This introduction to the concept of a Smart Home was written for a corporate client’s website. The goal was to explain fundamental concepts to a general audience while providing SEO benefits by emphasizing keywords related to the idea of a Smart Home. I also wrote more technical pieces for this client that were targeted at developers interested in creating Smart Home applications.
What Is a Smart Home?
A smart home is a home where appliances, systems, and devices communicate with each other and can be remotely controlled.
In a smart home appliances, lights, heating and cooling systems, entertainment centers, security systems, and other devices can be managed by voice-controlled speakers, smartphones, tablets, or computers. These controlling devices can communicate with the home’s systems from inside the home or from anywhere else there’s an Internet connection.
Smart Homes Are Convenient
For many people the appeal of smart homes is conveniently managing their systems and devices. With smart home features, there’s no need to go to a different room to flip a switch, or even be home to change a setting.
Great intuitive interfaces for smart devices provide more than ease — they bring delight to simple everyday tasks and make it possible for our homes to do more for us. For example:
- Comfort. Smart thermostats can learn our preferences and tell when we’ve left the house. If we forget to change the settings when we go on vacation, they’ll go ahead and switch to lower-energy usage. When we return they’ll warm the house back up before we reach the front door.
- Mood. Lighting is key to creating atmosphere in the home, and smart bulbs and switches make setting moods a delightful experience. Bulbs that can change color as well as brightness and smart dimmer switches make it easy to see to set the table but dine in virtual candlelight.
- Entertainment. Playing music on devices is commonplace, but in smart homes devices can control high-quality entertainment systems as well. Use a smart remote control to select music, change channels, pause a video, or even have program descriptions read out loud to you.
- Safety. Protecting homes and families with smart home devices brings added peace of mind. From security systems to smoke detectors, to locks and garage door openers, there is a variety of devices to keep us safe that we can control remotely.
Smart Home Benefits Go Beyond the Home
Some benefits of smart homes extend past the front door. The communities where we live are made better by helping the people who live in them.
When smart thermostats and lights save energy, it’s not just utility bills that are cut — it also cuts the need to generate more electricity. The added cost of these devices can be quickly recouped, according to manufacturer projections showing 12%-15% energy savings. And these savings can add up to less pollution and less strain on the power grid at times of peak usage.
The protection provided by smart home protection systems can keep nearby homes safe as as well. Receiving an alert about a fire when you aren’t at home can ensure it gets put out before it has a chance to spread. And security monitors that capture video of suspicious activities can help police and block watch groups identify criminals.
Smart home technology can be especially helpful for those with accessibility needs due to age or impairment. Controlling a home’s systems with a central device can keep independent living a reality when mobility, sight, or other challenges might have otherwise made it impossible. Helping keep people in their homes fosters stronger neighborhoods and communities.