Believe it or not the ideas that were talked and even joked about 20 years ago are becoming reality. Yes, we are all extremely disappointed that hoverboards and flying cars aren’t everywhere. However there are huge advancements within the living space that many people aren’t aware of. The idea of the “smart home” isn’t just cool gadgets and appliances that run efficiently or are all powered through an electric current – it means that they are connected together and communicate with each other. It means you pull into your driveway and the GPS in your car alerts your thermostat to turn on the AC to the temperature you prefer. Your geographically-based alert system tells your oven to preheat to 390 degrees from the note you spoke into your phone earlier that day. As you approach your front door you unlock it from your phone and your shades open to let in some sunlight so you can walk into a bright and sunny home, cooled to your liking, and dinner already in progress. Yeah. The future is here. And we’re not the only ones who think so.
The action of a garage door opening isn’t improving – it’s how you do it that’s changing. You can control it with the flick of your finger from your phone. The big reason this is becoming popular in smart homes is that companies like “Garageio” are integrating it with the Amazon Echo, a connected home device tethering together different parts of the home that normally run independently. The Echo and Google Home are the first steps in bringing your home’s appliances together on a single platform designed for easy access. So instead of pulling out your phone, you can simply say “Hey Alexa, tell Garageio to open my garage.” While this available on today’s market, some reviews say it is a few years away from being perfected. Well worth looking into when starting your home.
The fridge has been the emotional pillar of the family home ever since they’ve become a necessity. Notes to mom, report cards from the kids, inspirational quotes and family pictures are all customary when you look at someone’s fridge. It now seems like keeping food cold is towards the bottom of its priority list. One brand in particular, “Samsung Family Hub”, has upped the ante in the fridge game. 21.5 inch touchscreen, applications, web browsing ability, built-in whiteboard for doodles, and even a camera to keep an eye on your leftovers no one is allowed to touch. This is an extremely superfluous option for your home but it is a step in the direction that smart homes are going. You can even add notes to certain foods so with one quick glance you can gauge how long until that milk goes bad.
There are a few smart thermostats out there and I HIGHLY recommend getting one. If you are an old school person and don’t need all the techy gadgets and gizmos in your home….still get one. One of the leaders in this sect of the home is “Nest” thermostats and I am a little biased towards them, but it is only because I know they’re awesome. They are very easy to program and the great thing is if you don’t want all the additional features that come along with a smart thermostat that’s fine. This is super easy to use, and it learns your preferences automatically. Meaning, if you set you heat\AC on and off at a certain time every day in synch with your routine, it starts to pick up on this. It will start doing this a few minutes sooner and sooner each day until you don’t have to touch it. There are a ton of other features (like motion detecting sensor to know if you’re home or away, being able to change setting from your smartphone, connecting to wifi and knowing the temperature outside, and plenty more ) but if you aren’t too technologically savvy that’s fine. Using this as a regular thermostat will likely save you a few bucks throughout the year.
Remote Controlled Shades
Now bear with me here, don’t assume this is another luxury that isn’t necessary in your home because guess what: custom homes and have custom made windows. Windows that can run from your floor to your ceiling. Windows that can start 12 feet in the air and you need a ladder to clean. So when you’re meeting with your architect and you finalize a plan – check out your window placement. Have shades you can control with your phone may be the convenience (borderline necessity) you spend the extra buck for. There are many different kinds, some simpler than others, so run it by your builder if they think it is necessary. The last thing you want is to build a window that you always leave covered because it’s a hassle to reach.
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