The internet of things has ushered in a whole new world of electronic convenience for new home owners willing to embrace technology. For use in the kitchen, the family room, the garage, even the yard, manufacturers are coming up with all kinds of innovations to make everyday appliances and systems more efficient to operate and easier to control from afar. It’s safe to say that for those who choose to build a new home, the future has arrived.
Most of this new gadgetry has been integrated into products and systems you are already familiar with, such as kitchen appliances and security systems. But, this new injection of awareness and connectivity increases their functionality in ways only George Jetson could have imagined.
For instance, we all know an oven cooks food, right? But, did you know that a wi-fi enabled oven allows you to preheat that oven, set a timer, and check the cooking status through an app on your phone? A connected refrigerator will send you an alert if the door has been left open, or provide a list of the items inside, very handy when you’re standing in the grocery wondering if you have any eggs at home. Dishwashers can now let you know when they’re done. Water heaters may be turned on or off or adjusted for temperature no matter your location. Garage doors can be programmed to sense your arrival and open automatically, or tell you if they’ve been left open when you’re gone. Sprinkler, entertainment, and security systems can be operated in similar fashion.
While some of these devices work in conjunction with your smart phone, other providers of connected technology have chosen to take a different route. GE has partnered with Amazon to use Echo, the voice-controlled artificial intelligence do-everything device, to control its new line of smart appliances. In addition to ordering a pizza, playing music, or hailing an Uber driver to your door, you can speak to the Echo and tell Alexis to cook dinner or wash the clothes.
Whirlpool, on the other hand, has teamed up with the security/thermostat experts at Nest. The Nest Learning Thermostat can help you keep your clothes fresh if the laundry cycle ends while you’re away. (No more sour smelling t-shirts!) Or save on the electric bill by using a more efficient dryer cycle when it senses you’re out of the house and don’t need to rush. And speaking of Nest, this learning thermostat quickly picks up on your likes and dislikes to run your heating and cooling automatically. It will even dial back the A/C or heat when it senses no one is home. Of course, you can always check in and override it through your phone if you want to keep your pets happy.
Other technology companies, like Apple and Google, are hard at work as well creating digital solutions for homes. How’d you like to have your lights switched on or off remotely, or a particular wall outlet. How about viewing a webcam to see what’s going on back in Florida while you’re enjoying pasta in Tuscany. If a smoke alarm goes off, you’ll get a text. Doors can be locked or unlocked. You can even see who’s ringing your doorbell and tell them you already ‘gave at the office’ to send them on their way.
Now, is all this helpful to a homeowner, or overkill? Do smart phones, apps, and devices demand too much from us already, or will these new tech connections ease our burden and save us money at home? Time will tell if smart homes are a fad or here to stay. In the meantime, Brigon Homes would like to offer you a couple of resources for further investigation and questions.
The first is the Best Buy Smart Home buying guide. A good listing of what’s currently on the market can be found on this guide: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/buying-guides/connected-home-buying-guide/pcmcat333300050013.c?id=pcmcat333300050013
The second is a community of kitchen and bath industry professionals known as the KB Tribe. Each Wednesday from 2-3pm Eastern Time they hold an open discussion online. Experts log in to answer all kinds of questions related to issues in your home. To find out more visit www.kbtribechat.com
We also invite you to visit a Brigon Homes model and see what the future has in store for you.