There is a lot to the name “smart” that seems to contradict with the word home. How can a home be smart, you ask. Well, take this scenario; you are in a matatu (public transport) and all over sudden you get held up in traffic knowing very well you left early, drew your curtains open, switched off all lights and have no idea whether the thermal kit is on or off and if either how could you tell?
You decide to grab your phone, enter the home app and start drawing curtains shut and lighting the sitting room to indicate to any potential tom peep that you are within and while at it, you may decide to put on some cool classic music to usher you in after a long day.
A smart home is equipped with devices that are connected through your home network giving you the ability to easily automate home security, entertainment, lighting and other systems.
Such is what is referred to as use of a smart home/apartment. The ability to control your own home from outside as if you were within. This is not only a happy pill for the “forever alone” guys and techies, it applies to family as well.
Homework time is homework time. Good times were when you knew your folks would be late and you would camp in front of the television all you want. This time round, a parent can monitor and switch off the television or appliances to keep children within the scope of doing what they should do at the appointed time.
How Smart Homes Work
Any device in your home that uses electricity can be put on your home network and at your command. Whether you give that command by voice, remote control, tablet or smartphone, the home reacts. Most applications relate to lighting, home security, home theater and entertainment, and thermostat regulation.
The technicalities of the products shown in the video below are all available on Amazon. Naming them one by one is what will be out of content here but as stated above the most common appliances are simply configured to synchronize under one platform which is your mobile device or tablet.
Most companies are making their appliances smart ready be it an automatic coffee maker, washing machine, fridge, televisions, light bulbs and much more. This feature (smart ready) will be key in the future when shopping for an appliance.
Security is a big concern and a common question is or will be “who will keep maintaining all the equipment in case of failure?” This will spin a whole new level of employment and if taken seriously, Kenya specifically could ripe good benefits from these opportunities.
Speaking of Kenya, there are apartments ready that have taken up this technology, branding the apartments as smart homes. The apartments located in Kileleshwa, Nairobi, Kenya are the famous Signature Apartments.
Image Credit: Signatureofkenya.com
Commercially speaking, this seems like an expensive endeavor but value comes with a price. However, one can make their home smart if you purchase items such as the Samsung SmartThings which is a hub that connects the entire house through WiFi giving room for other gadgets to connect to it as it connects to your phone or tablet.
Image Source: https://www.smartthings.com/
Most families are able to purchase smart home products, but that doesn’t mean it won’t leave a dent in your wallet. You can purchase the products one at a time and it won’t seem like too much, $50 here, $300 there, but by the time you have the smart home system you want, you will likely have spent a larger sum than you would have if you had purchased non-smart products.
Cost is a two edge sword with its own advantage of savings in the long run. Electricity may seem an issue from a distance but with the use of solar panel energy, it is not much of an issue keeping in mind the availability of backup generators.
When it comes to security, it is recommended you use strong passwords so no one can enter your home security. The password should be a mix of character and preferably long to avoid hackers.
Smart homes do not necessarily have to look out of the ordinary. Smartness comes with the inside. People connecting with the house from and out of the house. A shower head that plays your favorite music, voice recorgnition when going to sleep (Say goodnight and all lights go off kind of thing), ring door with CCTV to see who is at the door and much more. For the voice recognition, just don’t have an argument with your spouse and call out key words to trigger sensors.
The below video is a snippet of signature apartments which is only 15 min long. After that, the content therein the video is beyond the schope of this article. Enjoy!