In the last 10 years, technology has made leaps and bounds, especially personalized technology. In many homes around the world, many people now own a smart device—or an AI device, such as an Alexa or a Google Home. It is estimated that by 2025, 77 million homes in the USA will own one.
These devices can and have changed many lives. For instance, they can keep track of your calendar and sync with your smartphone. They can even help you to order food if needed.
Smart device companies are looking to expand their devices to be more integrative, and so, a home run by AI may soon be more popular than many have anticipated, with many operating through systems such as an Alexa. Here is a beginner’s guide to setting up a smart home.
What is a smart home?
With automation on the rise, it can be an easy mistake to assume that you know what a smart home is.
A smart home is a house that contains connected devices. This allows the devices to integrate with each other and perform actions. You may have an Alexa device and a couple of Lenovo 11 inch laptops that connect at present. A smart home goes one step further than a simple connection and works to help with the daily running of a home.
A smart home will need either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to work, as it has to have access to the internet. This will usually run from your laptop.
Together, these devices will allow you to control the temperature and the lighting of your home from work. They can even allow you to see who is at your front door in the case of AI-assisted doorbells.
You can also set up sequencing with your smart home. This will allow the lights to turn on and off at set times, giving the illusion that the house is occupied when there is no one home.
Types of smart devices
Lightbulbs: you can turn on the lights from your seat with a simple command to your AI device; or you can do so using your phone if you are stuck at the office.
Locks: this is an obvious benefit for security, as it is a lock without a key. They often require your phone to unlock the doors—or fingerprint/facial recognition.
Baby monitor: this is a scale-up from the standard audio monitor. It works like a camera, which can be turned on or off with a vocal command.
Vacuum: the rise of the smart vacuum has helped thousands to save time. Like the lights, you can set your smart vacuum to hoover your home at a set time, meaning you don’t have to worry about vacuuming ever again!
Coffee-maker: a boon if you work night shifts or have to get up early—your coffee maker can be synced with your phone alarm to turn on and make you a cup of coffee.
Advantages of a smart home
A smart home can seem like a huge leap forward for many. However, the technology behind it is simple. And of course, you don’t have to set up any devices that you don’t want or need. As with all kinds of technology, there are advantages and disadvantages; but for many people, there are more advantages than disadvantages to setting up a smart home:
Convenience: a key benefit of a smart home is its convenience. Smart homes allow you to automate many tasks, meaning you don’t have to worry about daily routines. This allows you to spend more time with your family. They can also offer convenience for people who may be unable to perform many household tasks.
Customization: as mentioned previously, never set up more devices than you are happy with, and remember that a smart home can allow you to add a touch of personalization to your home. With the lighting, for example, you can choose to have a set color and a set brightness.
Security: this is a big one. A smart home can help to make your home safer. If you have an automated doorbell, this can make a visual recording of anyone who comes to your home, and will allow you to see them from your smartphone. You can also set up smart cameras around your property, which can turn on with motion or at set times—perfect if you want to see what is going on if you are not at home.
Greener homes: there has been a huge push towards lower energy usage, and if you are warming your home when you aren’t there, this wastes both energy and money. A smart home can allow you to start heating (or cooling) your home around 5 minutes before you arrive. These devices can also help you keep track of your energy usage, allowing you to make cut-backs when required.
Putting it all together
You may have decided that you want a smart home, but with there being so many devices that you can choose from it can be somewhat daunting.
Furthermore, there is nothing worse than buying two expensive items only to find out that they don’t support each other. The first step is to plan what you want your smart home to do. Do you want devices that can save money? Or are you looking for a system that will offer security?
Make a list of your requirements and then begin researching the items. Most devices will have the items that they support listed on their websites.
Next, plan where you want to put the items. You will want them to be near a power outlet. If they aren’t, you will need to be able to run cables safely to support them.
Finally, begin setting it all up. Look online or in the manuals to set up the schedules that you want them to operate on. Can two items sync simultaneously? Or are there extra items needed? Once you have a plan for your smart home, you can make the purchases and start living in a simpler, automated home.