smarter_home

5 Essential Technologies for a Smarter Home

The surprising thing about the modern home is that it has, essentially, the same technology as the slightly older, more traditional home. The biggest difference is that the technology has been upgraded with smarter, more useful features. What we do not have is new, paradigm-shifting technology that changes the way we think of home.

There are no flying cars, holodecks, or force fields. Robots are not washing our dishes or doing the cooking. And losing a few extra pounds is still a lot of hard work easily reversed by a couple of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. A smarter home is not defined by super advanced, unrecognizable technology. It is about smarter versions of the tech we already have. Here are five examples:

Smarter Television

Televisions have been around for a very long time. They’ve gotten bigger, thinner, and have a better picture quality than ever before. But a time traveler from the past would still recognize that rectangle in your living room as a television. She might not know how to turn it on. But she would get the general idea.

But a lot has changed about the way we watch TV. We have 500 channels to manage. The time traveler may have had five. There was no recording five programs at a time like with a DIRECTV box. And there was no sending programs to different rooms, or taking them with you on your smartphone.zSA

These are just a few of the features that make TV a lot smarter. Naturally, you are going to want satellite TV deals to go with that fancy set-top box. With so much talk of cord cutting, it is easy to overlook the fact that you can get deals that include every movie channel available, plus all the football you can handle for a surprisingly low rate if you keep your eye out for them. Everyone has a TV. But a smart home has a much smarter setup.

Smart Thermostat

Central heat and air are not new technological advances, but a thermostat that can automatically decide when to activate the heat and air at the perfect temperature has only been around for a few years. And it is not just a geek brand thing. Mainstays like Honeywell offer smart thermostats as well.

In most cases you don’t have to get a new HVAC system to take advantage of smart features like learning your schedule and automatically heating or cooling accordingly. They can also sense when someone is at home and in what room. When these decisions are automated, you can save a lot of money in utility bills. Saving the planet is also a nice bonus.

Smart Plugs

Your house doesn’t have to be haunted to be full of vampire energy. That is just one of the terms used to describe the power that is leached by things like microwaves, computers, even smartphone chargers when they’re not doing anything. This type of energy accounts for as much as 7% of all energy used nationwide. Smart power strips can shut off all power to those devices when not in use. it is one of the smartest things you can add to your home.

Smart Lights

Another smart addition you can make to your home is smart lights that turn themselves off when no one is in the room. Motion sensing lights have been around for a while for the outside of the home. But we are now starting to see the benefits of using the technology inside. Imagine a light coming on whenever a person walks into a dark room. Even better, imagine those lights automatically turning off when the room is vacated for a certain period of time. No more forgetting to turn the light out behind you. That’s smart.

Smart Doors

With smart door locks, you can let your kids in the house when they lose the key. And you never have to leave work to do it. Smart locks allow you to unlock the door from anywhere in the world with your smartphone. With a smart doorbell, you can see who is at the door even when you are nowhere near home. You can also have a conversation with them, instructing them where to leave the package.

Televisions, thermostats, plugs, lights, and doors: you already have them. A few, inexpensive add-ons will turn your traditional home into a smart one.

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