Smart Homes Are On Their Way

By:Lauren Van Niekerk

Smart homes could be closer than you think

We are living in the times where completing rudimentary tasks manually simply isn't worth our time, we're constantly looking to make the modern lifestyle easier.

The advances in machine learning, AI, IOT and voice activation has customers yearning for a new world were their devices and homes could be operated without lifting a finger.

Having powerful computers doing the work for you when all they need is a verbal command sounds pretty appealing to most.

In a previous article we've have already discussed voice assistance and the companies, leading that way in this innovative field.

So let’s take it one step further and look at IoT (Internet of Things) and its application for smart homes.

So what exactly is IOT?

“In the ecosystem, an entity uses a remote (e.g. smartphone, tablet, etc.) to send a command, or a request for information, over a network to an IoT device. The device then performs the command and/ or sends information back over the network to be analysed and displayed on the remote. There are multiple locations in which the data generated by the IoT device can be analysed and stored, including the cloud, a local database, on the remote, or locally, on the IoT device itself” - Business Insider

Smart Homes are one of the most popular IoT applications due to its affordability and availability to customers.

From the Amazon Echo to the Nest Thermostat, it is products like these on the market that allows users the ability to control them with their voices and make their lives more connected than ever.

Smart homes filled with connected products are loaded with possibilities to make our lives easier, more convenient, and more comfortable.

Let’s look at some of the functions IoT Smart Home application allows us to have voice activation over:

1. Regulate room temperature

Smart Homes allow you to voice command the temperature of the room. The voice control is not limited to you physically being there to command it.

Smart Homes can also be linked to your smartphone and command can be given from your device as well. This is perfect because if you ever find yourself travel home, with bitterly cold weather following you, you can simply, from your smartphone regulate your temperature to a warmer setting, which embraces you when you come home.

Nest, one of the more famous smart home device manufacturers, has created a Learning Thermostat that can automatically adjust the temperature based on your location and uses a far-field sensor to determine the time and temperature from a distance. And thanks to a recent update, it now works with Alexa, too.

2. Manage lights and timers

Have you ever gotten comfortable on your couch and realised you did not put the light off and now the glare of the light shines on your television?

There is a product called smart bulbs, you have the Lifx Color 1000, which can change colour as necessary, and the Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit for your white-light needs.

With Smart Home application, one can manage your lights and even set a timer for particular devices without having to move but simply using your voice to manage your household.

3. Manage energy consumption

Smart home IoT devices can help reduce costs and conserve energy. One of the benefits of voice activation is being able to get many tasks done by simply voicing them. With voice command, you can reduce your energy consumption by commanding time restrictions that allow particular tasks to be complete within a certain time frame.

Smart home IoT devices can also allow you to switch off some appliances, such as your air conditioner, while you are not at home to reduce your electricity bill. The notion of being unsure whether you left an appliance on or not, will no longer exist with Smart Home IoT devices.

4. Manage your geyser

With IoT devices, you can manage your geyser and the times it will be put on and off. This can reduce your electricity bill, as well as have it ready for before you get home. One can switch you geyser on an hour before you about to leave for work, to have it ready and heated for your use as soon as you arrive home, which reduces your waiting time and bill amount.

5. Open and close blinds

With IoT, you can control when your blinds open and close. This could help you control the amount of sunlight you want inside your house for different times of the day.

As well as the amount of privacy you want within your home while you are there or not.

6. Manage alarm systems and security functions automatically

With IoT devices, it’s become easier and convenient when managing your alarm systems and security.

With these devices, the level and type of security and alarm functions becomes as easier and takes away the hassle of physically having to call and speak face to face with a security company.

You are given more control over your security and that is one advantage that should not be taken for granted.

The August Smart Lock provides enhanced security for the home, is easy to install, and works with Siri through the Apple HomeKit.

7. Remote access to your home or homes

Having a smart-home system allows you the ability to control different aspects of your home from any place that has a WiFi or 4G/LTE connection.

You will be able to control temperature, view cameras, open and close garage doors and so much more. This type of system gives you control over your home without having to psychically be there.

With these benefits, the smart home market will continue to grow and improve our lives for the better. And from smart homes, the next logical step is smart cities, which would take the IoT to the next level.

With Smart homes systems finding root within over a thousand homes already and becoming one small part of our daily lives, it can be said that the Internet of Things will transform in the coming years.

The start of a smarter way of living

Controlling your home remotely or by voice command seems like something only a science fiction movie could cook up a few years ago. Now with the introduction of iOT, improved broadband, near field communication and integrated software it has suddenly become a stark reality.

While Smart homes may be a while away from becoming a staple in every home. The technology is available and is constantly being refined add to this the speed at which consumer electronics become more affordable, it wont be long before more companies jump on the bandwagon to drive large scale commercial viability.

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Sources: Business Insider.