Your First Smart Home: Devices and Tech You Need
The 1950s and 60s were described by observers as the Golden Age of American Futurism with media spending plenty of time imagining how the world of tomorrow would look. Authors for Popular Mechanics foresaw an “integrated intelligence” in manufacturing, so that machines could all work together in unity. Others predicted the electronic home library, and houses that sit on gigantic pedestals to follow the sun as it moves from East to West. It makes you wonder if anyone could have predicted the smart home of the 21st century.
A Smart Home is a Smart Choice
A smart home is one that is equipped with a host of interconnected devices, products, and gadgets that can be operated remotely using a mobile device or computer. It automates plenty of those menial tasks you do everyday, from starting your coffee in the morning to shutting off your porch lights at night. But other than the novelty and cool factor, what’s the point in making your home ‘smart’?
First, smart homes help you and your family be safer and more secure. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, turning your home into the first line of defense against anything harmful continues to be the most popular reason for any electronic or smart upgrade. Using your mobile phone, keep an eye on your front porch and talk to anyone who approaches. You can even make sure all your doors are locked, or receive notifications if someone tries to break in. Smart homes can also tell you about any unexpected events, like flooding or fire, through constant system monitoring. Smart homes are in essence Internet-supported guard towers: ready to send up a digital smoke signal if any danger is on the horizon.
The second most popular reason for investing in a smart home is energy efficiency and savings. It’s no state secret that for the last decade, electricity prices have been rising across the board, no matter how many LED light bulbs you install. A smart home, however, can help drive down that ‘total owed’ line on your monthly utility bills. Internet-connected devices can help you learn about your energy usage habits over time and offer recommendations to save money. You can receive updates from networked appliances if they have been accidentally left on. Finally your whole home can optimize itself during peak electricity hours so that you aren’t stuck with any nasty charges. The US Environmental Protection Agency has said that smart homes can potentially reduce energy usage by between 10-30%!
The last reason for giving your home a smart makeover is improving comfort and convenience. With a mobile device, you now have complete and utter control over every aspect your house, whether or not you’re there. It’s always the perfect temperature. The television knows exactly what you like to watch and when. You can order Friday night pizza for the family by chatting with your in-home automated assistant. You never have to worry about buying kitchen staples – the kitchen does it for you when you run low. Your lawn is watered at the same time every week, with the system keeping a careful lookout for any drought or water advisory notifications. Simply, you can go about living your life without having to deal with the mundane routines of keeping your home from falling apart.
I’m Sold! What’s the Smart Way to Making My Home Smart?
Like any new trend, it’s really easy to get lost in jingles, jargon, and marketing of it all. Here’s some product types we recommended to create the perfect smart home:
- Thermostat – Thanks to strong consumer demand and the rise of new competitors, the prices for smart thermostats have been steadily decreasing. Enjoy energy optimization based on peak times, auto-scheduling, remote control from mobile devices, connectivity options with other smart home gadgets, voice control, and an easy installation. A smart thermostat will save you time and money.
- Smart Light Bulbs – You’d be surprised at how much of a difference having energy efficient, Wi-Fi connected light bulbs can make to your at home experience. Most will automatically turn on and off at specific times, and some will even message you if they’ve been left on during the day.
- Security System – Smart home security systems are usually a combination of networked locks, alarms, and security cameras. A smart security system will ensure you always know who’s at your front door, whether each access point is locked, and will sent alerts to both you and emergency services if ever it detects a need. And, of course, you can control everything from your smart phone.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector – Taking a classic smoke detector and making it smart isn’t an easy job. Most devices on the market do (or should do) a couple things. Detecting various forms of toxic gases like CO2, fires and other hazards is a given. Sending notifications to your phone while also being able to notify your family of a fire without a Wi-Fi connection are also essential features you should look for in this type of product.
- In-Home Assistant – For those with a little more experience in this area, it might be worth investing in an internet-enabled in-home assistant (although we aren’t quite at the level of Iron Man’s Jarvis quite yet). Technology in this area has made marked improvements over the last few years, and today most offer near seamless voice control and will also double as a Bluetooth speaker.
How the RAVPower FileHub can Make Your Smart Home Dreams Come True
At its core, the smart home is about information sharing – between you, your family, and it. With multiple devices and users, it can be hard to do just that! The RAVPower FileHub is the ultimate file-sharing tool for at home and on-the-go. It is absolutely packed with features including streaming your stored content directly to your mobile device without the need for Wi-Fi or cell services, and the ability to create a secure, Wi-Fi hotspot for your family and friends, among many other smart features.
In the digital age, comfort and convenience isn’t just about temperature controls and timed lights – it’s also about making it easier to access all the information and entertainment you need at any given time. That’s why we’re so excited about the FileHub, your personal, file sharing workhorse. Never again will you have to worry about finding network cables and adapters to trade files. Nor will you need to spend time uploading to a cloud storage or emailing files before others can access them. The FileHub makes sure that everyone in your home is connected to the same information at the same time – no muss, no fuss!
While we don’t yet have flying cars, the smart home of today would be pure science fiction for the thinkers of the 50s and 60s. We can’t wait to see what comes next!
Get RAVPower’s FileHub Plus for 15% off until July 9 with code ZR7H7IK4. Find it here.
Be sure to tell us in the comments how you’ve designed your smart home!