The future is here. Our homes are increasingly ‘watching’ and ‘learning’ from us, adding new levels of convenience, security and efficiency to our everyday lives. Many new houses come with built-in ‘hubs’ while older homes can be retrofitted with tech-based systems that work with a variety of applications.
Take a look at some of the areas of your home that can become smarter thanks to the latest technological advances and artificial intelligence, and how this will make your life easier and save money on household bills.
Smart homes can be programmed to know when you are around so they can save electricity when you are away.
For example, you can set your underfloor heating to switch on half an hour before you get out of bed and then turn itself off at the time you normally leave for work. This will save you the hassle of forgetting to use it or accidentally leaving it on all day.
Lights can also be programmed; you can tell them to switch on or off at specific times of the day, or flicker when it is time for the kids to go to sleep.
Taking things a step further, household appliances are now able to figure out your regular activities, thanks to what’s called ‘deep learning’. Using this technology, appliances such as lights, fridges and other whitegoods get to know your individual household based on your routines.
An example of this is a washing machine that learns your behavioural patterns. This appliance will automatically suggest cycles based on your regular habits, making it easier for anyone to operate the machine. Take Samsung’s AI wash feature, which “uses clever sensors-technology to detect the amount of laundry and level of soiling to determine the optimal amount of water and detergent to dispense”.
Emerging technology even allows fridges to let you know what’s inside, scanning bottles and cartons before letting you know what you’re about to run out of.
Connected devices & IFTTT
The term IFTTT means ‘If this, then that’. This technology connects apps and has them working together. For example, if you set a timer on your phone, you can arrange for the lights in your house to flicker once it hits zero. Or you can set your robot lawnmower (yes, these are a thing) to remain inactive if an app it is connected to tells it the forecast is for heavy rain.
Remote control is more likely to happen via apps these days. Open your air conditioner app to check the temperature in your home and set it to cool down by the time you arrive.
By using the Internet of Things and connecting your devices to your WiFi, you can check your security cameras via your phone, stream music to your outdoor speakers via your phone and even operate your sprinkler system from the other side of the country.
These devices only work as well as their connections, so be sure to read reviews about real-world experiences of people who have tried them for themselves.
Sensors and notifications
Sensor technology can switch lights on as movement is detected, which is invaluable for security purposes.
Your smart sprinkler system can tell if it is raining and turn itself off. It can also detect moisture in the soil, so you know when to water and when it’s not necessary.
In terms of notifications, say goodbye to the annoying ‘beep’ of your smoke alarm when the battery is running out and get alerts on your phone instead.
And how’s this for technology: security devices have evolved to the point where you can get a notification on your phone telling you exactly who is at the front door, based on facial recognition.
A smart home automation hub gives you a central point of control where you can access lights, heating, security and more.
These devices are growing in popularity, however be aware that you may purchase a home hub only to find it doesn’t integrate with your existing technology. There are a number of different brands and systems on the market so you need to check that everything will work together.
If you are planning to upgrade your home, this is the ideal time to think about smart connectivity and look for products that can be controlled from a central, home hub location. Otherwise, you can simply download the relevant apps on your phone and use them to control your devices.
A connected home with devices that work seamlessly can make your life more convenient and boost the value of your property. Contact De Brennan Property to find out more.