There used to be a time when a water heater or some LED lighting were the pinnacle of technology in our homes. Also, these technological advances very rarely became an integral part of the home décor. Today, it is safe to say we are seeing the infancy of the age of smart homes, with more and more people talking about Internet of Things, various smart solutions for our homes and so on. However, we cannot help but ask if this is a real thing and something that we will be seeing more in the future or if it is just a fad.
There are plenty of good points of the smart homes and you would truly have to be a luddite not to acknowledge and appreciate these.
Image via China Internet of Things
For one, smart homes are, despite what you might expect, much more energy efficient. Thanks to the interconnectedness of systems such as lighting, heating and air-conditioning and their very advanced level, the amount of electricity that is spent to power these systems is dramatically reduced. Many smart homes also employ special water fixtures and systems, ensuring that water is also not wasted.
Another aspect where smart homes are definitely showing their strength is home security. With all of the security features that were once separate (locks, video surveillance, alarm systems, motion detectors, fire alarms) and that are not all connected into a single home-sec unit, the level of security that they provide for the home and the family living in such a home is enhanced. We talked to experts from a Brisbane-based security monitoring company and they told us that even if everything else about smart homes falls through, the integrated security systems are definitely the future.
Finally, we simply have to acknowledge the fact that smart homes can make the life much simpler for the average person. Being able to automatize the lighting, the sound system, the security system, even the fridge and the washing machine will save a lot of time, giving you more free time to spend pursuing your hobbies and interests.
Photo via IKEA
Like always, it is not a one-sided story with smart homes. There are quite a few problems and issues that may end up preventing smart homes from being the standard.
First of all, there are significant costs involved with turning your home into a smart one, especially if you are looking to introduce smart solutions into already built and decorated homes. If you are incorporating them from the ground floor, during the construction process, they are somewhat more affordable, but for the majority of people today, a smart home is still a luxury.
In addition to this, there is the issue of stability. We have all had problems with our computer and smartphone software when things just refuse to work properly. With a smart home, such software hiccups can result in much more serious problems and troubles. Imagine, for instance, that you cannot unlock your door because your home is running an update. It’s not an alluring prospect, is it?
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Sometimes, it also feels that much of the whole smart home thing is more or less hype. Do we really need a toaster with a hard drive or a fridge that can send texts? It often feels like something absolutely unnecessary that tech companies have come up with in order to try and squeeze out a buck or two from people who accept everything new as gospel.
We are not saying that we are necessarily right, but we feel that smart homes will exist in some form in the future. Most likely, they will feature a smart security system and energy-saving features. On the other hand, talking fridges and toilets that tell you your weight in form of a gif will most probably turn out to be just a fad.
What do you think?