Smart home technology has become more than a bit of a marketing buzzword. For interested folks, this can leave them wondering whether something is really a smart system or just a sales pitch. Customers looking at systems should understand these five elements.
Whether wired or wireless, smart technology should be networked to other systems. For example, you might want to have your home's thermostat connected so you can access it from anywhere in the house.
You can even go a step further and have the thermostat available on your cellphone. The benefit is you can then adjust the temperature and climate in your house so it saves money when you're not there. Likewise, you can contact the thermostat before you get home to turn up the heat or A/C so your place will be comfortable when you arrive.
The smarter of the available technologies will also keep records of how systems perform. If you want to keep tabs on how much electricity your home's lights are using, for example, a smart system will track when they're on or off. It can then provide reports covering usage and costs.
Many smart home technologies are also integrated with others. Suppose you have a security system and several television sets. You can integrate the security system with the TV across the network. If you're in bed and someone rings the doorbell at 10 p.m., for example, you can pull up the security cameras on the TV to see who is there.
There are also more mundane forms of integration. You might have a whole-home audio system, for example. If you want to move to a different room, such as going from a home office to a living room, you can tell the system to send your current playlist to your destination.
While there are many smart technologies that work perfectly fine with hands-on interfaces, you may need a hands-free setup under certain circumstances. For example, you might need to ask a voice assistant in the kitchen for the cooking time temperature of a casserole while you're handling other hot items.
Many technologies are also increasingly automated. Notably, they frequently integrate real-world data to do their jobs better. You might have the lighting system in your house configured to come on at sundown, for example. That time will change over the course of a year, but the system can automatically adjust so you don't have to do it yourself.
If you want to know more about available smart home technology, look for a company near you.