As technology enthusiasts, the staff of CompuTime is looking forward to seeing those new developments. We are also excited to see what those innovations will be able to offer our clients, both for businesses and home users. One recent development that has come to the foreground toward the end of 2016 and that we should see grow significantly in 2017 is Smart Home Technology and we, at CompuTime, are seriously geeking out!
What is Smart Home Technology?
Smart Home Technology is what allows different devices communicate with each other and allows us to use that communication to make our lives easier. By now, you’ve likely seen advertisements where a person walks into their home and says “Turn on the lights” or “Play jazz music” and, like magic, the lights turn on and music fills the air. These were done through the brilliance of a technology called Internet of Things (IoT)!
Internet of Things encompasses Smart Home Technology but IoT is what allows devices to speak to one another. Business often use IoT in their security systems. Using your phone or computer to see what the security cameras see in your business is a form of Internet of Things. However, IoT isn’t just for security systems any longer! Many companies are getting on board and offering product lines to make your home a smart home, hence Smart Home Technologies.
Google, Amazon, and Apple have all rolled out product lines allowing you to turn your everyday items into “smart” items. You can control a lamp, your television, your door locks, and air conditioner all through Smart Home Technology. Google offers Google Home, Amazon has Echo, and Apple has Apple Home Switch and iDevices. Each line offering similar product lines but with just enough difference you will want to do your research before buying to see which will fit you best.
How Does Smart Home Technology Work?
Using Smart Home Technology and getting started can seems a little daunting at first. Of course, investing a little time in research is always a good idea. This will help you understand how to use the systems better and help determine which will be the best fit for your wishes.
Smart Home Technology devices will utilize your home’s Wi-Fi network to control the various items you set up in your home. Systems like Amazon Echo or Echo Dot and Google Home will use a hub that connects the various devices to your router. Apple’s Home Switch can use your Apple TV or an iPad as your home’s device hub.
One feature of using any smart devices is that you don’t have to do a major overhaul on your current home to use them! For example, to connect your lamps you plug them into the specialized smart outlet and plug that into the traditional wall outlet. The Smart device will connect wirelessly to your Wi-Fi and you can now just command your system to turn on that lamp. If you don’t like the idea of having an extra item plugged into your current outlets, there are also smart outlets you can install in place of your current electrical outlets.
Once you have your items set up, you can just speak to your system like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa and tell it what you want it to do. You can also program your phone with an app to control your system remotely at home or while away.
With all these smart devices making your home a smart home, it is already pretty cool. How futuristic is it to be able to walk into your home and say “turn on the hall lights” and it happens? If that weren’t great enough, there are some other features that make using Smart Home Technology even cooler.
Philips line of Hue lights can be used with Smart Home Technology like your Amazon or Apple systems and have white light or colored lights. You can create ambiance with colors and can dim or brighten the lights all through your home system.
Your television works with smart home systems, you can tell your system to turn on the TV or change the channel. You can also use different skills that are set up on the Smart Home Devices. For example, you can ask Amazon’s Alexa to turn on relaxing music, or to enable to Food Network Skill to get recipes from the Food Network.
Your Smart Home Technology systems also have the ability to set up preprogrammed “moods.” For example, wake up time, movie time, or relaxation time can be settings you can program with certain music, lighting and even temperature control settings. Once you have your programming set all you have to do is command “relaxation time” and everything will adjust as you desire!
More Great Smart Devices
In addition to Smart Home Technology systems by Amazon, Google, and Apple are other home items that use the same technology making life easier and even cooler. Samsung, LG, GE, and Whirlpool have all introduced the smart fridge. Samsung has a camera that you can check the contents of your fridge remotely and has a groceries app that allows you to do all your grocery shopping right from the fridge. Whirlpool has a phone app that connects to notify you of a power outage or when the water filter needs changing. LG has a feature that allows you to swipe a foot under the door and they open for you. You can also knock on the glass door of the fridge to see inside. GE has an app that monitors internal temperatures and the filters that will notify you if any of those need attention. You can also set a timer to have hot water available from the dispenser at certain times.
Amazon Dash is another device that can make life easier. These small buttons are connected to your Wi-Fi and your Amazon account. Each button is designed for a particular product line. You can take one that is for laundry detergent and put it in your laundry room. With the self-adhesive backing, you can attach it directly to your washer. When you notice you are nearly out of detergent, just press the Amazon Dash button and it will automatically order more of the detergent you set up to order.
There are so many different types of devices out there that use your Wi-Fi setup in your home that make life easy. You can control just about everything in your home from the security system, the door locks, your lamps, television and so much more just by setting up your Smart Home Technology systems.
When it comes to setting up your home or even your business with this new technology, CompuTime employees are ready and excited to help you. As a local business that has been around for over twenty years, CompuTime has seen some amazing growth and changes in technology and we are excited to see each new advancement. We love to learn more about new advancements and as always, we want to help you, the user, in making technology easy!