Over the past decade, IoT and smart home technology have become increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. The idea of, for example, controlling your in-floor heating via voice activation may have once seemed a distant dream. But thanks to the invention of the smartphone and the increased affordability of such technologies, it is now a possibility and reality for many.
Research indicates that 44% of the households in North America will be smart homes by 2022. With such statistics, the influence that smart home technology has had on the way we live is undeniable. On top of that, it’s on track to be even more influential in the future.
Internet of Things (IoT)
In its most literal sense, IoT (Internet of Things) refers to everything that is connected to the Internet. As of late, however, the term is frequently used to define the communication between smart devices without human interaction. Think of it as a conversation between your smart devices. For example, consider that Alexa Echo you were gifted for Christmas. This device can act as a central voice-activated hub to control your thermostat, lighting, sound system, TV, and more. As a result, you have yourself an Alexa smart home – a voice-controlled system of integrated technologies working together to provide you with a more streamlined experience at home.
IoT has been perpetuated by the constant innovation of smart technologies that transform ordinary households into smart homes. These technologies have transformed the lives of homeowners in a variety of ways.
IoT has been perpetuated largely by the creation of products such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have played a major role in transforming ordinary households into smart homes. These technologies, combined with other smart appliances, have transformed the lives of homeowners in a variety of ways.
Smart thermostats provide homeowners with the ability to save on energy costs by controlling their home's heating or cooling from a mobile device. Whether you want to check your thermostat while at the grocery store or turn up the heat before leaving work early, you can do it all remotely with a smart thermostat.
As the name suggests, this technology also comes with the ability to cool or heat smarter. Smart thermostats permit the use of zoning to selectively control different areas of your home. Users can customize the temperature of each room individually, which is perfect for family members with different preferences. Scheduling features let you create custom thermostat schedules, so you no longer have to worry about making manual temperature adjustments. Plus, you can use energy charting information to change temperature schedules to become more efficient and save further on costs. Altogether, smart thermostats are a truly great addition to any smart home.
Even home appliances are getting smarter. Companies such as LG have manufactured washing machines, dryers and even refrigerators that can now be controlled via voice assistants, such as Alexa and Google Assistant. There is even an answer to the chore of cleaning, thanks to iRobot's development of the Roomba – an automated hoover that cleans your home and can be controlled through Alexa.
For entertainment purposes, smart home technology has permitted a seamless experience. Surround sound speakers, televisions, home lighting and more, can now be controlled via vocal command. For example, having smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo devices, throughout your home allows for synchronized audio control. So, you can listen to music, a podcast or an audiobook from anywhere in your home, without any other device. Television has even become more interactive with voice control features that have eradicated the need for a remote control.
Home security methods have also become more advanced thanks to IoT technology. Homeowners can access CCTV camera footage and manage their home security systems from anywhere in the world via their smartphone. Motion sensors throughout your home can notify you of any suspicious activity and send alerts right to your phone. Even doorbells and locks are smarter. Doorbells have been integrated with cameras, so you can see who is ringing your doorbell before answering the door. And smart locks have eliminated the need for keys; you can control your lock from your phone and even enable guest access when you're expecting company.
Time Savings and Increased Convenience
The streamlined capability of controlling multiple aspects of your home saves a vast amount of time and offers you increased peace of mind. For the many people who simply don't have enough hours in the day to complete monotonous domestic tasks, this is a godsend. Furthermore, the integration of these smart technologies and IoT, in general, has benefited those with disabilities greatly. People suffering from visual impairments, for example, can now employ alternative methods of operating their homes via voice-activated systems.
The constant advancement of smart home technologies and their improving affordability means that IoT will continue to shape our lives for years to come. As the adoption of smart home technology increases and further innovations occur, more people will experience the associated benefits. If you’re looking to save time, save energy, or increase the convenience of your daily life, smart home technology is a great avenue to try.