An automated home used to only be present in science fiction novels and films. But now, it’s a reality. A smart home is powered by the Internet of Things, connecting devices to the internet. This way, the homeowner can easily control them using either a virtual assistant or a few clicks on their smartphone.
Although fully automated homes are rare for now, millions of homes are already automated in some way. For example, the most popular smart home device is a smart speaker, powered by a virtual assistant. Some popular examples are Google Home and Amazon Echo. As of May 2019, over 90,000 smart home devices are supported by smart speakers. This number indicates that many people are already utilizing smart speakers at home.
Soon enough, most homes will become automated. They’ll be equipped with smart devices such as smart switches and plugs, sensors, refrigerators and washing machines, among others.
But is home automation worth it? Should people build a smart home?
One of the biggest selling points of home automation is convenience. You can control your smart home appliances remotely using only your voice or your smartphone. This function can be useful in several situations. For example, you can use an app for the fireplace insert of your hearth to adjust flames and control heat. Or perhaps you forgot to turn off some appliances before going out. You can turn them off using your smartphone instead of going back home.
The convenience of home automation can help you boost your productivity. Since you can automate your simple, repetitive tasks at home, you can use your saved time on other tasks instead.
Energy efficiency is another selling point of home automation. A 2020 study found that using home automation technologies for power management reduced energy consumption by 18.7%.
Remote control of your appliances reduces the risk of leaving them on when they shouldn’t be. Also, the technology in smart hubs can detect which appliances are idle or aren’t in use and turn them off automatically.
Security and Safety
Smart devices can add an extra layer of security to your home. Smart home security devices have motion and entry sensors that can easily detect intruders and thieves. For example, package theft has become common during the pandemic, with consumers relying on online shopping and door-to-door delivery. Devices like smart video doorbells and security cameras can help you avoid package theft. You can also monitor the inside of your house by installing security cameras. They will give you some sense of assurance since you can watch live footage through your camera or computer.
You’ll also feel safer by using smart devices. For instance, you can use your smartphone to turn on your lights on the way home during the night. You can also install smart locks so that you have control over who can access your door.
Home Resale Value
Automating your home increases its value. In the digital era, people are now more interested in houses with smart devices, given all their perks. Some people also value automated homes given that devices can contribute to environment-friendly practices through energy efficiency.
Expensive Upfront Cost
Most smart devices come with a big price tag. And automating your entire home means you’ll have to buy several devices. You may also need to hire someone to have smart devices installed in your home. Altogether, automating your home can hurt the bank if you’re not prepared for this big expense. Although, a comfort amidst this mess is that you get to save money in the long run through decreased utility bills.
Reliance on the Internet
Smart devices rely on the internet. So if you experience a power outage and lose your internet connection, you might be unable to use some of your devices.
Since all smart devices are connected to the Internet, they’re at risk of getting hacked. This problem can be addressed by using strong passwords on all devices, which should be a string of letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, the Wi-Fi network must be encrypted to prevent malicious threats.
Nearly all technologies come with drawbacks and benefits, and home automation is no exception. As long as you secure your networks and have a backup supply in case of power and internet outage, you’ll enjoy having a smart home.