You’ve probably heard the ubiquitous buzzword “Internet of Things”, also known by the moniker IoT bandied about everywhere. However, for the less tech-savvy amongst us (of which I consider myself a card-carrying member), what does it all mean? I’ve done some digging and found that IoT is poised to radically change our lives in ways we could barely have conceived a mere decade ago. This is particularly true in the home. The Smart Home of the (not too distant) future will have a profound influence on things like security, entertainment, energy conservation and many other facets of our lives. Looks look at a few:
Lock ‘Em Up
With crime rates rising everywhere, it’s no surprise that technology has found ways to thwart would-be home invaders and burglars. Smart door locks, for example, provide a keyless entry mechanism that is impossible to pick or circumvent. Using Bluetooth technology, you can control who has access to your house and when, all from your cell phone, even if you’re half-way across the globe. Smart security cameras, doorbells and alarms will allow you to monitor every corner of your home from your mobile device, you’ll be able to see, hear and speak to anyone on your property and instantly alert authorities to any threat the moment it is detected.
Power In Your Hands
The American notion of limitless abundance has faded. Conserving energy has become a matter of national and household priority Enter the smart home and managing your energy consumption has become as simple as a tap on a screen. It starts with lightbulbs whose light intensity and even color can be controlled remotely. Then there are appliances such as fridges, heating and cooling, dishwashers and others that can sense their environments and automatically adjust their settings for maximum power efficiency. Add these to apps that can monitor your power use in real time, alert you to areas of wastage and react accordingly and you have a total revolution in the way we consume power.
Here We Are Now – Entertain Me
The furniture configuration of any living room is a testament to the hallowed place that the TV and sound system play in our lives. It comes as no surprise, then, that this area is fertile ground for technological innovation. Smart entertainment systems offer the modern householder complete control over every aspect of vision and sound for the ultimate experience. By synching your systems to your favorite online streaming services on one side and your hardware on the other, you can enjoy the music and programming you love anywhere in the house.
No prizes for guessing that the kitchen was going to figure prominently in this discussion. Hectic modern lifestyles leave little time for gourmet meal preparation. With grills, ovens, stoves, slow cookers and more that can all be controlled remotely now available, the future is looking tastier. If you’re looking to branch out and explore new flavors and aromas, appliances that can connect to the internet to access millions of recipes as well as guide you through the preparation steps are already a reality.
Who wouldn’t love a Jetsons-style robot maid do it all the housework for us? This sci-fi dream is closer than you think. Vacuum robots that can be controlled via mobile apps and automatically detect items blocking their path and adjust accordingly are already commercially available. Dishwashers, washing machines and dryers that almost run themselves are not terribly far behind.
The smart home of the future has much to offer in the way of convenience and efficiency. Given how far we have come in the past ten years. Who knows what ten years in the future will look like.