24 September, 2022
Make your home smarter
TECHNOLOGY is supposed to make your life easier, right? Smart homes are all the rage now and once you find your way around all the different devices on offer and decide upon which personal assistant you want, things can come together quickly.
Home sweet home
Technologically advanced and connected devices are what make a home “smart”. These run on your Wi-Fi and perform tasks aimed at making your life easier while at the same time, saving you money, time and effort.
Turning your new home into a smart home can be done gradually and as you add in more features, you can take the big step forward – integrating your devices. Many of the systems are designed to work together, so that your security systems are all talking to each other as are your energy efficiency systems and even your kitchen appliances.
So, what devices can you take up that will get you started?
Perhaps start with simple things that will make a difference in your life and are not going to break the budget.
Smart speakers are a good entry item to start your journey. Smart speakers run on Wi-Fi and come with a virtual assistant that is programmed to respond to your voice.
Some have touchscreen displays for you to view recipes and videos, while the premium ones offer high-quality sound. Some smart speakers also have a built-in camera so you can even monitor your home when you are away.
A smart speaker will answer your questions on various topics, tell you the news, traffic, and weather, and even play games with your kids. It also acts as a hub that will allow you to set routines and operate other compatible devices like bulbs, water heaters, and coffee makers.
Smart plugs are another handy tool. They look like regular plugs and fit into your existing wall outlets but they connect to your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth network, enabling you to control various appliances through a companion app or virtual assistants like Google Assistant.
Once set up, smart plugs allow you to turn appliances on and off and even schedule them to start at a particular time. You could set your water heater to turn on half an hour before you wake up or turn on the slow cooker before leaving home and turn it off remotely when the cooking time is over.
A smart refrigerator also connects to other devices over Wi-Fi and many of its functions can be controlled with your smartphone. Smart refrigerators have a built-in touchscreen to interact with it, view recipes and videos, and even use it as a photo display, or a message board.
Some smart refrigerators will also read out recipe steps for you while you cook. Some even have an internal camera so you can view the quantity of food inside without opening the door.
Smart mattresses are also be-coming more common in the family home. They boost your sleep comfort by regulating temperature and tracking your sleep through sensors. Smart beds can also adjust the bed's firmness and position to your liking through air tubes with pressure sensors.
Smart mattresses can also have different temperatures on each side of the bed, and the best ones on the market also have speakers for music and massage features to relax you before you sleep.
In the past few years, personal assistants such as Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Google Assistant have become the most prominent and best smart virtual assistants out in the market. Personal assistants are not only on smart home speakers, but you can also find them on devices such as phones and tablets. While all of them offer pretty much the same, each assistant has its own set of strengths, weaknesses, and features so check them out before you buy.
With all the advanced home-based technological products now available, it’s time to start turning your home into a “smart” place to live.