December 8, 2020
If you ever had any doubt that the future is now, just look around your home. Chances are you have at least one smart home technology accessory, whether it’s a smart speaker, a thermostat, or a video doorbell. In fact, according to a recent Statista report, more than 32% of homes will have some form of smart technology in 2020.
Most smart home technology solutions are incredibly easy to install. Simply screw in a light bulb, wirelessly connect your home monitoring system, or plug in a speaker assistant. While, for now, most smart home appliances are add-ons rather than home integrations, that’s poised to change in the future.
How often have you left home wondering whether you unplugged your straightening iron, closed the garage, or set the alarm? If, for instance, your straightening iron is plugged into a smart plug, all you have to do is pull up an app on your phone and click the button to switch it off.
Aside from the convenience factor, these devices and accessories also allow you to make smarter decisions throughout your home. Here are a few smart home technology benefits:
Manage your home from one central device
One of the best tools in your home’s technology arsenal is likely right in your pocket. Use your smartphone (or tablet) to flip on lights, start the coffee pot, and activate your home security cameras. If you’re still at home, you can use voice commands with your smart speaker assistant, like Alexa or Google, to control your thermostat, turn on smart plugs, and make your grocery lists.
Turn on devices when you need them. Turn them off when you don’t. Keep your devices on a schedule so they only work when you want them to. While smart lighting costs more than traditional bulbs, they last longer, and you can keep your lights on a schedule to save energy. With programmable time schedules, smart thermostats, like the IQ, can maximize energy conservation throughout the day — even when you’re away from home.
Automate your home’s processes
Want to schedule your lights to go on at certain hours? What about making sure your robotic vacuum cleaner makes a regular pass through the living room? Perhaps you want your home security system to automatically set before you go to bed. Smart technology solutions allow you to create routine throughout your home.
Easily add new devices to your smart home technology
The beauty of smart home technology is that it’s easy to add more features. Maybe you’ve already purchased a basic wireless home security system and want to upgrade. Smart home features easily work together, so you can add on more technology like motion sensors, doorbell cameras, smoke detectors, and smart locks.
Have fun with connected devices
Sure, this technology is groundbreaking and state of the art … but it’s also just plain fun. You don’t have to be a tech guru to enjoy the benefits of a robotic mop making a pass across your kitchen floor, a smart fridge that senses the contents inside, or the wow factor that comes from controlling overhead lights using only your voice.
Your smartphone collects your location information as you move about. Your smart speaker may be listening to conversations. The security cameras throughout your home begin recording when motion occurs. Like all technology these days, smart home technology certainly isn't immune to the risks of data and privacy issues. There are, however, many ways to proactively safeguard your smart home items, thereby minimizing privacy risks.
Protect your Wi-Fi
Make sure your router uses strong encryption settings in order to keep communications as secure as possible. Change your passwords routinely using a hard-to-guess series of numbers, letters, and special characters. Never use passwords you use for other devices. And, where possible, enable two-factor authentication.
Your phone allows you to turn off location settings. Check settings of each smart home device you own to make sure you’re giving away as little unnecessary information as possible.
Update your software
Manufacturers routinely push out updates, often with security patches and bug fixes. Always update your home technology or your smartphone as soon as possible.
Take regular inventory
Is your smart doorbell a first-generation device? It might not be as smart as it once was. As hacking and data issues get more sophisticated, newer devices may offer better security. The same goes for your home’s wireless network router.
Kids have become every bit as savvy when it comes to smart devices. Just because they can navigate an iPhone® or a virtual reality game doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach them how (and why) to use smart home technology. Keep your kids engaged by making the walkthroughs fun and less technical.
Make it a game
Does your child enjoy playing games on their phone or console? Can they talk for hours about leveling up in Minecraft or Mario Kart? Use their hobbies to bridge the gap between uncertainty and understanding of smart home technology.
If you’re explaining how to disarm your smart panel before the siren sounds, make a harmless contest out of it by rewarding them for disarming the panel correctly and on time.
Keep it age-appropriate
If you have children with wide age gaps between them, determine which smart home technology devices they need to learn and which products you feel comfortable with them using. For example, it might make sense for your 12-year-old to learn how to disarm your security panel. Younger kids may benefit from learning how to use a virtual voice assistant to turn lights on and off.
Brinks Home™ offers a wide range of smart home automation products to make your home smarter, more secure, and more efficient. Visit us online or contact a senior security consultant to see which home automation solutions are right for you.
Allison Clark is a senior writer for Brinks Home. She enjoys educating others on the benefits of smart home security and using technology to simplify everyday life.
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