Blog Post Thursday 16 August 2018
Electricity is essential in our lives, so it's important to know which technology tools are available to help you manage your power costs. Here are some awesome smart home technologies to be aware of:
You've probably already heard about smart thermostats, but models can vary in the degree of automation offered. Introduced to the market in 2011, the Nest Learning Thermostat learns your habits over time and will automatically adjust the temperature in your house based on your schedule and lifestyle. If you're away from home or in bed, it'll turn down the temperature to save more energy. The Nest Learning Thermostat will consider the weather forecast and adjust for warmth during colder weather and coolness during the hotter days.
Other models incorporate GPS technology through your phone to detect when you're away from the home and due back soon. As you depart from work, it can adjust the temperature to make sure it's nice and cosy when you arrive home.
So your smart thermostat can cool down your home in summer, but what about windows that know when it gets too hot? Raven Window is a smart-window technology that's deceptively simple. It features a thermochromic filter, applied to the inside of the glass pane, which activates when the exterior glass hits a certain temperature. The windows shift to a tinted state to block solar heat from entering your home.
This not only reduces glare; it can prevent UV degradation and exposure to your furniture and interiors. Since it helps your house stay at a cooler temperature, you'll save on energy costs too. When it's a cool day, the Raven Window stays clear and lets the sun in.
White goods like fridges and washing machines are also available as smart models. The latest smart fridges can track your diet, while the latest-generation smart washing machines washes heavily loads quickly while saving you energy. These smart-grid ready appliances are Wi-Fi enabled and can be set to operate only during off-peak times.
Smart lighting systems allows residents to automate lights on or off for energy savings, but they're also useful in other ways. Home-automation-lighting systems allow you to turn lights on and off when you're away from the home, at work or on holiday. This can enhance security by making it look like someone's home - when you're thousands of miles away. Using an app on your smartphone, you can control all the lights in your house.
Voice-activated virtual assistants like Amazon Echo and Alexa can be used to control the smart devices in your house. You can use it to manage your Nest thermostat as well as appliances. These VAs can play your music, check things like measurement conversions, and even order a Uber ride.
Smart power switches like Elgato Eve Energy can be used to turn devices off and on remotely, when you're away from the room or the house. You can also use them to track energy consumption and calculate how much running your toaster, fan, or washing machine has cost you.
If you have a fur baby you want to keep track of while you're out shopping for a few hours, a smart pet camera could be your best option. Smart pet cameras like Furbo allows you to see what your dog or cat is up to (when they're in front of the camera). You can talk to and hear your pet through the inbuilt microphone and speak. Furbo has a special feature that allows you to fill it up with treats. When you're out of the house, you can use your app to eject the treat for your dog or cat to enjoy.
Smart self-operating vacuum cleaners have been available for a number of years, but the latest-generation models are impressive, truly smart machines. For example, Dyson's 360 Eye is small and compact yet powerful. Once it's charged, you can set it free to roam your home, or you can schedule a time, via the app, for it to start cleaning.
The vacuum cleaner is smart enough to navigate itself away if it gets stuck. And while it's suction power is not as high as a standard vacuum cleaner, it's still highly effective. Best of all, you don't have to do any grunt work to have your flooring thoroughly vacuumed.
Some of the smart home technologies available on the market seem futuristic or fanciful, but a lot of them offer practical value and convenience. Additionally, they can provide energy-saving value, so it might be worth your while to consider whether you could benefit from smart thermostats, smart windows, or any of these smart home technologies.