The future is here by all accounts, from artificial intelligence to robots and of course smart homes. How can you get or transform yours into one? It may not be that difficult after all.
What is a smart home
Although the degrees vary, the basic definition according to independent android publication Android Authority: a smart home is a home that has a number of devices that automate tasks usually performed by humans. Additionally, these can be built into the home or added later and humans then operate them using commands and they function on artificial intelligence or applications.
How do you get one
The easiest first step to making your home smarter can be getting a smart assistance device such as the popular Siri, Alexa or Google Home. These can be programmed to assist with tasks such as playing music, controlling alarms, organising calendars and more.
To go a bit more advanced than that, the Seattle Times states that you can have smart home systems act as central nervous systems to your home and connect all smart devices that exist. You then have the benefit of the ability to control everything remotely like turning the lights on and off even when you’re not home; managing air conditioners; controlling music throughout the home; contacting emergency services when needed but also customising security features to differentiate between intruders and welcomed guests.
To start on the journey, you can either do your research and opt for Do it Yourself (DIY) products from reputable electronic and building material stores such as Takealot and Builders. If DIY is not for you then there are several companies locally that have started providing these services. Search for one that services your area and get a good quote then you’re on your way.
What to consider
All this sounds very exciting but like with all things, there are a few things to consider when embarking on this journey. For one, if you live in South Africa, the electricity supply is not always reliable. You don’t want to find yourself locked in or out because of load shedding. By extension because of load shedding and occasional overload that usually damages electronic equipment, insurance for smart homes can be very expensive.
Cybersecurity is another issue, it takes one device having malware or being hacked to compromise your whole system and numerous concerns have been shared regarding privacy and how certain smart home devices listen to and store private information even when they’re not supposed to.
If you have the resources to guard against such and ideally, get alternative power sources then you’re good to go.
In a way, the road to smart homes has already started for a lot of us, the question that remains is how far you want to take it.