Smart Homes

Smart Homes

What comes to mind when you hear the term “smart home”?  Perhaps a cartoon from our childhood – The Jetsons,  where George Jetson has a futuristic abode with everything automated.  Well this technology is now a reality in our world.

Smart home technology, also referred to as home automation, provides homeowners security, comfort, convenience, and energy efficiency by allowing them to control smart devices from either an app on their smartphone or through a networking device. 

This technology stems from the Internet of Things (IoT), a smart home system and devices often operate together, sharing consumer usage data among themselves and automating actions based on the homeowner’s prefer expressed preferences.

Some examples of smart home technology are:

Smart TV’s – Smart TV’s connect to the Internet to access content through applications, such as on-demand video and music.  Some TV’s also include voice or gesture recognition.

Smart Lighting Systems – Smart Lighting systems can detect when people are in the room and adjust for proper lighting as needed.  Some systems can also regulate themselves based on daylight availability.

Smart Thermostats – Smart Thermostats come with integrated Wi-Fi, allowing you to schedule, monitor, and remotely control home temperatures.  These devices also learn homeowners’ behaviors and automatically modify settings to provide residents with maximum comfort and efficiency.  Smart thermostats can also report energy usage and remind you to change filters.

Smart Security Systems – Smart Security Systems enable homeowners to monitor their homes when they are away or on vacation.  Smart motion sensors are also able to identify the difference between residents, visitors, pets, and burglars and can notify the authorities if any suspicious behavior is detected.

Pet Care and Gardening – Pet care can be automated with connected feeders.  Houseplants and lawns can be watered via connected timers.

Kitchen appliances – There are all sorts of smart kitchen appliances available, including smart coffee makers that can brew you a fresh cup of coffee as soon as your alarm goes off.  Smart refrigerators that can keep track of expiration dates, make shopping lists, or even create recipes based on ingredients currently on hand.  There are also smart slow cookers and toasters and in the laundry room, washing machines and dryers.

Monitor Systems – Monitor systems can sense an electric surge and turn off appliances or sense water failures or freezing pipes and turn off the water so there isn’t a flood in your basement.

Advantages of a Smart Home

  • Peace of Mind – Having a smart home gives homeowners peace of mind, allowing them to monitor their homes remotely, countering dangers such as leaving the coffee maker on or a the front door that was left unlocked.
  • Security/Safety- Smart Homes are beneficial for the elderly, providing monitoring that can help seniors to remain at home comfortably and safely, rather than requiring 24/7 home care or moving to an assisted living or nursing facility .
  • Efficiency – Smart homes improves efficiency in your home.  For example, instead of leaving the air conditioning on all day, a smart home system can learn your behaviors and make sure the house is cooled down by the time you get home.  The same is true for other appliances in your home.  Plus, with a smart irrigation system, your lawn will only be watered when needed and with the exact amount of water necessary.

Disadvantages of a Smart Home

  • Cost – The main smart home disadvantage is the high cost of setting up a fully functional smart home. It will come to no surprise that smart technologies are quite expensive. The cost of installing state- of- the- art facilities necessary to make your home smart is often overwhelming.
  • Learning Curve – This has become more of a problem since one of the major arguments of the proponents of smart homes is the convenience it offers for the elderly. We live in a digital age and with an aging population the technology becomes a tough selling point.  For those who are tech-savvy, there is still a significant learning curve.
  • Security – Although security is considered an advantage, there is another side or security that needs to be addressed.  Although smart technologies protect us from thieves, they could allow different class of thieves in just as easily too.  If someone can hack into the security system, they could turn alarm systems, and motion sensors off, disable security cameras, unlock all doors and make breaking into your home very easy.
  • Privacy – Privacy concerns is also a hot topic also.  Smart homes have security cameras almost everywhere and the feeds are supplied to a security system.  Private moments even in the bedroom may not be private anymore.  Anyone could hack into the video feed since the home is connected to the Internet.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle – With a smart home, you can warm your food in the oven, put on your favorite music, and probably mow the lawn without taking a single step.  This limits your physical activity that can ultimately cause health issues.

About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at

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