Sync Your Life with Smart Home Technology
If you had to choose one keyword to define life in 2017 it might be efficiency. As a culture, we are hyper-focused on being efficient in everything we do; we order groceries online to save ourselves an hour-long trip to the supermarket, we employ work messaging applications, like Slack, to ensure a constant flow of communications, share carpooling services, and use mobile applications to pay for everything from rent to Sunday brunch. Efficiency is the name of the game, and those who aren’t striving to streamline their lives risk falling behind. Automation no longer just applies to work and transportation, it is now an increasingly important aspect of home life.
Smart homes, once deemed a back to the future-like fantasy are now a reality. From refrigerators that remind us when we’re running low on milk to thermometers that maintain optimal room temperatures, our homes have the potential to think, plan, and manage select daily tasks – ultimately giving us more time to spend relaxing and entertaining. Now just to be clear, smart home technology does not mean robotic butlers, self-cleaning carpets, or kitchens that cook and (gasp!) clean for you.
Although there are likely people working to make those fantasies a reality, smart home technology really just refers to automated tools and appliances that streamline household management. The beautiful thing about incorporating smart technology under our roofs is that it is not an all-or-nothing endeavor; many homeowners are gradually adding smart technology into their living spaces one-by-one, picking and choosing based on the needs and necessities dictated by their unique daily lives.
Over the past several years, home automation technology has evolved beyond novel status. Today, almost every major tech company is clamoring to bring the most innovative and useful products to homeowners; Apple Home, Google Home, and Amazon’s Echo are among the product lines aimed at transforming home environments. If the 2016 Holiday season serves as any indication, people are quickly growing accustomed to the idea of incorporating automated technology into their home environments; over the holiday season Amazon sold millions of Echo products, making the technology the global retailer’s best-selling holiday product. And this is likely just the beginning as A 2017 report published by Business Insider Intelligence forecasts a $4.8 trillion investment in Internet of Things technology between 2016 and 2021.
So what are the top home automation trends you should consider bringing under your roof this year? Here are just a few of our favorites.
Surveillance – Since the beginning of the Internet of Things wave, home security proficiency has always been a priority. Today, it’s almost more uncommon to meet someone who has not purchased a connected device in the name of home security, than to know someone who has. Nest, an early surveillance pioneer, now produces an array of products to monitor every potential internal or external threat – from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, to indoor and outdoor security cameras. Adding in smart security technology is a great way to start exploring the smarthome landscape.
Cooking – We’re always looking for ways to motivate us to cook healthy meals rather than order out for every meal. Thanks to home automation advances, some of the pain points of cooking and grocery shopping are now easier to manage than ever. From recipe generators to shopping list automaters, connected kitchen technology can now be applied to help you monitor and make the most use of the ingredients sitting in your refrigerator. Through image recognition software, and remote cooking appliance controls, homeowners can feasibly plan and start dinner before they even set foot in their kitchen at the end of the day. Not only could these advances be game-changers in the healthy eating and meal planning departments, but they also have the potential to minimize food waste.
In addition to simply making your life easier, incorporating smart home technology into your living space may also help you save money. Connect Devices can help you automate and control appliances from afar, which saves you from overrunning and running up your electric bill. Perhaps your home doesn’t have central air and you rely on air conditioning units throughout the summer months; today’s devices allow you to control the temperature and usage when you’re away from the home so that you don’t end up using excess energy. According to the Department of Energy, U.S. families spend an average of $2,200 a year on energy bills. Thanks to recent advances in home technology, you have the opportunity to lower your energy bills once and for all and put that money toward other areas of home improvement.
These advanced add-ons are great ways to increase the efficiency of your daily life and update your surroundings without investing too much money and energy in complete overhauls or renovations.