I admit it – I like gadgets. Maybe it is related to how my particular age group grew up with limited technology. Exhibit A: Computers were as large as buildings, my first family TV was black and white, phones only came in three colors and were delivered to your home by the Bell System, etc.
However, technology seemed to evolve very quickly after my high school years with the onset of the Internet, social media, smart phones, desktop computers, smart watches, electric cars, and so on. Now, as we find ourselves entering the third decade of the 21st century, the “gadgets” that I only could have dreamed of 30 years ago are now commonplace in all aspects of society – and they are increasingly present in our homes. I have recently found that buyers are increasingly curious if buying a smart home is worth the possible additional cost, and sellers wonder if they should invest in adding technology to their homes in advance of listing on the market. My answer is a definite “yes” – technology definitely adds to the value of the home and sets it apart from others – as long as it is functional, that is.
Here are a few key categories of smart home technology:
1.) Smart Home Security: From video doorbells to remote door locks, home security has increasingly been enhanced by smart technology. Remote door locks provide access on a timer, and can also allow homeowners to check in on their homes to ensure they locked the door (and then lock them remotely via wifi). Security cameras are now wireless and infrared, giving you the ability to see the perimeter of your home at any time of day. Microphones, cameras and video doorbells now come equipped with mics, giving homeowners the ability to hear what is being said by visitors. Larger scale home security systems have easy-to-install sensors, cameras and microphones that can provide full coverage for your home.
2.) Smart Home Entertainment: Whether you want an integrated sound system or home theater, smart home entertainment devices are the most cost-effective, easy-to-use options available on the market. Surround sound speakers provide a full theater experience in the comfort of your own home. Smart speakers can wirelessly connect and allow you to control volume levels from anywhere in your home. Smart displays allow hands-free video calls on tablets, and video streaming is easy to display on mounted devices and a variety of smart screens. Smart TVs may be 4K or HDR10+ and be operated with universal remotes. Smart projectors are also available for an even bigger in-home movie experience.
3.) Smart Home Appliances: Long regarded as part of the distant future in home technology, smart appliances are here! One of the most common home “appliances” is the smart thermostat – devices that can be programmed to learn your temperature preferences, manage home energy use and even sent text message alerts. Smart washers and dryers are able to send homeowners notifications about cycles, download new cycle settings, find mechanical problems, and adjust settings with voice commands. Smart refrigerators use digital screens for the creation of grocery shopping lists, sending alerts for when they are left open, and regulate temperature in differing cooling zones, all from your smart phone. Smart monitors in homes are now able to provide updates on air quality and carbon monoxide levels with real-time warnings and alerts to keep members of your household safe even when they are sleeping.
4.) Managing your smart home system: The most-important part of integrating smart devices in your home for any use is having a central command system. Whether this is an app or other control system, one of these options is the best way to activate your home’s upgraded intelligence features. Mesh wifi systems are offered by companies such as Google. Mesh wifi gives homeowners blanket coverage with mini-routers (nodes). You can install these yourself and accelerate wifi coverage throughout your entire home, ensuring that your smart devices are not disrupted. Hubs – such as Google Home or Alexa – manage all of your devices and appliances. The most-important thing to understand is how a single device will integrate with the rest of the components in your system. You can buy these as part of large packages, and then, as you add on, be sure to double-check compatibility.
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