Smart homes are residences that are equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that the owner can control remotely using their smartphone or computer. If you are a fan of 1960’s cartoons you will recognize the ‘smart home’ concept from the Jetsons! This idea has been on the rise since the mid- 1970s when a home automation protocal named ‘X10’ was introduced. This technology would transmit signals to the electronic wiring within a home – communicating with various outlets and switches. Of course, the concept and its realization were unreliable at best. Even so, it opened the door to what is now the ‘smart home’.
Smart homes are programmable to an owner’s vision. Through the integration of technologies and electricity a home can become a living entity. However, it does require a level of expertise to integrate all of the components and ensure they are working properly. The most common approach for creating a smart home is to connect all devices to a single control access point. Options for this include a smartphone, game console, tablet or laptop.
There are a wide variety of functions that can be performed utilizing smart home technology. The homeowner will be able to turn their heat and air conditioning off or on and set the temperature. This helps to keep the utility bill at a minimum by preventing the waste of electricity. Additionally, homeowners can adjust light settings, lock and unlock doors and control security devices such as cameras.
Smart home automation is a thriving business. Recent estimates value the industry at nearly $85 billion worldwide. In addition to controlling lighting, locks, heat and air, homeowners can operate their sprinkler and alarm systems with the touch of a button even while far away from home. One of the most interesting uses of smart home technology is in the care of pets. Smart homes can be programmed to feed and water the pets while the family is away.
Finally, smart home technology continues to evolve. Experts are developing technology that is sensitive to potential issues such as freezing pipes or nonfunctioning water heaters, allowing the homeowner to be notified in advance, preventing potential expensive disasters!