When appliances become just as smart as us it's hard not to wonder, what’s yet to come, right?" I remember sitting in awe nearly thirty years ago at Disney’s “Carousel of Progress” Exhibit in Orlando. The moving attraction followed a single family through the 20th Century, showcasing how electricity has changed daily life. It was extremely impressive as we marveled at the possibility of virtual-reality games and voice-activated household appliances back then.
Look how far we’ve progressed. Convenience, comfort, and peace of mind play an important role in our hectic lives and in our buying decisions. There’s no denying, we are living in the golden age of developing technology and there’s also no stopping it. Upgrading our appliances and homes to meet modern technology standards can be expensive. The question is, does price really matter if the benefits far outweigh the cost?
Let’s consider both the disadvantages and benefits.
- Cost – installing/updating state-of-the-art intelligence results in a higher price because much of the technology is fairly new i.e. wireless cameras, light sensors, central touchscreens, and don’t forget maintenance and repair can prove expensive.
- Learning – not like traditional homes, smart technology requires a learning curve and not everyone is “tech-savvy”. Absorbing all the technical how-to and properly putting it into action will take time before the benefits the system’s convenience pays off.
- Breaches – video security surveillance is a wonderful option for preventing crime from happening. However, there is always a chance of security feeds, which are transferred wirelessly from the video and sensor being hacked and monitored by unscrupulous individuals’ intent on criminal activity.
- Outages - Smart locks, thermostats, door openers, and security cameras are likely battery-powered also, so they can keep working even when the rest of your home loses power. However, any remote capabilities that rely on the internet or a connected hub will not work. And that includes battery notifications, so if the power outage is expected to last you might want to replace your batteries as a precaution.
- WiFi – Google Home and Amazon Echo are great assistants. When paired with your phone and tablets for controlling lights, your thermostat, and home security system, they will obviously fail when the internet is down, and depending on your service, it can prove very irritating.
- Monitoring – keeping tabs on your habits (good and bad) can dramatically improve upon your lifestyle. Managing how much tv is being watched by your kids, items running low in your refrigerator or their expiration, and meals being cooked can help your health and spending patterns. There’s also nothing more important than monitoring younger children while they’re sleeping or being watched by others.
- Remote Control Functionality – opening a garage door during inclement weather, knowing your children got home safely from school, adjusting your home’s temps to accommodate the outdoor changes, checking who’s at the front door, turning the outdoor/indoor lights on ahead of arriving home in the dark or shutting the oven off when you forgot or preheating in advance of meal preparation are all positives in your daily living.
- Efficiency – You can make your home more energy-efficient 24/7 simply by programming temperature preferences for heating and cooling throughout the day. If you’re a forgetful person, lights can be controlled to turn on and off automatically when you enter or leave a room.
- Elderly Home Health – for those living alone smart home technology can alert them when it’s time to take medication, call emergency services when an injury occurs or a fire erupts, track eating habits, perform simple tasks like shutting off lights, the stove or water when forgotten and left on, or beep when doors are left open.
The decision is yours. What other technologies are yet to be discovered? Only the true innovators know. Keeping up with the ever-changing discoveries is another challenge. Time will tell.
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