Maybe you’ve set your alarm to simultaneously wake you and notify your coffee machine to start making espresso; perhaps you control the portions of food released into your pet’s bowl from the office via an app.
You might talk to your home assistant and ask it to remind you of the day’s appointments, or tell your TV to play The Crown on Netflix.
Many of us have already bought into this: the average Australian home has 14 connected devices
. They entertain us and our families, keep our homes clean, do our errands and so much more.
The potential for practicality
It’s not just the novelty of getting things done without lifting a finger that makes the technology exciting; there are some incredibly practical improvements smart homes can make.
Chief among these, for many of us, is energy efficiency.
For example, with the right device you can use your smartphone to tell your home air conditioner to turn on when you leave the office on a hot day or turn off an hour after you’ve gone to bed (for example, the Sensibo Smart Air Conditioning Controller
, currently available from our Online Store
). Other smart devices allow you to control your home lighting with your smartphone, so you can adjust the brightness settings depending on what you’re doing or the time of day.
Even more importantly, smart technology can help you keep your loved ones safe. You can use it to track the activity levels of an elderly family member, for example, so you know to call and check on them if they stop moving unexpectedly. Home security can be tighter than ever, with cameras, motion sensors and smoke detectors keeping your home security at your fingertips at all times, no matter where you are.
Keeping things private
One of the possible downsides to smart homes – as with most current technology, and depending on how you look at it – is data collection.
On the one hand, your devices are designed to become more efficient as they learn more about you and your habits; on the other, those improvements can come with privacy as their price tag.
The good news is you get to choose how ‘smart’ you want your home to be and, in the case of many entertainment systems and smart phones, you may have the option to disable data sharing so you don’t become the product.
While the full potential of smart homes may currently be seen as a trend taken up by those with extremely busy lives and a love of technology, it’s likely you already own more smart devices than you realise, gently easing you into such technology becoming the norm.