What is a smart home?
The term ‘smart home’ is used to describe a house that contains a communication network that connects different appliances and allows them to be remotely controlled, monitored and accessed, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.
Smart devices connect to the internet and many have smartphone apps allowing you to access and control them remotely over wi-fi.
It’s becoming easier to connect an entire home too. Broadband is faster, more reliable and more affordable than ever before. The improved signal range of Wi-Fi routers means that a single router can offer wireless coverage across more rooms in our homes, allowing more devices to be connected.
What’s more, low-priced networking equipment has made it cheaper to extend home networks into rooms that were difficult to cover using just a single Wi-Fi router. Even previously difficult properties, such as older homes with thick walls, can now benefit from a home network that covers the entire property.
What can a smart home do?
Using the technology within the house, you can control and see what is going on in your home, even when you’re not there using a smartphone, tablet or sometimes computer. For instance, if you’ve just got a couple of brand new puppies and want to ensure they’re behaving themselves, you can install a home camera that allows you to check in on your pets whenever you want
There is also the potential to make a big difference in the cost of your utility bills, as now there’s no need to burn money by forgetting to turn the heating off when you leave for work. By monitoring your heating, water and electricity, there’s far less chance of a large bill sneaking up on you.
Smart homes can also protect the most vulnerable in society. Some devices can trigger an alert if an elderly person fails to take their pills, falls over or is behaving outside their normal routine. The University of Surrey has created ‘living labs’ to test how this technology would help people with dementia.