The smart home of today, and of the future: what you need to know

Grey smart speaker on white window ledge

Smart homes are no longer just a futuristic concept, or exclusively for tech fanatics. Many of us are slowly integrating smart elements into our homes, whether that’s with a speaker system like Sonos, or a thermostatic device such as Nest.

IKEA has even recently established a dedicated smart home business unit, so the company can work on digitising their products and furnishings.

If you’re not sure how smart technology can benefit you, or if you’d like to make your home smarter, here’s what you need to know.

Older couple operating home tech from a phone

You don’t need to be tech-mad to use it

In fact, a lot of technology – whether voice activated or controlled via an app – is helping to transform the way of life for older people, or people with physical disabilities.

Smart technology is designed to make life easier and safer through the use of a central control unit connected to the internet. For example, you can set up and control lighting, automate blinds to open or close at particular times, or keep an eye on home security cameras – all from your smartphone. You can keep track of your wellbeing with devices connected to a health app or create voice or sound activated commands specific to your home.

If you need a professional to help you install a specific smart home device or product, you can find a Digital Home Network specialist by heading to our specialist services page.

Orange smart heating thermostat

Smart technology can save you money

There are a lot of smart home improvements you can make, and technology you can install, to reduce your energy use and long term spending. If you’re looking for ways to help you do both, we have specific articles with more information.

To learn how smart home improvements can save you money, head here.

For our advice on technology to help you save energy in your home, head here.

Or to find out if your boiler is efficient and whether you could save money on your energy bills, head here.

Girl on sofa operating a robot vacuum cleaner

The Internet of Things is only just getting started

In the future, technology will be cheaper, better and faster. It won’t be long until the Internet of Things (all the devices and products we use that are connected to the internet) become an essential part of life – just like electricity, refrigeration and email.

Wireless charging and power will be a major difference between now and the near future. We’ll be able to ditch the cables to live more seamlessly and reduce waste from electronic products.

There will be significant improvements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and robotics. Most homes are likely to have a robot of some kind – it could be in the current form of a wireless vacuum cleaner, or something more futuristic, such as a robotic arm that could cook you a meal in time for your arrival home.

We’re already using AI in the form of Apple’s Siri and Google’s Alexa, but combined with robotics, sensors and data collected in the home, we can see the potential for a living space that’s more intelligent, personable and helpful. For example, sensors built into mirrors and toilets that could scan us for illnesses, and robots that could remind us to take prescribed medicine.

Augmented Reality is another fast developing technology. Home owners can already experiment with AR apps to visualise how a renovation or new piece of furniture could look, saving time and money on trips to the shop. In the future it will become easier to use this technology, it could also be used to help sell and design property.

It’s becoming easy to see where our homes are headed, but to read more on what you can do today, check out our article, How the latest home tech can fit in your home.

Find a Digital Home Network specialist now by heading to our specialist services page.

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