What is a Smart Home?
“In the future, everyone will live in smart homes.”
We hear this sentence regularly on the news and in media but what does a smart home actually do and why will it benefit us?
You might think a smart home is just controlling the heating or your music but there’s a lot more that you can do.
Heating and Cooling Control
Heating systems learn how you live and adjust settings for maximum comfort and energy efficiency. These systems can be controlled with your smartphone and tablet so you can adjust the temperature from the comfort of your sofa or to warm the house up on your way home from holiday.
Smart lighting allows you to set lighting to suit the room’s ambience.
For example, you may choose a bright lighting mood for cooking and a dimmer setting when you’re dining. Smart lighting also has security functions like holiday modes which you can control via an app. It can also be integrated with fire and security alarms to ensure your family’s safety during an emergency.
Smart security lets you view your CCTV from anywhere in the world with the help of an app. External detectors pick up intruders before they get close to your house and will alert you by appearing on your TV screen or sending you a text or email. Smart locks can be controlled from your phone and if you leave a window open when you leave the house or go to bed, it’ll notify you.
Enjoy your favourite music in any room of your house. Smart music systems like Sonos can be discretely built into your home so you don’t have to worry about speakers cluttering up your space.
Smart TV Distribution
Smart TV distribution means you can easily pick up what you’re watching from one room to another – in perfect 4K! Equipment is hidden away in central AV racks so you won’t have loose cables running around the house.
Locks and Gate / Door control
Gate intercoms ring your smartphone or touch panels so you can see and speak to your guest. You can view it from anywhere in the world and unlock the door at the touch of a button. You can choose from fingerprint recognition, keypad entry or fobs to unlock your door. If you have guests visiting and won’t be home to greet them, you can set a code to work for a specified amount of time. It’s not a problem if you leave the door unlocked when you’re out the house as you’ll be notified and can take action on the go.
Smart home touch panels let you control everything from heating and lighting to entertainment from a central point. You can also use them as an intercom to communicate between rooms – perfect if you have a big house.
Parental media access control
Smart configuration gives you control over websites and content your children access. This can be configured to certain times of the day so it’s useful if homework has to be done! Guests and children can also use separate Wi-Fi keys so you have full control over internet access.
Blinds and curtains
Automated curtains and blinds can be controlled from your phone and can be integrated with your security system. If you’re on holiday you can specify times for your curtains to open to give the impression you’re home.
Monitor your energy usage in real time and view historical data to see your consumption levels. You can switch off non-essential systems when you’re asleep or away from home to save money and energy.
What makes a home truly smart though is its control system which ties together every system. It’s wired to the home computer network, heating, security and TV and tells each what to do. You can turn on security lighting, have your favourite channel on when your car approaches the house or close blinds and curtains to save energy. The possibilities are almost endless.
Smart home technology will soon include voice activation and recognition for hands-free operation of your home. Geo-fencing technology will also mean that soon, your house will know when you’re home and will have everything ready.
Without you having to lift a finger.