Blog Post Monday 21 November 2016
Technology is reaching some exciting heights. Cars can now drive themselves, an umbrella can let you know not to forget it, and hoverboards are no longer just in movies. In the home, there are tonnes of new technologies which are changing the way we live. You can now turn the lights off and the music up from the couch, or let your mates in the front door while you are out the back.
Looking to take advantage of this technology and build a smart home? Here are a few things you could do.
Want your lights to turn themselves on before you arrive home late at night? Or do you want to open your front door as you approach? You can do either with smart tools that streamline your climate control, your door locks, and your lights. Many of these come with an intuitive touch-screen interface that gives you customised control. This allows you to automate tasks for added convenience and security.
After you have sorted out the basics of climate control and lighting, you may want to consider adding smart appliances such as fridges, washing machines and dishwashers. Not only will you be able to control when and how you use them, but some models also have the ability to make automated decisions based on your past usage, and collect and monitor data to give you the information you need to really put you in control.
Automated entertainment systems make it really easy to have music wherever you are. Gone are the wires and cables of yesteryear, and there’s no need for your CD and DVD collection to take over an entire wall in your house. Now you can simply stream your media from your online library, so that you can listen or watch your favourites whenever and wherever you like. With a smart audio system, you’ll not only be able to program your entertainment choices, but you can automatically pause or mute your system if someone rings your doorbell or you receive a phone call.
Apps allow you to control your smart systems at your convenience, whether you want to control your lighting with your smartphone or tablet, or you need to change channels on your TV. Applications such as Clipsal SILC, allow you to control individual groups of lights or groups of lights.
You don’t necessarily have to revamp the electrics in your house to build a smart home. Automated products such as motion sensors, timers, dimmers and sunset switches can give you the control you need for your everyday electrical items.
That’s right: you can make your coffee maker start up the moment it recognises when you’re awake by talking to your fitness monitor - all without you lifting a finger.
One way to ensure that your smart home is fully integrated is to stick to products from one brand so that they can ‘talk’ to each other. For example, Samsung produce a range of appliances that can all be controlled from their Smart Home app.
You’ll need a high quality router to ensure that you get a strong signal throughout your home so that everything can connect and update when needed. Some experts advise that you don’t try to make your system completely wireless, but install Ethernet connections throughout your house wherever possible to improve reliability.
Building a smart home is all about incorporating the products that work for you, and which make your life easier. Don’t get too bogged down in the latest fads and trends - think about what you want to invest in, and what will impact your life positively everyday. Also keep in mind that many smart products don’t actually work here yet. As many products have been developed for the American market, you may find that they don’t have the same functionality here in Australia.