The airwaves are full of advertisements for various new smart home technologies, using the internet to automate everything from pulling back the curtains to brewing coffee and turning the heating and cooling on.
But smart home technology is developing quickly, providing homeowners with devices that save time and energy. Technology is starting to have an impact on buyers, especially when it comes to security. Remote-controlled gates, smart doorbells with security cameras and a connected door locking system ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of buyers.
If you’re thinking of selling your home and are determined to maximise its value, then investing a relatively small amount of dollars in tech gadgets will impress many buyers, especially the under 35s.
A critical element is the installation of a quality wireless network that has an excellent connection to the Internet. This will power the smart devices in your home and be the backbone of your home office – another emerging demand among many buyers.
You can also build your smart home incrementally. It doesn’t require a huge commitment to get started. Many of us have already taken the first steps by installing a smart speaker, such as Google and buying a smart TV that connects directly to streaming services.
Almost all technology will integrate with the three leaders in this field – Google Assistant, Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
Below is a quick list of technologies that already have a practical application in the home.
Smart assistants. This is where most of us start on our smart home journey. Whether you say “Hey, Google”, “Siri” or “Alexa. . .”, these little boxes can play music from your favourite library or select a radio station. These devices can also be controlled via an app on a phone, tablet or PC.
TV. Voice commands to these assistants can be used to turn TVs on and off, and even start specific shows on a streaming service. The TV must be connected to wi-fi and a smart assistant. Smart TVs can locate streaming services directly, too, although many people find Google’s Chromecast and Apple TV a more flexible option.
Smart switches. Various gadgets and the lights can be turned on and off with these switches. Here’s how they work: connect an old lamp to a switch; plug the switch into the wall socket, and hey presto! Now the lamp will respond to voice commands via your smart assistant, or take instruction from your smartphone. You’ll be able to turn lights off remotely using your phone, and even check whether you went to the office and left the iron on.
Security. If someone rings the doorbell, you’ll be able to check-out your visitor on your phone even if you’re not at home. If it’s a friendly face, you can even open the door remotely. If you fear intruders are at the threshold, call 000.
Energy. We’re starting to see new products track how much energy and water you’re consuming by the hour, even the minute. The analytical capability in these devices will allow you to use your phone to change settings that would moderate the power usage of, say, your air-conditioning unit.
Thermostats. Smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature in every room. And it won’t matter whether you’re in the home or on the other side of the planet.
Food storage. We’re starting to get a little more sophisticated in this area. Smart fridges regulate the temperature, can be controlled remotely and even feature internal cameras that will tell you if you need milk.
Cleaning. Washing machines now have scanners that will read the labels on clothes and adjust the settings accordingly.
If this… Here’s a crazy acronym – IFTTT. It means “If This, Then That”. Here’s how this goes: If you ask your smart assistant to turn on the TV, it will automatically take a secondary action, such as dimming the lights. Or, when your morning alarm goes off, it’ll turn on the coffee machine and your bedside light. At night, you’ll declare you’re going to bed, and the smart assistant will extinguish the lights and lock the doors. There’ll be no need to check anything!
Article courtesy of Active Pipe