BY VINEEL DEAN
The concept of a “smart home” is steadily becoming a norm daily as new technology begins making it easier for homes to adapt and quickly realize home automation benefits. With an emerging market and a competitive industry now investing in home automation platforms, companies and tech providers are now keen to introduce better products now and soon.
According to the Internet of Things (IoT) analysts, the future of the smart home will evolve from its commercial “plug and play” setting into an “integrated” feature where innovative home technology will be a standard feature for new homes built in the future.
We can see the start of this now with companies such as Google, Amazon, and Apple introducing smart hubs with home assistants to help homeowners manage their security, lighting, climate, water, networked appliances, and entertainment systems. With a smart home virtual assistant, homeowners can monitor the connection status and configure each device remotely.
Automation is gearing up smart homes for convenience and a model of energy efficiency through automated monitoring embedded into new sources such as the existing home battery and solar batteries. Most apartments and new houses also arrive with features such as electric charging ports for EV and hybrid vehicles.
A range of technological developments will drive smart-home technology well beyond what’s available on store shelves today. Innovations in artificial intelligence, for example, stand to upend almost everything in our lives. Here are five examples of intelligent technology for the home that is already here.
Control4 Home automation system
The award-winning Control4 HC-250 delivers instantaneous home automation control at an exceptional value. Its sleek design and small form-factor make it ideal for single-room control systems, universal remote replacements, or as a way to deliver on-screen control to every television in larger residential or light commercial installations. Control4 App license enables in-home control from multiple iOS and Android mobile devices as well as PCs. A USB port allows connection to external hard drives for easy access to music content. ESATA and USB ports enable links to external storage with music or video content. Priced from $239.00
ChargePoint Home WiFi Enabled Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger – Level 2
The ChargePoint 2Level 2, 240 volts, 32 amp electric vehicle (EV) charging station charges up to 6X faster than a standard wall outlet and adds up to 40 kilometers of range per hour, so you always have the capacity you need; eligible for provincial home EVSE rebate programs. This charger works with all EVs. Use the ChargePoint app to schedule charging when electricity rates are low to save money, get access to ChargePoint’s expansive public charging network, track all of you’re charging in one place, and set reminders. Hence, you never forget to the plugin. Priced from $1,119
Ring Echo Dot Alarm Security
This sophisticated alarm system contains the Alarm Security Kit 8-Piece and an Echo Dot (4th Gen). Alarm Security Kit 8-Piece lets you protect 4 windows or doors, add motion detection to hallway or rooms, and control it all from the Ring app. This links to Amazon’s most popular smart speaker, Echo Dot, a voice-controlled smart speaker with Alexa, perfect for any room. When you pair Ring Alarm with Alexa, you can arm and disarm your system with your voice and add Alexa Guard to detect glass breaking. Priced from $259
Samsung smart kitchen appliances with cameras and WIFI
Samsung’s range of ovens, microwaves, and fridges now features such innovative technology as WiFi, remote control, and camera capability that can sync up with your smartphone. The latest kitchen ovens feature Voice control and remote over the air control and can be viewed via a built-in camera. Meanwhile, WiFi-enabled interior cameras take a photo when you close the fridge door and let you see what’s inside your refrigerator directly from your mobile device. Samsung top-line Microwave ovens also come with fully WiFi connections and voice-enabled control. Home appliances range from $1000.
Apple Home pod and HomeKit
Using Apple’s Homepod speaker and music hub, Apple’s HomeKit lets you create automation and control HomeKit accessories. A HomeKit hub, like an iPad, Homepod, or Apple TV, acts as the command center for your home, relaying commands to your infotainment accessories quietly in the background. In most cases, the only thing required for setting up a hub is signing in with your Apple ID. Priced from $200