How to Turn Your House into a Smart Home
There is ample incentive to update your old home to meet modern standards. A Smart home can not only make life easier on you and your family, it can actually help you save money by being more energy efficient. But where do you start? Surely only brand new homes can be turned into Smart homes, right? Well, no! Believe it or not, all that you really need to create a Smart home is a wireless router and a Wi-Fi network – everything else pretty much is up to your personal needs and preferences. Assuming you have a Wi-Fi router in your house (and the odds are good that you do), here are ways you can turn your old house into a Smart home today.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Photo credit: Samsung Newsroom via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA
One of the easiest things that you can do as a homeowner (or renter) to improve your home’s usability is to upgrade the appliances so that they are energy efficient. After all, a Smart home can only be smart if it is energy efficient. It makes little sense to upgrade the technology in your home, yet pay no attention to how much power these devices are consuming.
We all need to do our part to pass on a better world, and that includes conserving resources when and where possible. Appliances, light bulbs, and other home items with an EnergyStar rating can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the course of a year, while reducing your impact on the environment.
To take things one step further, you can supplement these appliances with energy efficient windows – or perhaps even supplemental solar panels – for the ultimate in energy savings. It is smart for your budget, smart for the environment, and simply a smart choice.
Home Automation Systems
If energy efficiency is one of the first things that you should consider when designing or building a Smart house, then home automation is surely next in line. Why? Because no single change to your house will transform its functionality – and the experience that you have living in it – more.
Like the USS Enterprise on Star Trek or the Jetson’s house on The Jetsons, a Smart home should be able to think and do for itself. It should make your life easier by doing your work for you! This is made possible thanks to home automation systems (and the home automation products that these systems make use of).
Home automation systems, like those by ADT, make it possible to lock and unlock your house while away, monitor your property in real time from anywhere, automate basic home functions like temperature control, and customize house settings to suit your needs. In plain terms, these systems make “dumb” homes “smart.” And you will appreciate the difference immediately.
Smart Multimedia Systems
Media no longer comes from a single source. There are now multitudes of streaming services (for both video and audio content), in addition to digital downloads, video game content, Internet video content, television content, live content, and social media content. That’s a lot to contend with.
Putting this content within easy reach is one of the challenges that modern multimedia systems are designed to solve. Thankfully, these systems are up to the task. Smart televisions, streaming devices like the Roku and Apple TV, video game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4, and mobile streaming devices like Google’s Chromecast make it easier than ever to consume all of your favorite content from one device.
Photo credit: Mark McLaughlin via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Which solution is right for you will depend on your own preferences, but one thing is for certain: traditional media systems are not cut out for the many content channels that are now available to the consumer. Upgrade your old media systems with modern replacements for an all-new viewing experience.
The Internet of Things is becoming more pervasive each and every year. Without anyone noticing, our automobiles and home appliances are now connected to the Internet. Through this process, their usability – and the ways in which we interact with these devices – has been transformed.
Upgrading your traditional “dumb” appliances with modern connected appliances is one way that you can turn your house into a Smart home. These appliances are more usable and convenient than ever before, because they make your life easier while providing you with greater flexibility at the same time.
For example, Samsung’s Family Hub smart refrigerator lets you check its contents right from your phone, so you’re never left wondering what you need to buy at the grocery store. And LG’s line of Smart ThinQ home products allow you to control everything from air temperature to wash cycles while away, so that your house continues to work for you even when you’re not there.
Photo credit: Samsung Newsroom via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Automated Appliances & Digital Assistants
Finally, there’s a wide range of miscellaneous home appliances, smart digital assistants, and other goods that you can buy to make your home smarter and your life easier. Maybe you upgrade your old Wi-Fi router with a smart router, like Amazon’s Echo, with its Alexa personal digital assistant. Or perhaps you buy an automated and self-cleaning vacuum cleaner, like the Roomba or Dyson 360.
Consider what you want your home to do for you, and find the solution that satisfies those needs. You may be surprised to find that what you are looking for is already available on the market. The Internet of Things is already here, which means the Smart home of the future is within anyone’s reach, right now. You could upgrade your house today!