We have seen smart technology take over many aspects of our lives. From smart phones to smart watches, smart technology continues to improve our day to day living and is spreading to our homes. A smart home incorporates smart technology into your house for added convenience and security among other benefits. Find out how you can start turning your house into a smart home this year.
This is the most common way that people ease into smart home technology. Smart lighting allows you to set a timer for your lights and control them through an app or possibly link them to your own voice assistant. But smart lighting is more than just convenience. Adjusting lighting when you are away from home helps to deter burglars by making it appear as if someone is home.
Security cameras also act as a deterrent, ensuring that your property is monitored and informing potential trespassers that they are being watched and recorded. Should they proceed anyway, you are equipped with video evidence of the burglary.
Smart surveillance cameras, often equipped with high definition technology, can be installed anywhere in or around your home. When motion is detected, these security cameras can automatically begin recording and send you an alert via smart phone or device when this happens. Some smart cameras even employ facial recognition to inform you when certain people have arrived home or an unknown visitor is present.
You also want to protect your home from damage, which is why smart leak detectors are growing in popularity. These alert you when water is detected where it shouldn’t be, preventing costly water damage and enabling you to address broken appliances or burst pipes immediately. Considering the cost of damages that you may be preventing, investing in these leak detectors is a smart choice.
While not necessary, smart fridges offer a range of innovative and convenient features:
Much like a smart camera, a smart doorbell allows you to see who is at your door via your smart phone, with additional security features:
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Modern technology allows us to easily upgrade our homes to smart homes. Smart homes afford us the ability to automate certain aspects of our homes in order to enhance our daily living. These changes and upgrades in technology enable you to customize your living space, control key systems remotely, and can even help you become more energy efficient.
While this added convenience is appealing to many, there are some things to consider before you begin your transition to a smart home.
First and foremost, you should set a budget for your upgrades. While smart technology was once thought of as a luxury only available to the wealthy, many devices are more affordable these days, making it easier for more people to make the switch.
Your budget will depend on many different factors, such as the size of your home and your personal goals for this endeavor. You will want to consider how many systems and appliances you want to automate and how integrated you would like your systems to be. For example, if your home is already wired for high-performance broadband connection, you can keep a tight budget. On the other hand, adding devices throughout your entire home will likely cost a significant amount more, necessitating a larger budget.
When choosing your devices, pay attention to the different levels of integration. Also, consider using products from brands that partner with other smart-home device makers to ensure compatibility and future expansions. Because these brands may offer special deals, you may even end up saving money.
Brainstorm By Room
Once you’ve considered all the practicalities of this smart home upgrade, you can start brainstorming about what you would like for each room. Keep in mind that the goal of a smart home is to make your life more convenient. Remember, what works for some people may not work for you. For the best result, your smart home should be tailored to you and your lifestyle.
With that being said, begin by evaluating each room individually. What does this room do? How could smart technology help this room? Take the kitchen, for example. If you loaded the dishwasher, but forgot to start it, you could do so remotely and come home to clean dishes ready for dinner.
Once you have an idea of what you want, prioritization is next. The most important products to start with are likely those which you use every day.
One way to prioritize is to consider automating from the outside in. Start with how to get in and out of your home, which may include smart locks or smart garage door openers. Next, you may want to consider smart lighting, to avoid fumbling in the dark upon arrival, or a smart thermostat to conserve energy and create your ideal climate.
Making the initial switch is the biggest step. Once you get accustomed to the convenience and efficiency, you will likely find new ways to incorporate more smart devices into your daily routine.
Smart Devices For Every Room
Once you’ve tackled the big stuff, here are a few smaller, simpler options you may want to consider implementing in your new smart home.
Have you considered or are you currently using smart technology within your home? Which do you find is the most convenient? Share your thoughts and experiences with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
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Much like smart homes, smart cities aim to connect and protect while creating a more efficient living space. While smart homes and connected devices are slowly gaining in popularity, smart cities are working on becoming the next big trend.
To aid in a speedier adoption, a Smart City Forum has been created, which consists of CIOs and leaders from cities around the world. The forum allows cities to utilize top academic research with applied studies of various Internet of Things projects and smart technology.
Atlanta is among the cities involved in the Smart City Forum, and they are currently engaged in a pilot project. This project includes efforts to improve public safety, transportation, and water monitoring.
For public safety, plans for installation of smart security cameras are in place. However, this type of public surveillance can cause some uneasiness among residents. Aware of the concerns, officials plan on working with privacy experts and keeping things transparent when it comes to the technology and devices they employ. If residents oppose any plans, officials are dedicated to working with them to create a solution.
Aside from this, they are also aiming to improve transportation and water sensors. Traffic light synchronization is one of the ways they plan on improving traffic conditions. 300 miles of fiber optic cable will be laid to create a city-owned network, which will likely support the advanced traffic control system along with video surveillance and other smart city data. The excess capacity will end up being leased to raise money. Free Wi-Fi will also be available, however, the size of the Wi-Fi mesh network has yet to be determined.
Other plans include implementing license plate capture cameras, smart LED lighting atop smart poles, water meter sensors, and even smart city trash cans.
As expected, there will be lots of data that needs to be evaluated, and Atlanta will take care of that with the help of Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. They will run the big data analytics and report back on their findings so that the city can understand what they need to do to improve.
These pilot projects and the Smart City Forum will hopefully give other cities insight to what works and what doesn’t, as well as the size of the budget necessary to employ these technologies and systems. What are your thoughts on smart cities? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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