Did you know that Oprah Winfrey has a radiant heat system in her winter home’s driveway that mechanically melts snow off? Whereas, Mark Zuckerberg’s custom AI-powered specialty app which, voiced by actor Morgan Freeman, serves as his personal butler. While, an average Pakistani home owner can’t enjoy these perks at the moment, the distant future looks promising. Let’s explore the concept of smart homes and how Internet of Things will change our homes in future.
WHAT IS IOT?
IoT, or the Internet of Things, implies to the millions of global devices that are connected to the internet. These devices collect and exchange data and it is possible for users to operate them remotely.
Wireless networks and cheap processors are making revolutionary changes in the world of technology. It is now possible to make any device a part of the IoT. Be it your refrigerator or your lights; users can operate all home devices remotely.
You can also say that technology advancements are adding some level of digital intelligence to the otherwise dumb devices, allowing them to exchange real-time data without any human help.
This means the physical and digital worlds merge to add more convenience to a home owner’s life style.
In the future, Internet of Things, is likely to transform the way we build and live in our homes. While the technology is currently more popular in Western Europe, North America, and China; it will soon make its way to the other parts of the world including Pakistan.
The concept of smart homes is still relevantly new in Pakistan. But we do have a few companies that are offering hi-tech options to create smart homes. We are sure to witness a surge in the popularity of smart features in the future homes of Pakistan.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Like we mentioned, web-enabled devices communicate information that is collected from their surroundings via embedded sensors, processors, and software. We can control or monitor this machine to machine communication through our smartphones.
Once the initial setup is complete, a large percentage of devices become capable of collecting and sending data automatically.
Thanks to its nature, IoT enables today’s common devices to ‘serve’ rather than ‘work’ and create smart houses in future.
For instance, coffee starts brewing every morning, as soon as your alarm goes off. If your child forgets to keep the home keys and you’re not home, you can always unlock the door from work. If you have babysitters or domestic help in your absence, you can safely monitor your home remotely.
Smart homes in future are going to be more secure since you can always monitor them even when you’re out on a vacation. Smart security cameras allow you to protect your home against burglary and home invasion.
HOW THE INTERNET OF THINGS AND SMART HOMES WILL CHANGE THE WAY WE LIVE?
- Connect your television, headphones, speakers, and gaming systems to make an entertainment system
- You can control the cooling and heating systems of your house such as a ceiling fan, lights, smoke alarm, and a thermostat.
- Home owners can automate their smart home appliances like refrigerators, ovens, coffee maker, and lights
BENEFITS OF SMART HOMES
In the western world, medical charities and governments are keen to make home automation more affordable and convenient to install. That’s because smart homes are beneficial for aging homeowners who have to deal with mental and physical disabilities.
People who are suffering from dementia or have mobility issues can greatly benefit from smart home technology. Robots, computers, and smart home options offer support to people who need automated sensors to check whether there is any need to dim the lights or modify the temperature inside your home, without having to do it manually.
Moreover, elderly people are also prone to fall-related accidents. Hence, it’s a great idea to install lighting that gets activated by motion sensors. Homeowners who have poor or no vision can benefit from programmed devices to manage their house more easily and live a comfortable life.
Such home automation systems make a huge difference to your quality of life and also saves valuable energy. When you use sensors to switch off the lights of your unoccupied rooms, you automatically save your electricity bills. You can also automate your washing machines, Tv’s and dish washers to save precious time.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS INVOLVED?
Homeowners often wonder about cyber security issues when installing smart home options. The truth is, if you can access all your devices remotely, there are chances that a hacker can also access the network your devices are connected to, through multiple access points.
But as this technology continues to make advancements, smart home options are becoming more secure over time.
Smart technology is also pushing global brands to change the way they manufacture their products. Industry giants like Samsung claims that all their devices will feature artificial intelligence by 2020. Since, almost 90% of their washing machines, refrigerators, and Tv’s can are now controlled through a smartphone, smart home owners can benefit from innovative features in future. Just imagine your fridge sending you an alert you when you need essential items like milk and eggs?
ARE SMART HOMES ONLY FOR TECH-SAVVY HOMEOWNERS?
That’s one of the first questions that immediately pop into your head when you want to install smart home fixtures. The truth is, there are no complicated or intricate procedures that you need to follow for dwelling in a smartphone. You only need to operate your devices through an app on your smartphone.
An average home owner can live in a smart home
Homeowners can personalize and install gadgets according to their budget and preferences. Who doesn’t want to live in a home full of devices and gadgets which you can operate with just a tap on your phone?
Once you have decided to turn your house into a smart home, do not embark on any DIY project. Make sure you only hire professional companies to install smart home solutions to your living space. Homes in future will definitely be more convenient and safer to dwell in, thanks to the Internet of Things.