When most people think of a smart home they automatically think about The Jetsons – flying cars, fridges that know what you want to drink and all you have to do is press a button for it to go into your cup, etc. While we are not near THAT type of technology just yet, there are actually things you use in your kitchen and home right now that are smart and more coming on the way in the next few years. Take something like the microwave – this was invented in 1946, and at first glance it was considered and still is considered smart cooking. If you are looking for other smart home ideas, consider these; by the way, these are a mixture of both products available right now as well as a few concept designs that could be available in the near future.
The Purpose Of Smart Homes
People think that a smart home is just about functionality, convenience and efficiency but actually it’s about so much more than just these key points. It’s also about saving money since most smart home products are also smart energy products. The Parks Associates House Energy Direction Data released in 2016 has stated that people with smart homes (around 70%) will save money by decreasing energy consumption. This also will in turn help to lower your carbon footprint!
Examples Of Smart Home Products Available Now
We already mentioned the microwave, but some other products include;
– Shade Control: These are shades for your windows that can be raised, lowered or partially open/closed to allow sunlight in for a little warmth or keep it out to keep a space cooler. It’s definitely considered an energy efficient product. There are quite a few companies that make these shade control products including; Serena, WaZombi, and of course Pella.
– Smart Televisions and Smart Phones: These products are great for watching TV on, listening to music or checking the news like a regular TV but they can also control other things inside the house. If you are home, for instance, it can turn down the lights, change the degrees on the thermostat, or close the garage door. If you aren’t home, it can turn off/on the AC/heater, turn your security system on if you forgot, and even control video cameras outside your home for security.
– Smart Showerhead: This is really cool if you want to save on water consumption. It’s a hand-held shower head that uses LED lights to let you know how much water you’ve used thus far. It even uses a blue tooth app for your phone so you can track how much water you’ve used over the span of a week or a month, you can control the levels of the water, change the colors and more.
– Lighting Controls: It might sound lazy to some people, but lighting controls are something that is actually quite a common desire in or outside of the home. Lighting controls can be used outside the home if you forgot to turn a certain light off in the house or even if you want to turn the outside light on to deter robbers. On the other hand, you can also control your lighting inside while you are in the home by turning down or off lights you left alone – but already crawled into bed and don’t want to have to get out of bed again just to turn the lights off.
– Witricity: This is something really cool and something that I think most people have wished about in the past. It’s a little device that allows electricity to safely pass through the air and charge your devices. Not only just a laptop or a mobile phone, but eventually they will also introduce the Witricity for smart cars that run on electricity – you’ll never have to plug it in again, no AC adapters, no plugs, no nothing! Just place the Witricity device on and charge whatever you want. In fact, this company is working with Gillette for their razors. Instead of using batteries inside the shavers, a set of LED lights will power the shaver using the Witcricity electricity. Pretty awesome!
– Smart Flooring: This is somewhat self-promotional, so I apologize for that, our laminate flooring is also one of the best suited product for smart homes and therefore we also call it smart flooring. It is designed to withstand normal scratches, and it provides the feel of authentic embossed which makes the flooring feel like real wood. We have also introduced a plastic guard at each end of the plank which water simply cannot penetrate. This flooring in kitchen and dining room will not only create a stunning look but provides energy efficiency.
Examples Of Smart Home Products In The Future
These are all concepts, some of which are in design now, while others are simple designs that have not been tested yet, but I think in a few years pretty much ALL of these will become a reality.
– 3d Food Printers: Wait, what?! YES, this is a thing that people are looking into creating. You know those cool 3d printers that can print out plastic models, buildings, and other objects? Well, people are trying to find a way to create edible food using a 3d printer. Obviously, this is a difficult project and it probably won’t be available for at least 5-15 years, but still its awesome nonetheless. Right now they are capable of making “3d” printed food, it’s just not edible. You can print a 3d sandwich for instance and it looks real, from the crumbs of the bread to the veins in the lettuce to the creaminess of the mayo. But, it’s a model, that’s about it.
– Smart Refrigerators: Now THIS is some Jetsons stuff right here. This is a fridge that will be able to tell you when you are out of or almost out of something like eggs, cheese or milk, but down the line, it also might be able to be connected to your thoughts. You “want” a drink, it will give you what you want. You “want” food it will give you the exact item you want. Of course, people say that the next smart appliance is going to be turning your oven on or your stove on remotely and THAT will happen before a smart fridge does.
– Wearable technology: This is kind of cool. This is a technology that you cab wear – most likely a band or a watch. The band will keep track of things like lighting, room temp, and even music. For example, if you walk into your home and you tend to be stressed out from work or even frazzled, the band will gauge your heart beat and will play music or turn the lights down so you can feel calmer. This seems like Iron Man or something of the sort, but it’s real and within the next 5-10 years we will see some sort of a movement towards this type of technology as consumers.
– Smarter Building Materials: No one really knows how this would work; would the materials turn a certain color to make you aware of issues like termites or leaks OR will each home have sensors that will be seen on a control panel, say, in the garage, that will alert you when these instances happen? Well, that’s one of many factors people are working out for smarter building materials. These will most likely come into play in about 10 years. Anyone will be able to purchase the materials, but I would assume they would be quite expensive.
– Sound Generators: Sound generators such as white noise and rain falling are available now, however, manufacturers are looking into something a little more technical that would allow you to be immersed in sounds from all corners of a room using 3d sound. Composers like Martyn Ware can compose 3-dimensional soundscapes, now we just need to transform that sound into a device that will immerse your entire bedroom. The only way you could do this now would be to buy 5 or so sound machines and set them up across your bedroom in different corners and somehow turn them all on at once. THAT is nearly impossible, but a 3d sound machine is not. We should be seeing something happening with this in the next year or so. And its going to be much more than just rain falling, waterfalls or white noise like you get with a regular sound machine.
All around the table, smart homes are beneficial. Add on the resale value and when it comes down to it smart homes are the smart choice. Resale values of a smart home that can make the new buyers life easier, more exciting and more comfortable compared to a regular home definitely adds appeal and can also increase the overall market value of a home. While we might not experience flying cars or floating railway systems anytime soon, the products and services above will eventually lead us to something most of us never thought was possible.