes from anywhere in the world, any time they want. In the interest of comfort and security, homeowners are taking advantage of the opportunity to make their homes smarter with technology that monitors and controls doors & windows, lighting, HVAC, irrigation, and more.
What are some of the most popular Smart Home Technology devices?
Amazon ALEXA & ECHO DOT / Google Home
Both allow you to enjoy complete home integration with hands-free, voice-controlled access to every smart device in every room in the home. Just start your commands with “Alexa” or “Google” to summon your device.
LUTRON Light Switches & Outlets
These allow you to control the lights with a phone, voice or a regular switch. They are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and Sonos Integration.
AUGUST Smart Lock
A Bluetooth-enabled lock with auto-lock/auto-unlock capability, so you can check to make sure doors are locked, or unlock them remotely. Keyless entry allows them to open doors via a smartphone.
A video doorbell system that is smart enough to capture a few seconds of footage before the motion is even detected so it’s more likely to provide a usable image. Its spotlight illuminates nighttime visitors, while integrating closely with Smart Lock, Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.
The ECOBEE4 Thermostat
This wi-fi thermostat comes with room sensors that automatically adjust climate based on whether someone is home or not to whatever desired temperature you pre-set. It has a Smart Home/Away feature designed to save energy and money. It has Alexa built right in so you don’t even need an Echo or Echo Dot.
Things you should know about Smart Home Technology:
Voice Control is here to stay.
Smart speakers are not a fad. After making their first appearance in 2014, they’ve only gained speed and are now used for more primary functions within the home than ever before. Checking the weather, turning on the lights, playing music – nothing is off limits.
Retailers want to help consumers become “smarter”.
With plans to launch over 70 “smart home centers” nationwide, major retailers are taking action to try and educate consumers on the newest products as this knowledge gap remains the biggest hurdle for now. It’s also helping people stay in their homes for longer with many benefits to older homeowners.
Smart kitchens are heating up.
Kitchen appliances that incorporate smart home products have been the most popular purchases. Refrigerators with built-in cameras, cooking appliances that function remotely, etc. are turning the heart of the home into a technology hub.
“Insurtech” is gaining speed.
Not only for convenience, these smart home features are actually saving homeowners tons of money from potential disasters. Leak detectors that prevent flooding, security systems that notify local authorities for you, and wifi smoke detectors that keep small kitchen fires from becoming huge problems. As more homeowners invest in “insurtech”, it could be the most exciting smart home development in 2018.