History is riddled with technological gadgets and services whose presence in the marketplace was short lived. Laser disc players, zip drives, America Online. The list is long, and it goes back many years. But that’s just the nature of living in a world driven by technology, where concepts and designs are constantly changing.
Sometimes a new device hits the market—such as the iPod—that is obviously a game changer and here to stay. Most of the time, however, people are skeptical when new technology is introduced. Will it fall by the wayside like so many other ideas have done? Will it be akin to throwing money away?
The idea of smart homes is one of the most compelling ideas (or collection of ideas) to come out of the tech world in recent years. Industry pundits have been predicting for years that the internet would eventually permeate more and more aspects of everyday life, finally resulting in an “internet of things” which can be used to control virtually every aspect of home living.
This internet of things has yet to be able to prepare meals for you at the touch of a button; we haven’t quite reached the level of the Jetsons. But we’re not far off. Some of the most important features of the home, including climate control, cameras, security and lighting, can already be controlled through smart technology. Other amenities and features have also arrived, such as the ability to run a bath or adjust the oven temperature from your smartphone.
But will all of this really take off? Or will the smart home go the way of the laser disc player? Is there any way to know for sure during these early stages?
There are no guarantees in technology, but if market experts are to be believed, certain aspects of smart home technology are indeed a slam dunk. Climate control is probably the best example. Smart thermostats give you wireless control over your home’s HVAC system from anywhere in the world. No more wondering if you forget to turn off the furnace or air conditioner. No more arriving home to a chilly or stuffy house. And smart thermostats also have the capability to learn your heating and cooling patterns on their own. The result is a smarter use of energy, lower monthly energy bills, and greater comfort in the home.
Security, CCTV and lighting are also good examples of smart home technology that’s here to stay. A robust, encrypted video feed that can be monitored globally from your favorite digital device is a quantum leap in home monitoring and security. Smart lights and entertainment systems can turn on automatically when you unlock the door. Smart security systems can detect movement, automatically shine lights, and send notifications when something is up.
One way to tell which aspects of smart technology are a good bet, and which aspects may be passing trends, is to look at the products and services on offer from smart home specialists. These are people who know the industry and where it’s headed, and they can be a valuable source of knowledge for any homeowner looking to make the most of their smart home investments and projects.