2014 Is the Year Of the Smarthome

SmarthomeHappy New Year, Everyone!

This morning, I stumbled upon an article predicting a large growth spurt for smarthomes in 2014. According to the author, it was just a few short years ago when appliance experts were adamant that this sort of growth was still a long ways off. Their low expectations were due to the fact that a language which devices need to communicate with one another was not used commonly enough and experts didn’t suppose that such a language would reach mainstream use for a long time. And then there were issues with other barriers like user interfaces (UIs) on automation devices, which average consumers have sometimes found to be too complicated. However, by now using WiFi to communicate between devices and by UIs, such as iOS and Android, now being common in most households, home automation is here and in a big way.

Currently Trending Smarthome Features

Right now, some of the most popular smarthome features appear to be environmental controls like the features offered with the Freeze Alarm Deluxe, which can be found in our main store. With the ability to remotely preheat or cool your home with a single phone call, as well as check a home’s temperature from anywhere in the world, it’s no wonder devices like these are trendsetters among home automation devices. Of course, this particular gadget also notifies a homeowner as soon as temperatures rise too high or fall too low, or if an unfortunate water leak should occur.

Other smarthome features gaining traction in the marketplace include lighting controls, which can be remotely operated through a smartphone app. Of course there are remote devices and applications for other electronics such as stereo equipment, televisions and computers, too.

Can Your House Become a Smarthome?

On any given DIY weekend, an average home can be transformed into a smarthome. This is made possible thanks to new technologies like the Nexia Home Bridge & Schlage Home Appliance Starter Kit found in our main store. This single unit enables homeowners to control a home’s locks, lighting, temperature and security equipment from a remote location.

How Will a Smarthome Increase Your Security?

With the ability to control a home’s alarm system, security lighting, indoor lighting and environmental controls from any remote location, one begins to see the security value that home automation affords. Keyless entry systems which can also be operated remotely is not only convenient (no more lost keys!), but also eliminates concerns about picked locks or lock bumping. Add to all of this the ability to use a smartphone or a tablet to peer inside of a home while away and we can think of a variety of security and practical purposes for this sort of technology.

Affordable and Accessible Automation and Security Solutions

Years ago, I recall being introduced to the idea of a smarthome through an illustrated article about Bill Gates’ house. Back then this sort of technology came with complicated wiring and programming and was built into a home’s architecture. Needless to say, it was only made available to the ultra wealthy. Like the appliance experts mentioned earlier, I believed that this sort of innovation was a long ways away for the average homeowner.

All of that has changed in recent years, however. No longer is it necessary to build a new home in order to access smarthome technology. In most cases, special wiring isn’t even needed to achieve these features. Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make home automation devices easy to use, easy to install and easy on one’s wallet.

DIYers from newbies to hardcore enthusiasts have found that they can save even more by self-installing the home automation devices offered in our main store. Many of the devices found there can be installed in under an hour and are not too complicated to use. This means that everyone in the family can control just about every appliance, every security device, thermostats, cooling devices, lighting and more from the palm of a hand.

Where Should You Begin?

Your family’s safety and your home’s security being of primary concern, we suggest that your house’s transformation to a smarthome begin with your security system. At the very least, shop for an alarm which you can arm and disarm from a remote location either by dialing into your system or via a smartphone app. Ditto for your surveillance equipment and security lighting.

For more advice on how to turn your home into a smarthome, see our earlier post: Baby Steps to Home Automation.

What Will Your Home Do This Year?

Analysts have declared it and we believe every word to be true– 2014 is the year of the smarthome. With both feet firmly planted in the new year, it’s time to get busy and join in on the fun. Should you need ideas or help, our technical support team is always on hand to answer your questions and help you troubleshoot your way to smarthome success.

Ralph Winn

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