Technology is a truly incredible thing, and something that continues to find new and thrilling applications with alarming regularity. Take the recently launched Headcaster app, for example, which explores technologies ability to combine functionality and craftsmanship by empowering people to interact through lifelike, animated characters.
A seminal app with huge potential, this highlights the capacity of technology to surprise, delight and bewilder in equal measure. Interestingly, the same may also be said of smart home technology, which is constantly evolving and often misunderstood by laymen.
With this in mind, it is crucial that you embark on a process of acquiring knowledge and building understanding if you are to embrace smart technology and integrate it with your home. So, here are three simple steps that will help you on your way: –
Understand your Needs and Compare the Market
Let’s start with the basics; as your ability to get the best out of any technology relies on how effectively you understand your own needs and then compare the affiliated market.
In terms of comprehension, it is important to note that there are numerous different smart technology niches within the home (including lighting and heating). Each of these will require a different operating system, so you need to first consider the aspects of your home that you wish to automate and then compare the market for viable products.
Then your task is to drill down into individual products, determining which offer the most value for the price that they are charging. When comparing smart lighting products, for example, there are a host of options available and many of which offer largely redundant features that deliver minimal value.
In contrast, products such as the Philips Hue are simple, fun and effective, while they boasts a refined range of features including altering the mood of a specific room.
Consider the Need for Simplicity and Ease of Use
When it comes to automated heating and lighting systems, the complexity of smart technology and automation means that it is important to simplify the concept wherever possible. This particularly applies to installation, as identifying an integrating a centralised control point drives considerable convenience and ease of use.
It is even better if these automation hubs are accessible through a mobile application, as this enables you to manage the core elements of your home from anywhere.
The Nest Learning Thermostat and the ecobee 3 products lead this particular market, with both offering a wide range of features and subtle differences that will inform your choice. Both can learn your temperate preferences and schedule, for example, and make automated adjustments to suit these.
The ecobee product is generally considered to be superior in larger homes, however, while it is also touch-enabled and a little easier to use. These are considerations, which can help you to choose the right product and simplify the process of getting the most out of your smart technology in the home.
Consider New Applications in the Market
On a final note, it is important to note that smart home technology is evolutionary in its nature and constantly delivering new products to the market. It is therefore important that you track all new developments, as this can ensure that your technology remains within date and optimised at all times.
We recently saw the release of the Amazon Echo, which is technically a Bluetooth speaker but offers a far more revolutionary set of features and benefits. In essence, it can also serve as a full-size, home-based alternative to Siri and Google Now, meaning that it is a fully-equipped digital assistant that is voice activated and capable of performing a host of automated tasks.
This type of technology can fill some of the voids that exist in smart home technology, enabling to get the most from your investments. It also represents the very latest stage in smart home tech advancement, as the level of interaction between users and hardware becomes increasingly sophisticated.