Have you ever wanted your house to think like you? A home that could monitor its own temperature and lighting? Even one with appliances that could begin cooking meals? A home that knows your schedule and understands the struggles of the day? Well, that dream home exists today and its capabilities are constantly expanding. These houses of the future are called smart homes.
Smart homes are automated houses that can control internal systems like lighting, heating or air conditioning, appliances, entertainment, and even security systems. The large majority of the smart homes work by connecting these different systems within the home to a secured internet-based control panel. The homeowner can then adjust any connected system as they see fit by changing the system’s settings with any internet-connected device of their choosing. The smart home system is accessible remotely, and the settings can be changed even when the homeowner is away. For example, a smart home owner could turn on their home air conditioning system and adjust the temperature while driving back home from work.
Convenience is just one of the benefits of a smart home. Conservation of the earth’s resources is another. As the world looks toward green technology, a fully smart home, which uses automatic controls to adjust things from window shades to irrigation cycles, provides the homeowner with the ability to take better charge of their consumption. These systems typically provide monitoring and usage logs of all the internet-connected devices within the system, aiding the homeowner in their decisions. Through this automatic adjustment of things such as electricity and temperature, a homeowner can reap cost savings as well.
Even if your current home was not built with an integrated smart system, there are many companies that offer the technology as an add-on installment. However, in order to work, the individual systems and appliances that are in the home must contain smart technology, which allows them to be connected to the main hub. This may require purchasing new appliances. Regardless of the system, internet access is required in order for the smart system and all the appliances to connect and then be accessible to a homeowner.
Many of the smart home systems utilize cloud technology and cloud server providers that provide the remote accessibility to a homeowner’s system. With the constant barrage of hackers who regularly threaten the security of our personal devices as well as regularly unleashing cyberattacks in both the personal and political realms, the risk of having your home hijacked in some way is something that requires consideration. As technology improves, security of the smart home systems will likely improve, but like all other devices, a strong password and up-to-date security software updates need to be in place as one unprotected device within the system can leave a home vulnerable.