For a time, homes are never thought to be smart. They are just walled places which one dwells in, made cozy by preferences, colors, and decors. But the new millennium takes a sharp turn, transforming a remarkably ordinary nest into an intuitive space that offers more value and ease to the user. Bound by the philosophy of the Internet of Things, homes cease to be just silent walls; they are now equipped with intelligent devices that handle tasks in the same way as they are managed by humans. Thanks to technology, artificial intelligence is embedded into the corners, and into the lifestyle of its owner, giving them fewer burdens to handle daily chores.
Nikola Tesla may be attributed to the rise of smart homes - thanks to his powerful invention back in 1898 - the remote control. This small object paved the way for the future comforts, allowing homeowners control over appliances despite the distance. In the same concept, smart homes are controlled by a collective remote: the smartphone, which allows access to the Internet, as well as specific apps that control various features of the house.
The backbone for home automation is credited to Insteon, which debuted a technology that merges wireless signals to electric wiring. The Nest Labs, among the most prominent domotons, was the first to release a for-the-home smart object, the Learning Thermostat. Google has acquired Nest Labs in 2015 and is now the spine for the company’s own digital ecosystem.
If you are interested in this topic, be sure to also read our article about Smart Cities
What are the advantages of smart homes?
The word “smart” is put as a prefix to everything intuitive - devices that are interconnected and can be communicated to by the user. Apple’s Siri is a good example - by voice activation, this digital secretary can Google, open Bluetooth-linked devices, and many more. Having domestic automation helps in cutting off effort - no need to run about just to open the lights in the hallway or check whether the wash cycle is done to repeat it. One can simply control it from their smartphone.
Coincidentally, handling chores is one of the primary reasons for a smart home. Domestic errands are less tedious with the help of new cleaning devices, such as mobile floor sweepers, which can be accessed and used even from a distance. With just a click, laundry machines can start a cycle, and refrigerators installed with cameras let you know what’s in there so you can make a better shopping list. Smart coffee makers give you your daily cup of joe as soon as the alarm rings, and toasters prep your breakfast as just before you take a seat behind the counter.
Entertaining is another wonderful feature in smart homes. With speakers installed in your favorite corners, you can play your favorite music wherever you are in the house. Netflix - along with other digital streaming apps - becomes your best library of films. with Smart View. Lights cease to only illuminate certain pathways; the balcony can become an instant party place with dancing LEDs, controlled by an app.
Smart homes also offer better security. Gone are the days when users simply rely on locks for their safety. With a network that connects lights, cameras, and automatic locks, homes are better shielded from trespassers. Residents can keep watch through their CCTVs while on a holiday. Motion sensors notify the authorities when someone breaks in. There can even be devices that can scare potential thieves off and deny visitors entry.
Are smart homes the future?
For many homeowners, the driving force behind building smart homes is simply ease and entertainment. For others, it is sustainability. Smart homes, surprisingly, can help save electricity. Smart thermostats allow users to dial temperatures remotely and monitor home climate. Lighting systems detect when there are people in the room and can dim or brighten at an instant. Voice controls and gesture recognition minimizes the use of extra effort. System monitors help with the upkeep of the utilities and can recognize power surges.
Domotics are not only for the young; it is much more essential to the elderly. With ease of access, home automations allow seniors to live safely and comfortably with minimal help.
Homes have evolved from simple dwelling places to smart companions that provide ease and efficient help. With IoT technologies, your nest becomes a better, more intelligent place to live in.