What is a Smart Home? Everything to Know about Home Automation

smart home

There is no one standard definition of a smart home. Every smart home differs from another. It all depends on the smart objects and devices that make the home smart. Still, one cannot help but wonder exactly what a smart home is and how it differs from an ordinary home.

We cannot peg any definition to a smart home. Nevertheless, this article will take you through the basics of smart homes, what they are, how the operate, and their benefits to home owners.

Smart Home Definition – What Does a Smart Home Do?

A smart home is one in which appliances, such as the doorbell and coffee maker, are connected to the internet and operable remotely from smart devices such as your smart phone or tablet. Any home can be a smart home – what matters is connectivity of the devices to the internet. These objects and appliances are connected to the internet to make life at home more efficient by automating tasks that you would otherwise perform manually.

The history of smart homes is just as vague as the term’s definition. Some of the most notable smart homes include Bill Gate’s abode, which cost him well over $100 million. However, the concept can be traced back to 1975 when a company in Scotland developed a product dubbed X10. This innovative product allowed home appliances to connect and communicate with each other. These devices could then be controlled remotely via a controller such as a remote control or computer.

Smart homes have come a long way since the development of the X10 technology. Advances have been made possible by the emergence of smart, portable computing devices such as tablets and smart phones. The integration of ordinary appliances with sensors, which makes it possible to connect them to the internet, has also greatly contributed to the progress. And, with the onset of the Internet of Things, virtually every home could become a smart home in the future.

Interesting facts about Bill Gates’ smart home: Bill Gates spent a fortune building his smart home. Everyone in the home has a tracking chip that makes it easier to interact with the home. Lights turn on and off automatically as residents move through the rooms, and the smart home network knows everyone’s preferences. And, if there are two people with conflicting interests, such as their entertainment preference, the system will find a compromise on something that everyone will like.

What are the Benefits of a Smart Home?

A smart home can change your life. Imagine waking up to fresh toast and freshly brewed coffee because your home knows your preferences. Picture yourself controlling devices such as the TV via voice command, and seeing and knowing everything happening at home when you are away. That is just a basic scenario of how smart homes work. Here is an insight into some of the key benefits of owning a smart home.

Improve Security

As mentioned, you can know everything going on at home while away if it is smart. There are several ways that smart homes improve your safety and security. For instance, supposing that the lights and appliances such as security cameras are connected to the smart home network. You could remotely switch the smart lights on and off to keep opportunistic buglers away. You can also see everything that is going on in and outside your home remotely through a smart device such as your smart phone.

Save Energy and Money

One of the first concerns about many people when they contemplate making their homes smart is the involved cost. You don’t need to spend $100 million like Bill Gates to make your home smart. If anything, a smart home will save you money in the long run.

One of the key benefits of a smart home is that it makes everything more efficient. For instance, a smart thermostat will automatically switch off heating when you are not at home, thus saving you a pretty penny on your energy bill. Smart air conditioning will also save you lots of money by improving efficiency. You will also be doing a great service to the environment by optimizing your usage of vital resources.

Automate Chores

The best part about smart homes is that they make life easier by automating regular chores and tasks that you would otherwise perform manually. Case example: your home’s alarm can send instructions to the toaster to prepare your toast after waking you up, and it could also send instructions to other appliances such as the coffee maker to brew coffee so that everything is ready by the time you get down. Your fridge could also automatically order milk and other supplies once they run out.

A smart home will ultimately make your life easier and more convenient. You will save yourself a lot of time and effort by automating regular chores and tasks. 

Make Home More Fun and Entertaining

Home is your safe space. It should be as comfortable and entertaining as possible. Turning your home smart can make it your favorite place to have fun and relax. Appliances such as TVs and speakers connected to the grid can play your favorite shows and music, depending on your preferences. You can also automatically stay updated on all the current developments without lifting a finger.

Privacy and Security Concerns

With the ever-increasing threat of hacking, there are concerns that living in a smart home may compromise your privacy and security. These concerns are real and warranted. Appliances such as the TV and toaster are easy to hack, and since they are always collecting data, hackers can exploit them to invade your privacy. However, you can get around this problem by improving the security of your home network, since all appliances will be communicating over the network via your wireless router.

The benefits of a smart home far outweigh any perceived risks. As such, do not let these concerns dissuade you from turning your home smart. Instead, find a way to improve your smart home network’s cyber security.

Making Your Home Smart

So, how do you go about making your home smart? You don’t have to move out, and you don’t have to spend a fortune. If you are on a budget, you should consider turning your home smart in phases.

The most integral thing you need to make your home smart is a voice assistant, such as the Amazon Echo Dot – it will be essential in giving out commands to appliances connected to the smart home network. With a voice assistant in place, you can move on to basics such as smart plugs, which can turn any normal device into a smart device. With time, other appliances, such as the TV, will become connected to the grid. 

Final Word

Every smart home is different, and every home can be smart as long as the home’s appliances are connected to each other via the internet. You, too, deserve a smart home. Now that you know the basics of a smart home, you can start making your home smart by turning basic appliances, such as the bulbs and thermostat, smart. It will not cost you a fortune – if anything, it will save you money and make everyday life at home easier and more entertaining. 

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