The Future of Smart Homes - How Smart is Your Home?

30/06/2015
As homeowners continue to outfit their homes with technological devices designed to make their lives easier and more convenient, the term “smart home” is being increasingly used to describe modern houses. While this is a relatively new concept for our generation, only coming into the mainstream within the past decade, in future generations, smart homes will be the norm, and adolescents will laugh at the idea of ever having to turn on a light switch manually or use more than one remote to control the TV and their recliner.
With that said, you might be feeling behind the times with your old-fashioned not-so-smart refrigerator and manually activated garage door, both of which are quickly becoming obsolete. So, just how smart is your home? If you don't have at least one of the three features below, chances are you're still living in the “dumb home” era:

1. Universal Remote Controls for Home Appliances

Universal remote controls can interact with your television, lights, game console, stereo system, window curtains, and even your washer and dryer. There are a number of smart home control systems available that make it easy to enable/disable and adjust your home appliances within a centralised interface that can be accessed via your tablet or other mobile device. These remote systems can even be used to measure how much electricity each appliance is using. If your home isn't equipped with a universal remote control, it's not really a smart home.

2. Automatic Windows that Can Read the Environment

Who has the time or patience to go around and manually open or close every window in the house when the temperature drops or raises outside? In today's fast-paced world doing so is simply unrealistic, which is why automatic window actuators with environmental sensors are quickly becoming a popular item with smart homeowners. Teal Products showcase a variety of automatic window control systems that are designed to optimise the comfort of your home environment and save electricity by detecting when windows should be opened or closed based on user-defined settings.

3. Smart Refrigerators that Make Restocking a Breeze

The best smart refrigerators are equipped with touchscreens that let you keep track of the contents of your fridge in a number of ways. This makes it easy to keep your food supply fully stocked on an ongoing basis – a must for any health-conscious futuristic homeowner. Amazon and other companies are in the process of developing home delivery services for groceries, which will let you scan bar codes on the items in your fridge to automatically order replacements when necessary. So, when you notice the milk is running low, you'd be able to scan the jug, press order, and the next morning a new gallon of milk will arrive at your doorstep.

What about the Features that Haven't Arrived Yet?

Given that the advent of the smart home has just started to take off in the past few years, we expect to see a huge number of new and exciting features hit the market during the next decade. Scientists are apparently working on a type of pixelated digital paint that can change colour at the touch of a button, and the entry of holographic headsets like Microsoft's HoloLens should make for some intriguing interaction in the smart homes of the future.

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