Imagine. It’s July and hovering around 3 degrees. You roll over in bed and hear the wake-up chimes.
Luckily, the heating has been on for half an hour to warm the floor under your socked feet. Sensors detect you’re up and soft lighting guides you to the bathroom. On the way, you flick on the television. Subtle backlighting looks good around the TV screen and behind your favourite artworks.
Mornings are for classical music. Each room you pass through pipes the dulcet tones of clarinet and cello concerto number four.
You pad into the kitchen and the coffee is on. Thanks Google Home and the smart coffee maker and grinder.
Looking at the fridge, you need to pick up some fresh coriander today. The milk doesn’t expire until Friday.
You peek at the sleeping face of little Arlo on screen. The Lollipop baby monitor has given you a good night’s sleep at last. Time to get the shower going.
Smart homes or ‘home automation’ refers to having parts of a home, such as lighting, air-conditioning, security, and appliances, networked and controlled remotely from anywhere.
While it may seem new, it’s the next era in what has been a long history of advancements in domestic engineering.
What began at the start of last century with labour-saving gas and electric appliances is now seeing artificial intelligence, sensors, robotics, and Wi-Fi make our lives massively more convenient as well as energy efficient. About 40% of Australian households will have smart home appliances installed by 2023. In that year, the global market will be worth a whopping $134 million.
There are lots of ways you can use technology to automate your home.
Bespoke air-conditioning lets you set up multiple zones for different parts of your house. Using a touchscreen tablet, each area can be temperature-controlled and set with timers.
Lighting can also be automated with the touch of a button. Did we mention you can deliver security from anywhere with remote surveillance? See something suspicious and, with the tap of a finger, you can activate central locking.
For the energy conscious – all of us, right – smart grids and smart meters can couple with solar panels to help efficiently manage things like when it should run our washing machines.
While home automation adds serious convenience, there are still a few drawbacks. It can be expensive, so cost is the biggest one. With so many devices and modes of operation, there are still no technical standards so there are definitely interoperability issues.
Last, yes, you also need a reliable Wi-Fi connection at your place and, you’re right, wi-fi poses a risk for hacking.
For our offices in Sydney, we use smart devices for security, lighting, and setting the temperature for the day – while we’re still on our way to work. For convenience, security, and comfort, we wouldn’t miss it for quids.
If you are interested in making improvements to the design of your home, our designers at Design Plus Drafting have loads of experience in smart design that complies with council regulations.