Modern smart technologies have given us all a way to connect with one another and the world at large, from anywhere, anytime. With the touch of a button — or several — you’re tapped in, connected and even socially available within the context of the internet.
Now, combined with smart home and IoT technologies we can remain synced up with not just the world at large, but our homes and residences too. Smart home security cameras, for instance, allow you to view a live feed even while you’re away. You could be on vacation hundreds of miles away from your home and still see what’s happening inside.
At this point, smart home technology in general needs no introduction. If you’ve never heard of it before then surely you’ve been living under a deep, deep rock. It’s seemingly everywhere, and for good reason.
Believe it or not, that fact actually extends to new and luxury real estate. As a result of several studies, it’s become clear that renters are willing to spend almost 20% more a month on apartments that include smart home technology. And if they want the tech in their apartments and rentals, you can bet they want it in homes.
The most lucrative form of this technology appears as AI and voice-enabled assistants. What with the likes of Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa (Amazon Echo) the average user’s “smart” experience can be streamlined.
As long as you have an Amazon Echo device in your home you can bark orders at Alexa to play music, call out news and weather updates, order new products online and much more. These voice assistants also interface and sync up with additional technologies such as smart light bulbs, appliances and even TVs and home entertainment systems.
Knowing all this, the most relevant question transforms from “should you buy the tech” to “which ones are the best to have?” Indeed, what technologies and devices are the best to have in your modern home? What should you have installed in a new residence or property?
1. Smart Garage Door Opener
One of the most common forms of smart home technology happens to relate to your garage. You’ll never truly appreciate what it’s like having a smart system until you take the plunge.
The obvious feature is that you can open and close your garage door — and monitor activity — from a mobile device. You can also set the garage door to open when you’re close to home, within a certain proximity. Don’t worry, if the internet is down it will still function as a conventional door opener, accessed through an exclusive in-car remote or keypad.
2. Smart Door Lock
Similar to the garage door opener, a smart lock is designed to replace the age-old deadbolt on your front door. You can always install it on a side or back door too, if that’s your prerogative.
This allows you monitor activity from your mobile device, like when your kids get home from school while you’re still at work. You can also lock and unlock the door remotely which makes for some incredibly useful scenarios. Have an expensive package being delivered to your doorstep and don’t want to leave it out? No problem, you can unlock the door for the courier and have them drop it inside, then lock the door behind them.
When paired with something like a smart video doorbell, you can both monitor and control access to your home from anywhere.
3. Smart Home Hub or Voice Assistant
With a variety of smart home devices it starts to get a little crazy trying to manage all the different devices from separate apps and services. If you plan your entire system around a hub or central device, you can make sure everything syncs up together. Many of the voice assistants allow this out of the box. Alexa and Google Assistant (Google Home), for instance, can control smart bulbs, locks, audio and media equipment and much more.
Choosing your tech through ecosystems like Samsung SmartThings, Wink, or Apple HomeKit can help ensure everything works together.
4. Smart Security Equipment
In the past, installing a security system meant incurring inordinate subscription fees through a company like ADT or Brinks. That’s no longer the case at all. You can still do that if you prefer to have a professional monitoring service at your disposal. But you can also build your own security system, from scratch, using any number of devices and ecosystems.
Install a smart video doorbell to watch your front door. Mount a Wi-Fi enabled cam in your foyer or on your back patio to get a better view. Combine the August smart lock with the compatible keypad to allow friends and family access even when you’re not home.
There’s so much you can do with what’s available, the possibilities are essentially limitless.
5. Smart Home Cleaners
Then we have smart home cleaners or automated maintenance technologies. These are things like smart robotic vacuums and mops, and similar devices. iRobot Roomba models are the obvious example here, and one that most people know. However, there are a ton of smart robotic vacuums, especially those with remote and mobile compatibility support.
There are even smart window cleaners that will ensure the window or glass surfaces remain clear and smudge free. Although, these are meant to be used on a single area or glass surface — they don’t travel from window to window unless you move them manually.
6. Smart Maintenance
IoT sensors are already being introduced to keep an eye on owned properties. For example smart home thermostats can help manage air and cooling. Then there are smart irrigation systems to help manage the watering of grass and plants around the home. Leak sensors will let you know if there’s a major water leak somewhere.
To be honest, we’re only scratching the surface currently as to how this technology will be used. Driverless vehicles, for instance, use similar sensors to navigate roadways and avoid pedestrians — with no input from human drivers.
Ultimate Luxury and Convenience
In the near future, new homes and luxury residences will be offered with such technology built-in. Imagine a realtor handing you a code or activation key instead of a physical key to your home — which you use to open the smart lock.
By 2022, more than 56 percent of homes will include smart technology within. It won’t be long before the setup is commonplace and the exception is homes without such devices instead of those with them.