Evolution is the process through which humans learned how to make their lives safer, healthier and more comfortable. Thus, we were able to focus on arts, science, philosophy, literature, and music because we did not have to spend every moment worrying about food, shelter, and safety.
The evolution of humankind can be closely observed in connection with the development of our homes. We moved on from caves to isolated dwellings made of primitive materials, then to walled establishments which grew into cities.
Individual homes became larger, with rooms assigned for eating, sleeping, bathing, and recreation. Ancient palaces were followed by medieval strongholds, beautiful Victorian villas and modern high-rise blocks of apartments and contemporary villas.
This transformation, in short, shows how people tried to make their homes smart according to the possibilities of each era.
A smart home is a home where you can enjoy time with your family, without having to do too much manual work to maintain it, clean it and secure it.
Smart Choices for a Better Life
Thus, creating a smart home is not about being cool or keeping up with trends. The first people who used a heated bathtub did it for convenience, not for the local fame in their neighborhood. The same can be said about the adoption of washing machines and fridges.
At present, we call them necessities for a decent life, but when they were novelties, all these items were considered “smart” home improvements (they used the term “novelty” back then).
In the same manner, all the smart gadgets that look like coming out of a Sci-Fi movie today will become usual amenities for any home a few years from now. The sooner you adopt them, the sooner you can enjoy a better life, taking advantage of all the technological advancements available to you.
But what kind of changes should you make to transform your house into a smart home? Here are a few suggestions:
12 Ways to Transform Your House Into a Smart Home
1. Use a Smart Lock for Your Front Door
Keeping your house safe from an intruder is your primary concern before you think about how to decorate and furnish it. Security systems and locks have become more and more complex, trying to keep up with robbers’ nefarious imagination.
But no lock which uses a key is truly safe because a key, no matter how complex its design is, can be copied. What if the only thing which could unlock your front door were your mobile phone? This is the concept behind smart locks. Once the lock system is installed, it is paired with your smartphone and those in your family.
You give the command to lock/unlock from the phone, and your house is safe.
Just remember that your smartphone now controls the safety of your home, and make sure you do not lose it.
2. WiFi Video Doorbell
Who’s at the door? In the past, you had to look through the peephole installed in the door. In more recent times, you go to the intercom unit and look at its display. But WiFi-enabled video doorbells allow you to see who is ringing at your door directly on your mobile phone screen. You can also use the mobile phone to unlock the door for close friends and relatives, without leaving the kitchen or the living room.
Advanced video doorbell systems have motion detectors embedded in them and can detect and alert you when someone is at the door before they press the doorbell button.
3. Smart Thermostats
A smart thermostat can program itself to create a comfortable temperature in your house with minimum energy consumption. This is a brilliant way to live your life, considering the ever increasing energy prices and the need to use the planet’s resources responsibly.
With a smart thermostat in your home, you will enjoy the perfect temperature and see your electricity bills decreasing at the same time.
4. Smart Alarms for Smoke and Carbon Monoxide
Smoke and gas detectors are mandatory for each home – not only because your home insurance company demands it, but because it is the only way to protect your family from a potential tragedy.
Smart alarms connect to the internet and send you an alert in case of abnormal smoke and carbon monoxide readings, even when you are away from home. If you opt for a subscription service, the alarm will also notify the call center of the company managing your alarm system, who will promptly dispatch emergency response teams to your home.
5. Personal Home Assistants
At present, you can opt between Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. These artificial intelligence entities respond to voice commands an can be programmed to take charge of various things around your house:
turn off the coffee machine just before you wake up, turn lights on and off and control the thermostat.
6. Smart TV
A smart TV now has an operating system, like a computer, and internet connection. You can control it by voice command and get access not just to cable and satellite TV, but also to online movie services such as Netflix or Hulu.
7. Smart Light Bulbs
Lighting is essential. The intensity and color of light have the power to control our mood and state of mind. For example, you could never relax and fall asleep under the harsh white light in your office (and that is why companies opt for this type of lighting).
But at home, you may want to dim the light during a romantic dinner, change the hue to a warmer color while you read in bed, etc. Thanks to smart light bulbs, you can do that and adjust the level and hue of light according to your wishes. All you need is your smartphone and a unique app provided by the manufacturer of the light bulbs.
8. If This Then That App
IFTTT is an online app that helps you create a chain of events connected by cause and effect. It started as a productivity app for managers, but quickly grew popular and people demanded more uses for it. With IFTT you can control internet-connected devices in your home and program them to turn on or off in a certain sequence.
For instance, you can program the light to switch on in the garage 20 minutes after the coffee maker was turned on, as this is how much it takes you to drink your coffee and head for work.
9. Smart Vacuum Cleaner
The iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner has become very popular on the internet, not only because it can work on its own, avoid furniture and collect dirt from the tightest corner, but because small children and pets love it. You can find dozens of videos on YouTube showing kids, cats and dogs taking a ride on the Roomba cleaner and having the time of their life.
10. Smart Refrigerator
Yes, there’s an app even for your fridge. It helps you control the temperature, scan the contents of the refrigerator and get alerts when some of the products are close to the expiration date.
Now you have no more excuses for throwing away food.
11. Smart Windows
We all value our privacy, but unless we install thick curtains (thus making the room dark), there is nothing we can do about what people see through the window. Not anymore. Special window treatments in the form of transparent films allow you to give your windows a glazed, frosted glass aspect without blocking sunlight. Now those pesky neighbors won’t be able to snoop on you anymore!
12. Smart Sleep Monitor
A healthy sleep each night is essential for a long, healthy life. Many people have various sleep-related disorders they are not aware of. The smart sleep monitor analyzes your breathing and movement patterns during the night and gives you an accurate record of the quality of your sleep. It is beneficial for your doctor, as well, in establishing the right diagnose if you have trouble sleeping.
Do you know any other devices for a smart home? Drop your comments below, we love to hear from you!
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