We've all heard the term 'smart' home being thrown around at one stage or another but what does it really mean? Smart homes are designed, using state-of-the-art wireless technology, to make our lives even easier by letting us turn the heating on remotely, having a fridge order our weekly grocery shop, and letting you know who's arrived and left the house plus which car they took.
Virtual Kitchen Assistants--
Earlier generations of apps and features that smart technology uses originated because of women who didn't have enough time to look after the house, or who badly needed some extra help in the kitchen. This lead to the creation of dishwashers, smart fridges, and self-cooking kitchen gadgets such as popcorn makers, slow cooking ovens, waffle irons, and coffee machines. Other household chores have also become easier with devices such as quick polish brooms and robotics led vacuums. There are a host of other things smart homes will probably be tasked with in the future. However, right now you're able to turn on, and off your oven via your phone, ask your washing machine if there's a full load ready to be washed, or how long the last cycle was and how much water it consumed. You can even talk to your fridge via an app that lets it check what you're running low on, adding those items to a shopping list, or using a pre-saved credit card to order groceries for you while checking the ice dispenser is working properly.
Keeping Your Kids Safe--
Smart homes don't just control appliances they also help you monitor your children when you can't be there. For instance, an intelligent baby monitor includes a wireless parent unit, sends you updates on your child's sleep patterns and records how often you've fed, bathed, and changed them. It'll also tell you information about their immediate environment such as what the temperature is, so you can remotely adjust the thermostat or test the air conditioner to see if you need to call an AC repair service. You can watch a live feed of your baby from anywhere in the house or garden, and while if you're at work when she's being looked after by someone else you can log in and say hello to her all without leaving your desk. A led light indicator will flash if the monitor picks up crying, or loud sounds so even if you have the TV on or are talking, you'll still be alerted to the fact your baby needs you. You can also control the camera remotely, zooming in, tilting, and even rotating the lens 360 degrees to be able to see what they might be looking at or if someone's entered the room.
Intelligent User-Friendly Plugs--
Smart plugs are designed with the user's needs in mind so if you've forgotten to turn a light off when leaving the house, simply take out your smartphone and switch it off remotely. You can also switch plugs on, turn them into charging stations for lots of devices and if you know when you'll be home, set the kettle to pre-boil thanks to being able to operate small appliances via the plug directly from your smartphone.