Smart home technology is advancing at a rate of knots. Home automation is no longer simply an invention of science fiction or a possibility for the distant future. It is here now and will only improve. From simple lighting, temperature and home entertainment control, smart home technology could soon become more intuitive, ordering food supplies and alerting us to home maintenance issues. The technology is here, it just needs to be made more affordable. The future truly is now!
What is a 'smart home'?
A smart home really is smart. A home with smart technologies incorporates a range of automative systems that can control anything from the lighting, to the air temperature, to multi-media devices, to security, to the opening and closing of doors and windows. In other words, a smart home owner will be able to remotely control and access their house’s key electrical appliances and services.
Currently, owners of most smart homes can remotely operate their security system, control the temperature via their heaters or air conditioners, control lighting, and programme an entertainment system. These can all be monitored, controlled and accessed via a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
How will it be installed?
The easiest and least expensive way to install smart home wiring is to do so as a house is being built - even though the current technology is still in its early stages and fairly expensive, it won’t be long until it is normal to have a smart home so this is a good way to future-proof your new house. Retrofitting an existing house is possible but, given the difficulty of routing wires and placing sensors, it is far more costly.
Opportunities for the future
Smart homes could completely change the way we live. We could monitor our energy consumption from anywhere in the world (thus providing us with the opportunity to reduce our consumption) and control every electrical appliance and system in our homes without ever needing to be there. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless.
Smart home technology could also provide intelligent feedback by monitoring our usage and habits. For example, a smart home fridge might do an automatic inventory of its contents and order replacements as needed - it could even suggest menus with the food it contains. The reality is, smart home appliances and systems will only get more intuitive and more affordable.