Is Your Smart Home Really Smart Without Sensors To Tell It What’s Going On?

If you’re a recent convert to Smart Home automation you may be starting to think “well this isn’t all that smart at all, is it? I still have to tell Alexa everything I’m doing before she’ll help me with anything!” and you’d be right. But only because you’ve got Alexa’s ears set up, without sensors’ she’s got no eyes.

A truly Smart home system relies on sensors to be able to work efficiently. Sensors feed data back to the Home Hub enabling it to make decisions and obey commands which would have been set up in order to make the Smart Home system integrated and intelligent.

There are a wide range of sensors which will serve various different purposes, from fire and smoke detectors to thermostats and motion sensors which will tell your hub not only when you enter a room, but when an intruder breaks into your home. Making use of these sensors as part of the everyday home hub utility will vastly improve the intelligence of the system since you won’t have to tell it directly what you want to happen, and make you safer since you will be able to rely on your home hub to react to changes such as movement, smoke, fire, or gas and water leaks.

First of all, motion sensors are a great benefit to have around the house if you want your automation to work effectively. They can be used to trigger lighting and CCTV if deployed outside the house, but when used indoors they can be used for security, naturally, but they can also be used to control lighting, music and audio visual entertainment, and in conjunction with thermostats to efficiently control heating. There’s no point keeping a room warm if you’re not going to use it, so why not only have the heating come on when the room is occupied? Innovations such as this not only keep you at a temperature you feel comfortable, but they offer energy efficiency savings which could mean that the upgrade to Smarter Living pays for itself instead of being a luxury simply of convenience.

Detect All Kinds Of Emergency

Detectors which pick up on smoke, fire, carbon monoxide and leaks will, hopefully, never be triggered, but if they are it’s important to know they’re going to work. Unlike traditional emergency detectors and alarms they don’t simply sound when there is danger. Instead they sound, but also send notifications to apps on phones, computers and tablets telling you where and what the problem is. If you’re using a home cam you can double check in the event of fire, flood or smoke to make sure it’s not a false alarm before calling the emergency services.

You might think “fine, but what if the fire knocks out the internet?” Well, someone already thought of that and there are several Smart fire and smoke alarms which use mobile phone signal as well as WiFi to send out messages that there is an emergency. And if that fails for any reason as well, there is always the backup of a loud sonic alarm which will keep sounding.

There are also sonic sensors available which can not only detect the particular sound of something smashing, but distinguish between a plate, for example, and a window being broken.

Door Sensors Are First Line Defence For Smart Alarm Systems

Door and window sensors have been available for decades. They set off alarms if they’re tripped and they’re the first line in many burglar alarm systems. Smart door and window sensors function somewhat differently. They can be set to alert if the door or window is opened, but they can also be set to go off if the door or window is left open for a specified time, reminding you to shut them. Link to other sensors and devices and they can activate when you leave the house and deactivate automatically when you return home again. And a door sensor needn’t necessarily activate an alarm. It could just as easily activate lights, music, entertainments or any other device connected to your Smart Home Network.
Light sensors can be an integral part of the Smart home system as light is a basic need for most of us. If a light is on then it’s apparent that we’re currently using a room. With Smart controls it’s easy to program a device to activate when a light comes on, such as a coffee machine for example. When you wake up and you turn a light on before you open the curtains your smart coffee machine, or a regular coffee maker with a Smart switch, can start making your drink so it’s all hot fresh and ready by the time you make it down stairs.

Smart Sensors Give Age In Place And Assisted Living Independence

Saying light is a basic need for most of us brings us on to the next point. Those who have needs which aren’t catered for by homes which haven’t been adapted. That can include the blind and hard of hearing, those with special physical needs and the elderly. Asking your Smart Home system to do things such as turning things on and off is well and good, but independence means more than that. Sensors are available which not only detect when you enter or leave a room, but how long and what happens when you’re there.

People want their independence. It’s vital for a healthy sense of self, so why not introduce Smart technology to make life easier for those? And this is where sensors can come in really handy and serve a very practical application. Sensors can be used to detect a range of activities and events in and around the home, and timed so that if something happens, or indeed doesn’t happen, then an alert can be sent to people within the Smart Hub’s contacts list alerting them to what happened. So, if a sensor hears a fall, the sound of a plate or anything braking and no subsequent activity an alert can be sent to carers or family nearby to tell them to get in touch as the householder may have fallen and can’t get up. Alternatively a sensor can send a similar alert if an even doesn’t happen at a prescribed time. So if nobody goes into the kitchen at breakfast time an alert can be sent to make contacts aware that the resident may be having trouble getting out of bed that morning and to check in.

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