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Just how smart is smart technology for the home?

POSTED ON 18 AUGUST 2017

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a home which practically ran itself? In-home smart technology is becoming more and more popular, and this article will explain why

Technology and its development have, to an extent, defined the modern age in which we live. Almost everything we do is now determined by technology in some way. The evolution of technology has demanded of most industries an equally fast growth and, in turn, significant innovation in the way they operate.

In particular, over the past ten years, smart technology has been growing faster, to much approval from the general public. It has settled down and flourished rather nicely in peoples’ homes, with broadband internet connection having become much more reliable, flexible and independent, and smart phones are now used to remotely control many inhome smart technology devices.

Science fiction itself has explored the idea of home automation for decades, so the concept has been floating around for a long time. But the notion that homes could be interactive and could seemingly run themselves hasn’t just inspired the likes of prolific writers such as Ray Bradbury – people everywhere are excited at the prospect of a more technologically independent home.

Although the idea of home automation has been around for some time, actual smart homes have only existed a short while. The ECHO IV was the first real in-home smart device. It could compute shopping lists, control the home’s temperature and turn appliances on and off. During the very late 1990’s and early 2000’s, smart homes and home automation in general began to increase in popularity and, as such, different technology began to emerge. Smart homes suddenly became more affordable, with domestic technologies, home
networking, and other gadgets beginning to appear on store shelves.

But what exactly is smart technology, and what makes it unique? Well, the conveniently-named ‘smart’ label is an acronym for ‘self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology.’ Basically it’s capable of adapting automatically and can modify its behaviour to fit its environment, possessing the ability to sense things with technology sensors.

Smart technology has recently begun to play a significant role in homes, especially with in-home security systems. It seems to be the perfect complement to the notion of security, since smart technology works remotely without you needing to be at the location, meaning that you can witness live CCTV footage, activate certain security devices, be alerted to a break-in, and even answer the door via your smart device whilst you’re away from your property.

As the twenty-first century has progressed, however, and we ourselves have become smarter, smart homes are now much more about both security and living greener. The smart technology that we’re bringing into our homes today
is sustainable, and they help to ensure that our homes aren’t expending unnecessary energy. There is a variety of smart in-home devices currently on the market; some of the most popular of which include remote mobile control, automated lights, automated thermostat adjustment, scheduling appliances, mobile/email/text notifications, and remote video surveillance.

Due to the exponential growth of inhome smart technology, what we can expect to see in the future will be truly staggering. Already researchers have discovered thin film solar technology and applied this to windows so that every window in your home or office can be a power generator. Future robots are increasingly being talked about so we could see them in our homes performing various tasks and domestic chores.

Different smart phone apps will increase rapidly, and it is speculated that there will be apps for such things as checking the temperature of your refrigerator, turning on the oven, and starting the laundry.

Future home entertainment systems will be out of this world, the future workplace will be incorporated into the home, seniors will enjoy the use of escalators and moving walkways, and all future homes will be built with age appropriate child-proofing already in place. We can also expect to see beds which record how well you sleep, wardrobes that iron clothes whilst hung up, televisions which choose programs for you to watch, carpets that retract to expose hardwood flooring, coffee ready for as soon as the alarm goes off, and self-loading washing machines!

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