Get with the program! The connected home is calling and some of the updates can add serious value.
You’d be forgiven for feeling a bit left behind by the range of futuristic technologies for the home. The past couple of years have seen a surge in the variety of these home updates, and the functionality has also come a long way. Is it time to renovate?
Voice-activated personal assistants
Now here’s one everyone will have heard of, just don’t be confused by the name. You’ll probably recognise these technologies by their more well-known names – Echo (Alexa), Google Home (OK, Google) and Siri. The trend around voice-activated technology is definitely shaking up a lot of industries and, though you’ll find uses for it outside of your home, adding this functionality is sure to streamline your life. By adding one of these units, you can control your lights, music and fan with a voice command, plus, you can have the knowledge base of the internet at your fingertips (so to speak) – ask any question to fire up the search functionality. Plus, it’s easy to install and doesn’t cost the world.
Keyless entry – for your home
Some may feel sceptical about the security level this technology can guarantee, but the capabilities are pretty next level. With the use of a key fob, you’ll be able to avoid the mad scramble for keys and open the front door without an issue. Most locks will connect with your smartphone to let you manage your entry and exit and some will let you allocate different entry permissions to a select group of people. Top-of-the-line models will also use geofencing to monitor when you leave your home and automatically lock the house. Oh, and there are voice-activated options, too (see above).
Home temperature control
Forget the dilemma of way too hot or arctic ice chest with a smart thermostat that can detect when you’re not home and alter the temperature accordingly. Not only will you be welcomed home to a relax-perfect temperature, but you’ll most likely save on your heating and cooling costs – win-win! You’ll be able to control the thermostat from your smartphone but, again, hook it up to your voice-activated personal assistant and tweak your home’s temperature from the comfort of your armchair.
Smart smoke alarm
Gone are the days of the smoke alarm going off when the shower gets too steamy. The new smart smoke alarms pretty much laugh at steam – they are hardwired to detect smoke and carbon monoxide. You can also forget the panic-inducing beeping of older smoke alarms, as smart options, such as the Nest Protect, warn first with a human voice and then escalate the alarm to highlight an emergency. You can also track and silence the alarm via your smartphone.
Water-saving irrigation systems
Let’s step into the garden. Wi-Fi enabled irrigation systems access the weather forecast to determine how much or little water your plants need each day. Not only does this mean that you can skip watering the garden, but you’ll also be able to save (big!) on your water bill.
This is just a taste of the “connected” home, there are also amazing updates to appliances like TVs and fridges. The home of the future/today makes homeowners’ lives incredibly easy – literally from the comfort of your armchair. And these updates aren’t only attractive for current homeowners, but also make very nice deal-sweeteners when it comes time to sell a home. When you consider the upward trend of connected home technologies and the increasing rate with which more and more homes are adapting to the change, it’s clear that making these additions to your home can pay off.
Looking for other ways to update your home? Check out 10 low-cost, low-effort hacks to transform your home.