Homes have come a long way from being the roofs over our heads to becoming palaces of customizability, convenience, and automation. They have become smarter, powered by an endless stream of gadgets and products that offer improvements ranging from cosmetics to functionality. And we’re seeing just the beginning of it — the smart home market is expected to grow at an annual rate of over 13%, reaching the value of around $137 billion by 2023.
It’s safe to say that smart homes are trending. And while there are homes that are being built to be smart, people don’t have to buy a new home if they want to experience all the greatness home tech can offer. Older homes can be smartened up in no time, with just a few, carefully chosen gadgets.
One of the drivers of the smart home market’s growth is the smart security segment, with a yearly growth rate of 22%. It serves to show that smart homes are not only about fun and games — they are also about keeping families safe and protecting their properties.
Where to start with smartening up your home security? Maybe at the door. The things you used to be able to see only in the movies just a decade ago, like doors that are unlocked using voice recognition, facial recognition, an iris or a fingerprint scan, can now be found in homes. Biometric locks are usually on the more expensive end of the smart security products spectrum, but if you really want your locks to be smart, you can still choose various keyless options that work with your smartphone.
Let’s not forget that you can also monitor your home and your property like it’s nobody’s business with smart cameras. You can get wireless cameras packed with sensors and features and control them using your smartphone. These might come in especially handy if you want to monitor your kids or elders while you’re off doing something else.
Smarter Lighting and Climate
Imagine if your home would automatically dim the lights and lower the temperature as you’re about to go to bed, and then open the blinds and set the temperature just right as you’re about to start a new day. That’s what today’s smart lighting and climate control is all about — learning about your behavior and taking care of these trivial tasks for you.
Arguably the best known smart thermometer, Nest is a great example of how smart gadgets can be set up quickly, used for a while, and then left on their own to just do their thing while you do yours. It will learn from your behavior, and then adjust the temperature in your home automatically.
With smart blinds, you can set up what level of outside light you want during different times of day. You can also pick among several different smart light options, depending on how much money you’re willing to spend. Smart lights are more than just smart light bulbs — they are whole systems with a centralized hub that lets you program and control the lighting in your home from a single spot.
If you’re up for some DIY, you can make your own smart mirror and access all the information you need to start your day while you’re brushing your teeth in the morning. But you don’t have to be into doing it yourself for smart appliances, because almost every single thing you have in your home probably has a smart version of it.
If you don’t want to mop your floors, you can invest in a robot that will do it for you. You can buy smart power strips, smart coffee markers, smart air purifiers, and even smart ovens. Every room in your home, from your kitchen to your bathroom can be outfitted with smart appliances. And if you think your home can use even more brain power, you can always get some industrial panel PCs from SuperLogics and have a fully functional computer with a touch screen installed into every wall in your home. Or at least in the ones where in-wall computers can actually do you some good.
Of course, a smartened up home doesn’t come without its drawbacks, the price tag being the most obvious one. As a smart home owner, or owner of a home filled with smart devices, you will have to make your home as difficult as possible to hack. So no more leaving your Wi-Fi network open, no more using the WEP protocol, and no more using a single Wi-Fi network either. It’s not easy to be smart, but it’s worth it.