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.
Getting The Best Out Of Your Appliance With Science
There are a lot of appliances and white goods which benefit from Smart technology, some of which may surprise you. As well as the smart fridge there are Smart washing machines and tumble driers which let you monitor the cycle remotely, gauge energy and water consumption, and can even offer help with stains and washing instructions on the wifi enabled touchscreen.
You can put a smart oven on when you’re approaching home so you can put whatever you’re eating tonight straight in and have it cooked as quickly as possible. You can load up recipes, tell it what you’re cooking and how much it weighs and it will set the time and temperature accordingly, and with a camera inside the cooker, you can ask to cook to the perfect colour and turn itself off when it’s done.
Vacuum cleaners can be operated remotely, insomuch as they can be switched on and off. You’d never have any trouble getting the kids to hoover their rooms if they could drive it around from their phone in another room! Similarly, there are lawn mowers which can be turned on from a remote location and left to trundle around the lawn, dodging objects and barriers and leaving the grass perfectly trimmed while you’re doing something else.
Smart Sofa Surfing
Smart home devices in general save a good deal of labour around the house. It might seem like a louche and luxurious existence to be able to sit on the sofa and just call out to the lights to come on or dim, to tell the radio to play another station, or to look for movies by telling the TV what you want to watch but this is reality now, and, as we’ve looked at in other articles, a real boon for people who have trouble getting about.
The Tea’s Maid used to be the perennial prize of naff 80s quiz shows in the 70s and 80s but today coffee and tea making machines are being fitted with smart technology so they can communicate with other devices as well as your phone so you can prep the beans the night before, or before you leave in the morning and order a fresh jug of coffee when you wake up in the morning so it’s waiting for you when you get downstairs or home from work.
Another task which can be cut out is answering the door to strangers, the delivery guy and kids mucking about. With a Smart door camera and access control you can see who’s coming to the door before they even ring, and you can talk to them too. So you can tell them to leave the package, open the door or tell them to scram, depending on your mood. Naturally you could do this with other less advanced door monitors, but Smart tech allows you to keep an eye on who’s at your house from anywhere with an internet connection, so you don’t have to wait in for a delivery since you can let them in from anywhere in the world.
Appliances which are either on or off can be easily controlled via a Smart plug. These plug straight into the mains, then you give it a name and you can control it either by telling Alexa or your Google Assist to turn it on or off, or from your control panel, phone or tablet.
Become A Smarter Gardener
The fun doesn’t stop indoors either. As well as lawnmowers you can let Smart technology take care of much of your garden too. Let tech take care of watering, feeding and controlling the temperature of your greenhouse automatically. It can be programmed to tend different plants specific to their needs and adjust according to the weather, so if it rains, it won’t water the beds.
Security issues aside, children’s toys which are Smart enabled offer a unique interactivity which makes them not only an awful lot of fun but educational too. We keep being told how important it is to get kids, and especially girls, into STEM and STEAM (the A standing for arts) so many Smart toys offer an introduction to coding, construction, electronics and problem solving. The jury is out on whether things like phones are good or bad for kids. Some paediatricians say they stunt development, while others say they are good for fine motor skills, which are in turn indicative of other mental and neurological milestones.
Smart technology is here to stay, many millions of Home Hubs, Echoes and Assistants have already been sold and a new generation of smaller, more intuitive devices are hitting the shops soon. They are becoming a part of our lives and adopting them not only saves time and effort, familiarity prepares us for our future.