The Disney Channel once created a movie with Katey Sagal about a smart house that featured gadgets far beyond current technology. Once a low-budget movie, new technological advances have actually created home devices that can turn an average house into a real smart home. Here are seven ways to make your home technology work smarter. 1. Control Your House
Internet-powered home control programs are becoming increasingly common with innovative companies like SmartThings.com. Plug-in wall sensors, known as “Things,” can be programmed to run almost any appliance, electronic or other device in your house. From the thermostat to lights to garage doors to washing machines to sprinkler systems, these systems can be turned on with the click of a button on a mobile device, tablet or computer.
SmartThings began through a Kickstarter campaign, and with their popularity, companies like A&T have begun to promote the same idea.
2. Secure Door Locks
New updates have made something as simple as your door lock or bolt into a truly exciting piece of technology. A handful of companies are creating keyless door locks controlled via Bluetooth, over a home’s wireless network, or remotely from a smartphone.
Different home locks have unique features such as a built-in camera that sends real-time pictures to the homeowner of anyone who stops by the home. Additionally, it can be programmed to let in whomever the homeowner dictates such as:
•A cleaning service
•Contractor or repairman
•Even kids home from school
3. Total Home Security
Home security has changed significantly over the past 20 years. Many companies, like HomeSecurity911.com, sell home security systems that run over wired or wireless networks. Most home security systems include security sensors, cameras, window sensors, water or flood sensors, alarms triggered by breaking glass, and smoke and carbon monoxide sensors.
While traditional wall panels can operate these security systems, these advanced systems can also be operated from computers, phones, or tablets inside of a home or remotely.
4. Lighting Management
While home automation systems have already begun using Wi-Fi to control home lighting, Philips Lighting took it a step further and created Hue, a connected light bulb. These LED technology bulbs are programmable to produce different light colors for different functions.
Homeowners can set their lights to flash or change colors to signal when it is time for the kids to go to bed, or when something is done in the oven. The app also uses GPS, or location awareness, so the lights can be turned on and off remotely.
5. The Thermostat and the Internet
Internet-enabled models have kicked programmable thermostats up to a new level. Because they are connected via Wi-Fi, the homeowner’s typical heating and cooling pattern is tracked, and it makes suggestions for energy-efficient options.
From any Internet-connected device, thermostat temperature can be changed. And with the energy-efficient options, homeowners have saved close to $20 a month.
6. Smart Refrigerators
While it won’t cook dinner for you yet, new Internet-enabled refrigerators have LCD digital displays with a built-in calendar to keep track of expiration dates on food and the Epicurious recipe app to help you decide what to make. Some also have built-in speakers that connect with Pandora so that you can whistle while you cook.
7. Pool Safety
The Seal Swim Monitoring and Drowning Detection System is a plastic band or necklace that kids and adults can wear while swimming to alert a parent or lifeguard if they begin to have trouble in the water. With a unique electronic signature, these bands continually report a swimmer’s status to a parent’s band and can simultaneously monitor multiple swimmers.
These new home features make owning a home much safer, cheaper, and easier. So it might be time to introduce your home to 21st century technology.
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