The Best Ways To Ensure Your Home Deliveries Don’t Go Astray

Before the internet the Royal Mail used to do a roaring trade delivering letters over night anywhere in the country, and within days to anywhere in the rest of the world. Then email came about and a letter became something of an anachronism, the only letters we seem to get regularly are bills and junk mail. Because of the decline in letter sending services were streamlined and rationalised, ie, cuts were made and deliveries suffered. The Post Office was privatised and the delivery service was opened up to tender.

But the internet wasn’t finished in changing the way we live our lives just yet. Online shopping became not just a novelty, but the preferred way to get hold of the things we’d normally have to hunt around the shops for. No more trolling up and down the high street looking for a product which may or may not be in stock. Instead we can now search for an item, order it and know when (roughly) it’s going to be delivered from anywhere at any time. Which naturally meant that the delivery business was going to see a huge increase in business. Read more

Is Your Home Security Butch Enough To Baffle Burglars?

Keeping your home, family, property and person safe is a priority for anyone, but are you doing enough to ensure your security is a deterrent to prevent burglary?

While it’s impossible to guarantee the security of any property there are a number of reasonable and inexpensive steps you can take to ensure your home isn’t the next to be added to the local crime statistics. Some are obvious, such as keeping doors and windows locked, some are less immediately apparent, such as keeping your hedges and fences in good order, so let’s take a look at your house from the point of view of a burglar to see what they see, and what can be done about it.

Kerb Appeal

Despite common misconception, most break-ins take place in daylight and last for between 5 and 10 minutes. Burglars will be drawn to high value items which can be easily sold on, most especially things which can be easily carried, such as jewellery, cash, phones, laptops, and the like. If anyone passing can see into your home, that doors and windows aren’t secure or are old and worn, then they may be tempted to break in and take what they want. Read more

Save Time Now And Prepare For The Future With Labour Saving Smart Tech

As well as being an efficient way of protecting your home from intruders, watch the kids and talk to your pets while you’re at work, and ask questions, smart home devices are perfect for saving time and effort around the house.

We’re very much an ‘on demand’ society these day. We want everything instantly and while modern technology does its best to deliver access as soon as a whim crosses our minds, it has its limitations. And that’s where Smart Technology can come in and save the day!

There’s little worse than coming home to a cold dark house in the middle of winter. So why not let your house know when you’re on your way home and putting the heating on ready for your return? And it’s irritating when you leave home for the day and realise that you’ve left the lights or heating on, so turn it off as soon as you remember, whether that’s from the train, your desk or the airport as you fly off on your holidays.

At the shops and can’t find your list? You should have had your Smart recycling bin send you the list, but never mind, just look at the camera in the fridge and look how low the milk is getting. You can programme it to keep track of the Best Before dates too, so you always have fresh fruit & veg. This is handy for people on the go, and it’s equally handy if you’ve trouble remembering things or you care for a relative who finds it hard to get out. The reassurance you feel from knowing that their fridge is stocked takes a load off your mind. Read more

What Is A Smart Alarm System?

Man looking at an access control panel on the outside of a houseA Smart alarm system is an alarm system which connects to your home hub so it can alert you to anything, and be controlled from anywhere, so long as you have internet connection. Unlike Smart Security systems the alarms can sound on the property, making everyone aware that an emergency has been detected while security systems are designed to deter intruders and gather information such as photos and video.

Of course you can run the two concurrently so if anyone is willing to break into your property they will be caught on camera and an ear splitting alarm will also sound, hopefully making them stop and leave.

What Makes Smart Alarms Different?

The benefit Smart alarm systems have over traditional hard wired alarms is that they are often battery operated and can be installed anywhere with a simple adhesive pad or a couple of small screws. There should be no need for drilling or cabling. Because they work with your WiFi network instead of a cable phone line it’s easy to add new devices, so you can start off small and add new pieces of hardware as you see fit. Your alarms will communicate with your hub via WiFi or Bluetooth and can be controlled via an app on your phone or tablet, or on the Home Hub.

Smart alarms don’t just let you know when there’s a fire, flood or carbon monoxide emergency, because they can be operated from anywhere they let you check up on things when you’re on the go. If you just popped out but found you’re going to be away from home longer than expected, arm the security and set the alarms from wherever you are. You can also use Smart home technology to turn the heating off or even feed the pets if you have a smart feeder! Read more

How To Get The Best Out Of Your Smart Home Security By Adding Additional Alarms

There’s very little difference between  Smart alarm systems and CCTV security as far as installation and effect is concerned. Either will alert you to the fact that there is an emergency on your property or in your house. In the past a security system linked to a burglar alarm would have meant installing cable, sensors and a big ugly box on the outside of your home which would scream and flash whenever the alarm was triggered. Today installation is nothing like as hard thanks to Smart Home Security systems, while coverage and adaptability are greatly improved.

Your Smart Home Alarm differs from your Smart Home Security only insomuch as your alarm system will let you and the intruder know audibly when someone triggers the security system you have protecting your property. Smart security will alert you to break-ins, intruders on your land, take video footage of them and, depending on your set-up, let emergency services know. However, there’s no reason why the two systems can’t be synchronised so that anything that happens in your home late at night or while you’re away will trigger an alert to let you, your burglar, and the police know.

So, while your old fashioned alarm system had a panel by the front door which you would need to arm whenever you left the house and input your disarming code when you came home your smart alarm can be controlled from a panel on the wall, a Smart Home hub, or from your smartphone via an app. With geofencing, technology which lets your smart home know where you are by tracking your phone, you can automatically arm the alarm every time you leave the house and disarm it when you come home again without needing to touch the control panel. Friends, family, carers or other trusted parties can be added to your approved list so they can let themselves in in case of emergency without setting off the alarm.
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What Top Ten Factors Influence Adoption, Inclusion & Function Of Smart Home Technology?

It’s easy to fall into one of three camps, firstly to think that everyone is buying up smart devices, and finding new uses for them. They’re creating skills, naming every electronic device in the house and telling their Smart Speaker or Home Hub to turn thing off and on, or up and down, all without moving from the comfort of the sofa. But then it’s also just as easy to write it off as a fad that is only of interest to a select few who are engaged with the technology. A third assumption would be that automated home technology is like the microwave oven, it’s going to take time for the price to come down far enough for the useful, efficient, practical technology to become an everyday feature in every home up and down the country.

Because Smart technology doesn’t seek to ultimately solve a particular problem once and for all, uptake will initially be slow, but incessant. Connected devices may save time, energy and effort, and it may make the living environment more responsive, but because it only does what you can already do yourself it can be seen as a luxury development which is nice, but ultimately unnecessary. Read more

There’s A Chill In The Air, And Thoughts Turn To Smart Thermostats

Woman using a digital heating control panelBaby it’s cold outside, and Smart people are using their Smart thermostats and lights to increase the efficiency of their homes.
Now, of course we’ve always had thermostats and timers to control the boiler and central heating so that it comes on and off when we want, but only if the temperature demands it, so what’s the difference that Smart thermostats make?

First of all, it’s important to bear in mind that a Smart Thermostat isn’t for everyone. If you’re habits and want are as predictable as clockwork then the timer and thermostat combination you already have in your home are more than likely to be quite sufficient to your needs. That’s not to say a Smart thermostat wouldn’t be handy in the long run, just don’t expect to see any miraculous plunges in your heating bills if you’re already in complete control of the heating. Read more

Are You Plugged Into To Wireless Charging?

Wireless charging is one of those things: Nobody seems to know how it works, we only know it does, and that, I suppose, is all it takes. Have faith and your phone will work! We’re so used to plugging in in order to charge our devices that it seems like magic when you can just put something down, and after 30 minutes, it’s almost fully charged again.

The technology has been around for a couple of years now. It crops up in adverts, it looks cool, but nobody seems to be overwhelmingly enthused by it, even though it allows for fast charging, (Huawei, the current leaders in wireless charging, claim 70% in 30 minutes, which will naturally improve over time) charging between devices on the go and one plugged in phone being able to charge several other devices at the same time if you’re not near a charging pad. Read more

New Tech, New Frustrations! How To Get To Grips With Your Brand New Gadgets

Sonos music speaker and a tablet showing the artwork for an album.So it’s been a month, how are you getting on with the new electronic devices you got for Christmas? If you think you’re struggling and that you’re not getting as much out of your tech as possible, you’re not alone. More than a quarter of people surveyed said that they’re not sure how to use their electronics properly, and feel they are probably missing out.

The problem most of us have with electronics we’re not familiar with is that we use it in exactly the same way we used the piece of tech that it is replacing, and if we don’t get to grips with a new feature straight away, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get to know it. Attempts have been made in the past to teach new users how to improve their interface with the user, you’ll remember of course Microsoft’s paperclip, called, imaginatively enough “Clippy,” a dog called “Rover”, and a wizard called Merlin which would pop up whenever you wanted to do something, getting in the way and giving you flawed advice. Fortunately for all, that particular piece of fury-fuel was discontinued in 2007 after it was noticed that everybody hated it. Read more

Smart Cooking Appliances Are Hotting Up! What’s In The Connected Kitchen For You?

smart kitchen wifi connectedWe know that Smart tech is going to find a really practical home in the kitchen. Find all your recipes, preheat the oven, re-order and do the shopping, turn the lights on so you can see what you’re doing. You can even recalculate measurements automatically if you’re low on one thing or want to make enough to feed an army when the recipe gives you the method for a tiny batch.

The only problem is mess.

With cake mix flying all over the place when you turn the mixer on, gravy dripping from your fingers and water getting everywhere when you try to clean up your tablet or Smart interface could easily get damaged, gummed up or dropped in the sink just when you’re trying to knock up a souffle.

No matter how hard you try not to touch, and you swear you’ll be careful, Murphy’s Law dictates that you’ll drop it, splash it, try to use the touchscreen controls with a spoon or otherwise do something that will in no way help to prolong the life of your devices. Read more