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In case you’ve not heard, smart homes are amazing – they can save you money and time, make you look cool and modern, and provide you with an enjoyable ongoing Saturday morning hobby. In short, they’re absolutely something you should be excited about owning, developing, and running.
Sadly, some people don’t see the attraction. Spend some time browsing Internet forums and online newspaper articles about the sector, and it won’t be long until you start seeing words such as “fad”, “unnecessary”, and “excessive” being used.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t yet believe in the smart home revolution, try watching these five YouTube videos and then tell us you’re still not excited!
The Gadget Show – E-Home
In this video, Gadget Show presenter Ortis heads to Dubai to check out one of the best automated homes that you’re ever likely to see.
The entire building was designed and developed with the smart home in mind. It means every single electronic item in the house (as well as lots of theoretically non-electrical devices) can be controlled and automated from a central server which is accessible through tablets, intelligent LCD switches, and a wall-mounted touchscreen control unit.
What really makes the system stand out, however, is its ability to recognize different people as they enter different rooms.
This goes beyond just altering the music and the lighting as you walk around the property – you can get it to run you a bath if you come in through your front door between 5pm and 6pm, turn on the coffee machine when you leave your bedroom between 7am and 9am, or prepare the room for a movie when six people are in the same room on a Saturday night.
Did we mention you can talk to the house?! (Her name is Valery – no, we’re not joking). Oh, and the whole setup costs $40,000.
ABC News – 2015’s Must Have Gadgets
ABC News’ video summarizes some of the best gadgets of the year. Some of the footage focuses on drop-proofed mobile phones and faster Wi-Fi – but it starts to get interesting when they start discussing the smart home.
As their resident expert says, “We’re at the very beginning of having a completely smart house … We’re at the very beginning of putting sensors in things”.
If this is just the start but we can already have connected thermostats, connected smoke alarms, connected water irrigation systems, and connected cooking appliances, imagine what the future will hold? It’s vital to set yourself up with a solid smart home foundation at this stage so you can build on it later.
Living Tomorrow – House of the Future
So what exactly will the future smart home look like?
Living Tomorrow is a house in Brussels that saw seventy innovative companies come together to try and envisage what a house of the future would look like.
One of the best parts of the house is the kitchen – it’s incredibly futuristic and hardly looks like a cooking space at all. Its center piece is the built-in LED TV which doubles as a “smart board”. It’ll let you alter the ambiance of the room, manage your shopping lists, play informative movies about any item in your fridge, and pay bills by fingerprint.
The cost if you want to buy the house? An eye watering $24,000,000.
Trend Hunter – Top 5 Smart Home Devices
Have you heard of “identity-based messages”? Neither had we until we saw this video.
You can code a message specifically for a friend or partner and it’ll play as soon as the system facially recognizes them. For example, if you’ve nipped to the shop to buy milk but you’re expecting a friend to arrive at any moment, you can program a message that will play out of your doorbell when they arrive on your porch.
They cover a few other smart home devices in the video such as the PantryChic measuring device and the Notifon notification unit, but the most instantly appealing is probably the “smart worktop”.
It’s a collaboration between a building firm and a power supply company. It looks like a normal kitchen counter, but in practice it will charge any device that you put on top of it, regardless of the angle, size, or shape. You’ll never have the problem of a dying charger again!
CES – Smart Home Highlights 2015
What better way to get excited than to watch a video from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the internationally-renowned technology trade show.
At the 2015 show, smart home technology was one of the most popular areas. There were 700 smart home exhibitors who showed off everything from connected CCTV to customizable entertainment systems on display.
This video rounds-up some of the best smart home devices at the 2015 event, and includes interviews with the developers and behind-the-scenes footage from the individual stalls.
It features Netatmo Welcome – a home security system that sends you the names of people it recognizes around your property, Ecovent – a wireless air conditioning system that aims to save 30 percent of your AC bill thanks to specialist vents and room temperature control, and Amaryllo, a smart security camera that uses body heat sensors to determine which direction it needs to be facing.
What’s Got You Excited?
What most excites you about smart homes? Have you seen a video or read an article that you think the doubters need to watch? Share it with us!
Perhaps you’re a doubter? Did any of these videos make you change your perceptions? If they didn’t, what would?
Let us know your thoughts, ideas, and feedback in the comments section below.