Technological advances have brought many changes to the way we run our homes, and there are now a multitude of ways in which you can incorporate technology into your everyday life. With so many gadgets and clever systems available, choosing the most useful can be difficult, but there are certain technologies that are proving their worth and becoming more mainstream. If you are contemplating which tech products would make the most difference to your home, here is an overview of some of the most useful additions.
The home assistant, typified by Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, and including Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, haven’t been around that long but have made a huge impact during that time. You tell them what you want, and they do it – or rather, they send a signal to your other devices, so you can for example switch on the television, or ask for some music to be played. These devices have been developed to reply to your requests, answer your questions, and assist in the technical running of your home. No more shouting up the stairs when dinner is ready, or scrabbling to turn the music down when someone rings the doorbell, your home assistant can take care of everything. Sales of home assistants have been successful, proving the popularity of having a device that can respond to your voice commands, and so far, owners have been reporting high levels of satisfaction with the performance of home assistants.
Smartphones are capable of a multitude of functions and have become far more than a simple device for contacting other people. They can perform all manner of magic tricks, like controlling your heating, lighting, and security at your house, which can be very useful if you want the lights on when you arrive home, or to turn the heating up before you get back if it’s become really cold. It’s not only smartphones that have this capability, but any wireless device that you can access can be used to signal your home systems. This ability is undoubtedly useful but has raised concerns about security. Developers of wireless home technologies know that this has to be a primary concern, and have built in very robust security measures to protect against hackers and criminals. You can also add remote viewing to your home security system now, using a camera that shows you when anyone visits your house and enables you to talk to them. The caller won’t know whether you are in or not, but you will have a clear view of them and be able to tell them what you would like them to do. Wireless has quickly overtaken cabling technologies, for example, many new homes a few years ago had wiring for devices like TVs and stereos into every room so that you could listen to music or watch TV wherever you were. All the work that went into the cabling systems in these houses has now been rendered obsolete because it’s been superseded by far simpler and more comprehensive wireless systems.
Many homes now have solar panels, or air and ground source heat pumps providing their energy. Solar technology has undergone rapid expansion and has become far more affordable and efficient over the last few years. The increased efficiency means that most solar rays can now produce significant amounts of surplus energy to be fed back into the grid, and they are becoming a far more routine installation in private dwellings and on public buildings. The design of panels has become more aesthetically pleasing in recent years, too, so they are no longer quite as prominent a feature as they once were. Using energy from renewable sources is something most experts believe we should all be striving for if we want to minimize the effect of climate change. Whether you believe in climate science or not, you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits of renewable energy sources and the efficient ways they now operate, and you could quite possibly make money out of them if you generate enough surplus power.
The robotic technology we have at the beginning of the twenty-first century are light years from the science fiction vision of the Android home help. However, that’s not to say that the advancements in robotics haven’t been particularly advanced. The problem is simply that the human brain is complex, meaning that replicating its functions is proving to be a particularly difficult task. Developing the technology to develop a device that can walk in a similar way to humans took many years and billions of dollars to develop. Overcoming the technical difficulties of getting a machine to learn to become a genuinely artificial intelligence, has proved a daunting task. With the introduction of home assistants, the ability to talk to an artificial device seems to be making headway, but as far as robots in the home are concerned, the main uses are the robotic vacuum cleaner and lawn mower. These devices work in very similar ways, living in a recharging station until they are set to work, when they will methodically cover the prescribed area, leaving you free to do other things.
Adding technology to your home can improve the quality of your life by freeing up your time for more important and interesting things. Not having to vacuum every day, or mow the lawn every week, frees up family time, or can give you the opportunity to pursue your hobbies. That freedom from drudgery is a key benefit of home tech, relieving people of tasks that must be done, but not necessarily enjoyed. The peace of mind that home security tech can provide is also a significant benefit, as we all want to protect our homes from burglary or damage. Saving money and the planet with renewable energy sources is a win-win situation, and having a helper such as Alexa around will reduce your daily stresses and help you run your home more efficiently. Investing in home tech is clearly worthwhile and has many benefits for you and your family.