Making Your Home Smart

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It seems as though we have reached a new age in technology. Our houses are no longer just bricks but they now have brains too!

So what is a smart home?

These days, everyone is connected. It would seem though that these connections are now spanning further than just people and in fact, we can now connect with our belongings, inside and outside of our homes. Gone are the day of remembering you'd left the heating on and just having to suck it up because you're now at the office. Oh no, now you can simply adjust your thermostat with a few taps on your smart phone. Same goes for when you want the kettle to be boiled for your arrival home...

Thermostats and Meters

Remote thermostats are not something overly new. For a while now you could have your thermosat in a different room than your boiler and via a wireless connection the two would communicate to keep your home the optimal temperature. Now though, things have taken another leap. You may have heard that the government & energy supplier are now rolling out smart meters, which aim to allow you to monitor your energy usage (and in turn, reduce it) but where smart thermostats vary is in their ability to be controlled out of the house, by use of a smart-phone app. No more having to come home to a freezing cold house!

Remote Lighting

Similar to remote thermostats, remote lighting can also be controlled with a smart-phone app (and not clapping your hands!). But where's the need for that? There is the ease of it of course; not having to get out your bed to turn off the light when you're already tucked up. There's also the security it offers. Timer-switches are something people have often used for when they know they won't be home for a period of time, such as on holiday. The lights being turned on creates the illusion of someone being home and in turn, deters opportunists who might target empty homes. Now you no longer need to remember to reset the correct timings on your lighting and hope it all goes to plan; you can simply bring up your app and pop the lights on & off, whenever you please. Remote lighting also takes a new level of fun when you get colour-changing light bulbs. Talk about ambiance!

CCTV

Again, CCTV is nothing new. But like most things, technology has changed the way in which we use them massively. CCTV does of course offer protection to your house and can be used as evidence should the worst happen but now it can be used - once again - with the help of a smart-phone app. This lets you monitor your home whilst you are away, allowing you to pick up on anything out of the ordinary and take action accordingly. Not only this but you can now have a small camera placed by your door bell to allow you to see who is at your door, both whilst you are inside and away from home. Also a great way to sheild yourself from cold callers, or those unannounced visits from family!

Voice Command

You've probably seen the adverts by now of the people in their homes asking an invisible 'being' to play a certain song or answer a question for them, before a computerised voice responds to them. There's even a kettle (the appropriately named 'Appkettle' for those of you who are curious) that you can connect to these devices and apps so you no longer need to get up and switch your kettle on - although you'll still of course need to fill it with water... These voice controlled devices work great with the actor in the advert, with a non-existent accent, but it remains to be seen if Cortana (Google's lady of choice) or Alexa (Amazon's lady of choice) would be able to comprehend an Edinburgh accent!

 


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