The strong advancement of technology in the last years make our lives easier than it was in the past. You can see that in every aspect of our lives. For instance, you have a higher level of safety while driving new car models, with significantly improved security systems. If an accident happens, you will have better protection than what you had sometime in the past. They notify you when you are too close to an object, and they can even park by themselves. That is really impressive, and it is just a small example of how technology influences our lives in a good way. You can only imagine what will happen in the next ten or twenty years if the advancement continues with such steps. Smart homes start showing us this fascinating technology. Smart devices are all around us, and some scientific experts even claim they will outperform humans in the future. They believe that robots will become smarter. While humanity is waiting for that moment, you can take advantage of technology advances that you already have.
Smartphones are in regular use for years improving the lives of millions, but you can go much further. For example, you have probably heard already of smart homes, houses and buildings. If you are a lucky enough, then you already have a smart house. Regardless of your current living conditions, you should continue reading this article. Smart homes are not just dreams anymore, and they really exist in reality. Every day, they become better and better with greater capabilities and features. You cannot even imagine how much such a house can be useful for those who live inside of it and for the entire humanity. As the name suggests, a smart home is an intelligent object. It helps it’s residents to live more relaxed, taking a part of their home obligations upon themselves.
The smart home can be partially automated. For instance, the lights can turn on and off at a particular time according to your needs and desires. But particular software can do the same with other devices as well, not just with lights. The list is quite long though. Manufacturers quickly realized in what direction technology advances were headed and started making applicable home devices. You have probably heard that fridges and cookers are going to be connected with the Internet. It means that those with the access, are able to control them from anywhere. That is quite useful because you have full control even from a distance. You can always see what is happening in your kitchen and shut off the devices if anything goes wrong.
Some of these smart devices might work like a real computer. They have an installed monitor and other features of a regular PC, so you can surf from the kitchen while preparing food. You can also connect all smart devices, such as cameras and other security, to the same network, so you can have control over them from different areas of your home. For example, you can monitor your yard and a surrounding area of your house from the fridges monitor. So you will know everything that is happening while preparing your meal. You do not have to go anywhere, just take a look at your fridge, and you will know. It is really a great and very useful thing. If all devices are connected to the network and someone comes to your door while you are in the kitchen preparing food, you can open it from a distance just by entering the right command into your fridge’s computer.
You do not have to go all the way to see who is ringing and to manually open the door. You can do that all from the kitchen now without disturbing the preparation of your meal. It is also possible to connect such refrigerators with a smart TV, and you can watch it on the fridge’s monitor. You can listen to music or do anything you regularly would do on your ordinary PC. You can be connected with your family members that are in a different part of your house or anywhere else. You can see them, and they can see you while working in the kitchen. Almost all new home device models are smart and can be connected to the internet, managed and controlled from a remote place. That includes even smart electric plug-ins, clocks, coffee makers and other small home products. They can all be managed and operated from a distance.
Internet is very popular, and you can find it almost everywhere. All smartphones have a possibility to connect to the network easily, and you can find free internet locations at different public places. Twenty years ago, the situation was quite different, and the Internet was not so popular. There were no smart devices, and no one can even imagine them. Just a small minority was well-informed about the Internet, and they used it over desktop computers. That was the only way to access it. However, the Internet encountered a quick expansion and became a widespread part of our lives. That tendency has the potential to grow further, and you can observe it from the aspect of smart homes and buildings.
Smart devices and smart homes are very exciting, but many do not have them yet. They bring the future with them, but people still use old devices and live in old houses and buildings. Greater popularity has yet to come and time changes everything. It was the same with the Internet, and you will see the same thing with smart homes. Eventually, they will become the trend and something you must have. People usually have a habit to use old, familiar things because they have a lot of experience with them, and know how they work. They just used to them, and it takes time to erase that habit. But it happens sooner or later, and it will be the same with smart homes as well.
There are many people today that use the Internet regularly, but still, their knowledge about it is only basic. They know how to surf using popular browsers, and that is it. They know how to enter a website address and look at its content. That is perfectly okay. Facebook and other similar social media sites are very popular and many use the Internet just because of them. You do not have to be a programmer if you want to just surf. But if you are not very familiar with internet apps, you might need additional time to learn how things work. Controlling your entire smart home from a PC or smartphone requires some skills though. You have to know how to do that properly, and if you are just a basic internet user or never used it before, then it would take some time to learn all you need to know. When manufacturers started producing smart devices, there were separate apps for each device. If you had several devices, then you would need several apps to control every device remotely from your smartphone.
The procedure is now significantly simpler. There are apps that can cover all smart devices in your smart home, and you control all of them at once from the same interface. This is a very important, especially for people who are not overly familiar with those new age things. They will more easily learn to manage one app than dozens of them, and there will be no confusion. It was a pretty large mess when you had to operate with five or more apps simultaneously. The exhausting work was taking too much time while making different problems for users. It was not something that was recommended. But it is much better now.
You can find both Android and iPhone applications for this purpose. But Google Play offers a larger number of those apps and according to reviews and the number of users, the popularity of smart devices and smart homes are constantly growing. Millions of people from all around the world have been using those apps, witnessing their growing demand. The trend is not likely to stop, and this will continue to grow in the future. For instance, Tuya Smart is one of those great apps for home automation. It was developed by Tuya Inc in Hong Kong.
This is an Android app freely available to users on Google Play. It has some cool features. You can remotely control your smart home devices through it, and the app is capable to observe the work of those devices and detect any error or failure of those products. You will be informed about it in a timely manner, so you will always know if anything goes wrong. That will help you to prevent accidents, allowing you full control even when you are out of the home, and there is no one inside of it. You can also find a number of apps with similar features, and the review of other users will help you determine the best solution for you. Trusted ones have many positive comments and great ratings. Those are two of the most important indicators of quality. On the other hand, if you want to control your home devices over PC or laptop, you can also find great programs for the purpose. For example, Cortana is Windows software aimed to help, you while managing your smart home devices remotely. You can control your lights, switches, outlets, and thermostats with it. You can adjust the temperature or turn on and off lights from anywhere just using your PC or smartphone. That is how things work when it comes to remote home device control. There are also other similar programs that do this kind of work on other OS’s, and some are in the process of development. Things change fast on the Internet, and everyone should follow the latest trends to stay informed about new cool features, especially when it comes to your smart home.
Connection and Installation
Of course, to start using one of the apps for smart home device management, all items must work properly, and they have to be connected to the network so that you can have access from your computer. It would be smart to hire an expert who is well versed with this matter. Professionals know how to do that in the best way. If you have a big house and many devices, it can be a little problematic, especially for someone who would not have much experience in this field. To avoid any potential problem, you should hire someone who knows how things work, and the job will be finished without issues. You will get a fully functional smart system at your home, ready to work. If all devices are connected properly, you will have no problem controlling and managing them over adequate software. There are also services that offer long-term support after installation. For example, if you hire one of their experts to set-up your smart devices and connect them with your computer, you will possibly be able to contact them whenever you want and ask for help about a potential issue with the system. That is really a great opportunity for those who know little to nothing about the Internet. They can get lifetime support, and that will reduce the risks of possible errors and failures.
Smart home installation is also much better this way, and you are a wise person if you choose a service with that option. As its name suggests, smart devices are really intelligent, and they can understand some commands. However, they are using programming languages which are quite different from human ones. Each command you issue is transformed into a programming language and sent to the right device. It understands the command and proceeds according with your demands. The work of an app for managing smart home devices, is to translate your command and to send it to the device. However, the intelligence of those home items is quite limited. They only understand particular commands. Good programmers, who know the device’s language, are able to send a script written in it. They do not need software for translating because they know it already. But the devices only know some sequences of it, which are necessary for it to properly work.
However, programs that offer voice-controlled home automation are even better. You do not have to write a command over the computer, you just say it and software transmits it to the desired device. It transforms your voice into a script sending it wherever you want. The device executes the command after that. You can find smartphone apps on Google Play and the iPhone Store for this purpose. Usually, those apps work in combination with Aurdino software. For example, Bluetalk is an Android app freely available to users on Google Play Store. Those who want control over a particular smart device should download it to the smartphone first. Then download Aurdino IDK to your PC. Next step is to connect your computer and Android phone over Bluetooth. Then those two programs have to be connected with each other. The app uses Google Speech Recognition sending it to Aurdino IDK that translates commands and transfers them to the smart devices. It seems a little complicated but it is not anything special to get it to work. There are different manuals that clearly explain how this functions in reality. You can use them for set-up or you can use a professional service to do that instead for you. Voice automation is a very helpful thing for elders or people with disabilities when living within a smart home. They can avoid typing and manually working with it.
Some Cool Smart Devices
Robot Vacuum Cleaner
The robot vacuum cleaner is something you must have in a smart home. Just like other devices, it can too be connected to your smartphone over the Internet, and it can clean your house instead of you. No matter if you control it with your voice or by typing, it works just fine. It is needless to say how much this robot can be helpful for busy people or for those who cannot clean their houses themselves. You do not have to pay a cleaning person every week for the job. Now the robot takes the care of it. You just have to pay for it once in a store, and it is yours forever.
Smart Light Bulbs
Smart light bulbs are also a great product for your new smart home. They have excellent capabilities. Smart bulbs can change colors and shades of white light. They work by the same principle as other smart device and can be managed from a remote device or automated to work according to your needs. Their light can be stronger or weaker, and they can automatically turn on and off.
Robot Lawn Mower
Smart home devices are not anymore limited to work inside of homes only. They can help you to clean and arrange your yard as well. A robot lawn mower is one of these devices. It’s purpose is to cut the grass in your yard. It is also a smart device as all others here. You can manage it remotely, and it will do the entire job by itself. If you have a big yard with a grass outside, it is a perfect solution for the job. Just set it up and let it do the work for you. You can come back later to find a perfectly groomed lawn. There are many models that can help with this, and choosing one should not be a pain. Choose a well known brand to do the job right.
Smart Smoke Alarm
Smart smoke alarms are also a very useful product that all smart homes should have. They can detect any sign of fire protecting your home from an accident. The fire can cause serious damage and can jeopardize human lives, but with such a device, you will know if this happens in a timely manor.
If you have a smart home, you are probably doing well, and money is not a issue for you. You have a lot of it, and that is a good thing. Criminals think the same, and your money can become their target. So it is important to protect your house as good as possible. Installing smart cameras is a good step in that direction. There are different models and they can all be automated and controlled from a distance. If you are on a trip far away from your house, you can always see what is happening in and around your house over your smartphone or laptop. If you notice anything suspicious, you can react accordingly.
Smart power monitoring devices are also a great feature for your smart home. As you know all those devices use electrical energy, and when you have many of the, your electricity bill could be significantly higher. That is where this product comes in to play. It will help you to reduce costs and save money. You will be able to see the status of your electrical spend anytime, anywhere, from your smartphone, and you will always know how much the smart home will cost you when the bill for your electricity comes to your door. If you notice that spending is too high, you can reduce it by turning off unnecessary devices. That way you will always know how much your smart home will cost you at the end of a month.
The growing tendency of smart device usage is obvious. The artificial intelligence advances and new smart models, are coming to the market almost every day. Humans already have great help from smart robots, and it will get more over time. Of course, smart home devices such as fridges or cookers have higher prices than ordinary devices with no intelligence features, and the reason for this is obvious. Quality costs more, and it has always been this way. If you want to buy the newest models, you should be aware of that fact. A smart home is generally for someone that makes a decent living.
For instance, the price of a new smart Samsung fridge with an installed computer and a monitor starts at $2,669,00 for the simplest model. The most advanced smart Samsung fridge with the best features, costs around $4,799,00. The prices are really high, but a buyer gets a great product made by the latest technology standards. The entire family can be entertained with its capabilities in your smart home. It has a big screen on its doors, which is also great for kids. They will have a great time with you in the kitchen, and it is a new interesting concept that can bring joy and fun to your family. But this fridge is just the tip of the iceberg, and other producers offer excellent smart devices. Products of the new generation have higher prices but are worth every penny and fit well within a smart home.
Smart Home Design
If you are new to the subject of a smart home, it might seem a little confusing, and you may need more time to choose the best things for you. This is normal, because this concept is fairly new, and it has yet to be introduced to customers around the world. If you want to make your house fully smart, with a large number of intelligent devices, you should also consider making the same with your home’s design. It will make that your house keeps up with the standards of the newest generation of products. Smart home design fits great with intelligent devices. They all have an advanced appearance, and the entire house should be made in the same way. There are different types of smart designs, and the chances to find something applicable to you are rather large.
There are firms that make such interiors, and you should consult their experts. They can give you valuable advice on the matter. They will create a design in accordance with the devices you choose, so everything will look well combined, and in one word – perfect. But except for the look, the most important thing is definitely, usability. The switches, plug-ins, devices, cameras and all other smart things have to be placed at the right spots to offer the highest level of comfort. All devices have to be properly connected, and it is often a complex system. Failures are very possible if the set-up process is not finished correctly. It does not matter if your house is old or new, all can be done with a proper restoration, installation, and adjustments. The real professionals know how to do that. You need an easy-to-use interior, and that is why you make your house smart. The use of all devices should be simplified to the max. That way you will have the greatest comfort inside of it. Smart home devices can use sensors as well. The lights can turn on when someone enters the room. They can also turn off automatically if there is no one inside. Also, the temperature can be adjusted in the same way. You will always have a pleasant feeling inside, thanks to that feature. It means you do not even need to execute the command, you can set-up it once, and it will always work according to your needs. The possibilities are big, and you can check all the solutions in cooperation with smart home experts.
Potential Negative Sides
However, every great thing in this world has some negative sides, it stays the same for a smart home as well. They offer exceptional benefits to their users but, have some weak points too. As you probably know, devices connected to the Internet might be vulnerable to different attacks on the network. It includes viruses, malware, and other types of similar security issues. If some of those bad things enter into your computer or smartphone, it can attack your system. The viruses might produce serious damage and prevent your smart devices from working properly. There are different anti-virus programs that can help you to protect your computer from such an attack. But the systems for protection also have their own drawbacks and some sophisticated viruses might come by unnoticed. So caution is necessary here.
It is best to choose the most sophisticated anti-virus software in order to achieve the strongest possible protection in your smart home. There are different companies that offer programs for protection, and they usually have free basic versions, and a paid premium version. Always choose one that gives the maximum protection. It is much better to pay for it, then to take software that cannot offer you the highest level of protection. Also, keep your computer up to date. Always use the newest versions of operative systems, and pay attention to all security issues. You can also be in touch with some experts in smart homes regarding this.
Hacker attacks are another problem for your smart home. Your computer might be vulnerable to them as well. There are different types of such strikes including fishing, vectors, and social engineering. Knowledge is usually the best defense from these attacks, so you should be informed about the latest threats, and you should know how to defend yourself from them. There are simple but efficient ways to keep your computer safe. it seems complicated at first but it is not. You can find a ton of literature freely available on public domains, that can help you to gain the necessary knowledge to protect your devices in your smart home.
A smart home is addicted to electricity. Every device uses electrical power to function. Without it, a smart home is dead and nothing works. That is a problem if your electricity disappears for any reason. It may not happen often, but it is possible, so it is important to have some way of protection, if this happens. An additional source of electrical power might be a solution. So the wise thing is to add a separate power generator that would start working if the electricity stops. That way the smart devices will continue working until your electricity comes back in your smart home.
With a smart home, you r housework will definitely be less. Intelligent devices will take a care of many things. That can definitely change some of your habits in the long run. You will get used to it over time. It has some positive and some negative sides, but humanity goes forward as always. Time changes everything and nothing stays the same. The smart homes are definitely the future. All houses and buildings will eventually become intelligent and will all have a significant impact of smart devices inside and outside of them. You can be one of the pioneers in this 21st-century project. And it is not a bad thing to be a leader in the development of humanity.