By Special Guest
Christy Matte, Special Correspondent / September 18, 2018
Smart home technology is on the rise, both in terms of product availability and popularity. But, much like other new tech developments, many people perceive it as a frivolous add-on or a luxury option. In truth, smart home tech offers quite a few benefits, even beyond saving money.
Caregiving and Independence
For those who have children, aging parents, or disabled family members in their care, smart home technology can provide peace of mind.
Voice-activated devices – Voice-activated devices allow those with disabilities or health issues to control household devices even when they’re out of reach. Likewise, someone who is fallen and can’t get to a phone can make phone calls or connect with family using voice commands.
Video intercom systems – Video intercoms (some with voice activation), can connect family members who aren’t in the same room, or even in the same house. You can check in on kids who are home alone, an ill relative, or a grandparent with mobility issues.
Smart medical devices – There are a wide range of connected sensors and devices on the market that help monitor health and healthy behaviors. Options like beds and other furniture, socks and shoes, and heart and blood monitors, can be equipped with sensors to track changes in gait, vitals, sleep patterns, and more, and report them to medical professionals or family. They can also trigger alerts of possibly significant health changes. In addition, “smart” pill bottles, water bottles, and apps can remind users of medication or hydration needs, or track usage over time.
Safety and Security
Keeping family and property safe is always a priority. Smart homes shine in this area by alerting you to problems before they become disasters.
Water sensors – If you’ve got a vacation home or you travel regularly, a water sensor can alert you to burst pipes in the winter, a broken water tank, or flood water seeping in. It can send an email or text message so you can quickly contact a plumber or other contractor to minimize damage.
Air quality sensors – Air quality sensors monitor various factors in the air to help keep you and your family healthy. They might warn you of unhealthy conditions or trigger actions such as turning on an air purifier or the ventilation system.
Smart security systems – From connected cameras to WiFi video doorbells, smart security systems not only have remote alerting capabilities, they can trigger other actions as well. They might turn on the outside lights or sprinkler, or turn on a smart speaker so it sounds like someone is home.
One of the most striking benefits of smart home technology is that it’s accessible on the go. This allows you to monitor your property and control your smart devices on vacation, from work, or wherever else you need to be.
Smart locks – Smart locks provide keyless entry so there’s no worry about lost or stolen keys. But you can also create codes for your contractors, cleaning people, and others who may need to access your property while you’re away. Once their work is done, you can delete the codes. Smart locks are also great for families with the ability to send alerts to mom and dad when the kids unlock the door after school.
Smart outlets and appliances – Beyond the ability to preheat your oven while you make your way home from work, smart appliances add additional value. You can turn off a forgotten iron or lamp rather than having to hurry home mid-day. You might also turn on outside lights when you know you’ll be home late, or illuminate your house automatically when you turn onto your street.
Smart home devices can be fun, that’s for certain, but they also have the potential for increasing your family’s peace of mind, health monitoring, and security. The best part is that they can all work together through a convenient smart home hub that can be easily set up through internet service provider. Think about your needs and you’ll surely find just the right smart home technology to help you out.
Christy Matte is a mom of two and a Boston-based writer who covers home security for Xfinity Home. She is also a die-hard techie who blogs at QuirkyFusion.com.?
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