For the last century, Americans have witnessed continuous improvement in the technological products that keep their everyday lives running smoothly. From electricity, which made heat and power household staples, to microwaves, which provided quick and easy family dinners, each technological innovation has served as a way to improve the efficiency of American households. Today, we have moved into the realm of “smart homes,” or home automation – that is, the ability for all household items to connect to the internet of things and function on voice command or via web-based applications. Remember the Disney flick Smart House? Well, that sci-fi home is today’s reality.
As the year ends, it may be an opportune time for you to review the technologies you currently use in your home and to consider upgrading to smart appliances. You can stop worrying about chores you’ve forgotten, reduce stress related to unnecessary wasted expenses, and increase the amount of time spent with your family. Let’s take a look at the “Must-Haves” of 2019.
1 – Home Surveillance Cameras
Home surveillance used to be a complex system of cameras and separated monitors wired together through the walls. However, today’s technologies offer a wide range of security systems. Most surveillance cameras can link directly to your smartphone, so you can always see who is at the door. For those who are looking for a more secure system, you can set up cameras inside to track intruders for facial recognition.
2 – Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Don’t waste another precious weekend sweeping the floors! No matter the type of flooring, there is a system that is designed for your home. Newer robot vacuum cleaners have sensors to detect obstacles and reach the most challenging places. They even have a scheduling feature, ensuring that your home is cleaned daily.
3 – Wireless LED Light Bulbs
Today, you can connect even your lighting with an application on your phone, which can be controlled via a WiFi connection. You will no longer need to turn on and off your lights with a switch, but rather with the tap of your finger. The benefits go beyond ease; if you forget to turn the lights off, you can shut them off once you leave the house so that you do not waste money on unused electricity.
4 – Smart Faucets
Both hygienic and economically friendly, smart faucets are saving thousands of gallons of water each year. The concept is that the faucet operates with a sensor which detects when you are trying to wash your hands. You no longer have to turn on/off the water, but rather lather your hands with soap and wave them in front of the sensor.
5 – WiFi Air Conditioner
Much like the benefits that come with wireless light bulbs, you can now connect your AC unit to your smartphone. This set-up is simple, cost effective, and provides homeowners the opportunity to cool a home before entering the door.
6 – Smart Refrigerator
The smart fridge transcends energy efficiency and provides consumers an internal camera in the fridge so that the content inside can be viewed anywhere by your smartphone. No longer will food be wasted by double purchasing, and no longer will you have to second guess whether you have enough for this weekend’s dinner party; smart technology will ensure you save time in preparing for the meals that bring together family and friends.
7 – AMAZON ECHO, or a similar device
This is a typical addition to millions of households today and probably the most useful to consumers on a daily basis – you may know it as “Alexa.” This device allows you to use voice commands to have Alexa complete tasks – anything from sharing the local weather to ordering flowers for Mother’s Day. Today, you can even connect AMAZON Echo to your lights, thermostats, and televisions, which allows you to use one accessible, centralized hub to customize your home and refine your comfort.
THE COMMON GROUND….
A you can see, there is one device that is essential to transforming your home to a smart home – the smartphone. You can control devices while away and watch to ensure the security of your home. The future of our homes appears to be changing into a one-stop shop… your phone.
With smart homes on the rise and an increased cultural emphasis on personal wellbeing, MIT has been exploring the possibility of collecting and tracking the health records of the members living in smart homes – researchers have even discussed monitoring details like the way we walk and how we eat. The future is here, and it’s the modern smart home. Take some time today to reflect on your day-to-day interactions with your home and consider an upgrade.