I came into this industry with no background or whatsoever with smart homes. In fact, smart homes was totally out of the question for me. I had my preconceived notions about it - that it was for millennials, the rich and the techies. People like me who knew nothing about IoT (Internet of Things) or had no disposable incomes could simply swipe the thought away like how I get swiped mercilessly on Tinder.
Having been in this industry for just 2 months, my mind has been completely blown by the new definition of smart homes. Smart homes are not just for the techies or enthusiasts - they’re for people (like you and me) who just wants to experience the advent of technology without getting frustrated about not getting it.
To start off, IoT is simply a network of devices with sensors, electronics, network connectivity and software which enable these devices to collect and exchange data. It makes connectivity between these devices possible, and this is the crux of smart homes.
Smart homes are for everyone. And it’s easy to get acquainted. Here’s 3 things to know about Smart Homes:
1. Utility Monitoring
This is when data becomes really useful to you as an individual, or as a household. Thanks to smart meters and/or smart plugs, you’re able to know how much energy your entire house and specific appliances respectively consume.
And how exactly does it “smarten” up your home? Simple - it gives you real-time information on how much you have consumed and spent on energy so far. Some also allows you to set your monthly budget cycles and budget values for the month.
It works well for me since I actually do take notice of budgets and my usage at every step of the way. What’s even more amazing is the fact that I get automatic alert notifications when I’ve used up 50% of my water budget - and this gets me thinking - I should really get to powder-bathing sometime.
2. The Smart Aircon
Let’s admit it - as much as we want to save the polar bears and ice caps from melting, we’re guilty of using our aircons like there’s no tomorrow. Our hot and humid weather drives me mad, and in return, I get even madder when I see my electricity bill.
But wait - there must be a way to combat this, right? And there is. Trust me my dear reader- I’m equally as enlightened as you are right now.
Smart thermostats are springing up, and some have been in the market for years. Primarily - there are a few core functions - remote controlling (off/on) , adjustment of temperature, mode and fan speeds. You can perform these functions from its app on the smartphone without having to search or reach for the remote - ever.
To experience such magic, plug the smart thermostat into your powerpoint, preferably in the line of sight with the aircon. They work hand in hand with their respective hubs (they’re like the brain of the house). You’ll need to plug the hub in your house as well to complete the magic, and voila! Bob’s your uncle!
3. The Smart Hub
As of now, there are many hubs that only connects to their own devices. Assuming you have device A and device B, you will require Hub A and Hub B to connect respectively. Hub A can’t connect to Device B, and vice versa. This becomes a tremendous issue, because it just doesn’t make any sense to have so many hubs in your house and so many apps that only control one thing.
So if I’m thinking what you’re thinking, you’d be wondering why not have a hub that connects to everything? Well my dear reader, spot on! This is exactly why it’s such an exciting time to be feeling alive right now.
There are hubs and there will be hubs that openly connects with other smart devices regardless of brands. Of course, to achieve total integration with any smart device is unattainable at the moment, but as long as the hub operates on the same API of the device - or the same language - it’s good to go!
From one hub, it can connect and talk with every smart device in your room. In return, you can control everything from your fingertips. That’s real smartness there, and integration. This works for me anytime, because convenience is truly king when it comes to smart homes.
Well there you have it. Next time someone starts talking about smart homes, you actually have something to remember about. :)