How the Internet has Changed our Homes: Smart Home Technology

From Alexa to Google Home and Ring, smart home devices are much more accessible than we once thought possible. In fact, smart homes are on the rise and forecasted to surpass 300 million by 2023. We’re all spending a lot of time at home these days, something made easier by these varied technologies that are available at our fingertips.

You Don’t Have to be a Millionaire

It wasn’t that long ago that Bill Gates spent over $100 million to build his smart home. For a long time, smart homes seemed to only be accessible to the rich or a distant vision for the future. Today, Amazon’s Alexa can be purchased for anywhere between $30-$120. With just one of these systems, voice-control can activate music, provide a daily news briefing, or supply tracking information for recent Amazon purchases. With additional systems and accessories, that voice-control can also turn lights off and on, activate sound systems, adjust thermostats, and more.

Similar products are available at home improvement stores, big-box retailers like Target and Walmart, or online. A life of technological luxury is no longer just for the wealthy.

Control at Your Fingertips

Thanks to the success of smartphones and tablets, we are now able to set-up our home appliances, lights, entertainment, security systems, and more to talk to one another through the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to all products that are interconnected through digital networks. Its existence allows us to check who just rang the doorbell through the Ring app while at work, or to close the garage door that was left open as we rushed out the door to dinner. There’s no longer a need to worry that the oven wasn’t turned off or the security system enabled. We can do those things from anywhere. And who doesn’t want life to be easier and more convenient?

Access to Information

The world has changed rapidly since the introduction of the World Wide Web, allowing access to information that used to only be uncovered from hours of research at the library. And if typing a question into Google wasn’t easy enough, with the use of smart technology that’s no longer necessary. With systems like Google Home, all it takes is a “Hey, Google,” to learn how many ounces are in a gallon, or substitutes for butter in a baking recipe. Children can explore interests in animals and science by simply asking Google. Finding answers to our questions has never been more simple.

Control your home through one small speaker.

Increased Safety

Home automation is not just about convenience. In fact, many devices are making our homes safer. Video doorbells and security cameras not only allow homeowners to see who is approaching their house while they are away but can provide photos for evidence in the case of an intruder or burglary. Smart lightbulbs and motion lights can create the illusion that a house is occupied and smart thermostats, smoke detectors, and water sensors can alert homeowners to potential disasters in their homes. Some even go as far as to contact emergency services when a break-in or fire is protected.

Maximized Efficiency

Perhaps one of the most appealing features of home automation is the benefit of increased energy efficiency in the home. Smart appliances and many of the technologies we’ve already mentioned can allow your home to become more efficient at heating, cooling, lighting, and more. These small changes can lead to dollars saved and a decrease in household waste of all kinds.

The Downsides

While home automation offers a number of life-changing positives, these devices are not without risks. Smart home technology, like all technology, is vulnerable to hackers who can interfere with signals and hijack the devices. Still, with the right security precautions in place, like a password protected WIFI network, these hackings are unlikely.

There’s no doubt that these smart devices are changing the way we live, and thankfully, it’s mostly for the better.

Do you have the speed you need to power your smart home?

Most smart home technology runs off of your home network, which means you will need to use a sizable amount of your existing data to power these high-tech devices. No fear! We can help you determine how much speed you need to power your smart home with our bandwidth calculator. It is free and easy to use!