Companies Who Are Making Smart Houses a Reality For Everyone
I remember when I was much younger watching the movie Smart House and being in awe of all the house could do and how everything was connected. I wondered how this technology would become part of my life in the future, and now that future is here.
Through connected devices, or as many call it the Internet of Things (IoT), our lives have changed dramatically. Initially the internet was based mainly on human-to-human interaction, but this is shifting as the IoT becomes more of a reality every day. Devices are coming online, connecting with one another, talking to other devices, and allowing us to interact with them no matter where we are.
Products we use everyday are changing and how they interact with our lives is changing. For example, they now offer real-time product data on usage and performance to identify potential issues. Or, they can notify us and service representatives when parts need to be replaced or maintenance is needed. We’re already getting used to this type of product service in other industries, and we guess it will soon become expected in our homes as well.
Take a look at these companies who are bringing IoT technology into homes today.
Nest is a home automation company and was one of the first IoT companies to become a household name. This was due to their wi-fi enabled, self-learning programmable thermostat, and now they have upped their game with Nest Protect. This interactive and connected smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector has revolutionized our expectations of these devices.
Nest Protect will send messages to your smartphone if your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm goes off, and can tell you when the batteries are running low so you never have to hear the annoying batteries low beeps.
Another added benefit is the ability for this device to communicate with other Nest devices in the house even if wi-fi is down. This means if there is smoke in one room all devices will simultaneously go off while alerting the homeowner of which room the problem is in.
Nest Protect also works with the Nest Thermostat. When the carbon monoxide alarm goes off the Nest Thermostat will automatically turn off the gas furnace as a precaution. In addition, the Nest Protect activity sensors improve the Auto-Away feature of the Nest Thermostat, which saves energy by reducing heating and cooling in empty homes.
Traditional appliance brands are taking note of the IoT revolution and are making enhancements to their products as a result. Whirlpool® stepped up their game with their Smart Side-by-Side Refrigerator with 6th Sense Live ™ technology. This refrigerator provides you with stats on product information and energy use. It sends alerts when accessories or parts need to be replaced. It also allows you to control the temperature while away and activate the Vacation Assistant which adjusts energy levels to help save energy.
Refrigerators are not the only area they are making improvements. They now offer microwaves with sensor cooking that will automatically adjust cooking time. The need to keep a close eye on your popcorn while it’s cooking is over as their AccuPop™ cycle does this for you.
The AT&T Digital Life Cabin Commercial may be one of the most recognizable advertisements showcasing IoT technology in the home. It also exemplifies how you can connect with devices in your home with a click on a smartphone miles away. See the full commercial above.
The AT&T Digital Life packages offer a wide range of IOT services for home security and automation, including:
Door Locks: Ability to check from your smartphone, tablet or PC if the door is locked and remotely let kids in if they forget their key.
Energy: Ability to manage energy use at home and remotely control temperature, lights and appliances.
Water Detection and control: Temperature and water sensors detect leaks and alert you to help prevent water damage. You can also turn off the water main remotely when unwanted water is detected.
This is still the early stages of IoT in our homes, but as this technology becomes commonplace our lives will become more automated and we will be supplied with more data than ever before. This monumental amount of data we are receiving due to IoT is undoubtedly another reason why 2014 is the year of Big Data.