Article

Dragana Nikolic
Dragana Nikolic 23 December 2015
Categories Technology

How to live in a smart home / or stay smart AT home /

“From now on, we can fight our loneliness by having a jolly good time with our home appliances. How's that possible? Tec

“From now on, we can fight our loneliness by having a jolly good time with our home appliances. How’s that possible? Technology has crossed a heavy way from a room-sized computer (ENIAC) until the pocket-size device.”

 

How many times have we imagined that our vacuum cleaner does the work instead of us? Or, even better, to have somebody who will organize our lives on a daily level when it comes to our “homework”. Like in movies, our future is changing from “unpredictable” to a “very predictable” stadium. The same thing applies to our homes.

 

From now on, we can fight our loneliness by having a jolly good time with our home appliances. How’s that possible? Technology has crossed a heavy way from a room-sized computer (ENIAC) until the pocket-size device. We are now connected with this single item. Smartphones are the biggest technology outbreak ever. So small, but so powerful. With a solid Internet connection, we can use it to control our nearest environment. Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT) era.

 

The main concept behind the term describes Internet of Things as “everyday devices equipped with sensors and connectivity to work together, understand what we’re doing and operate automatically to make our lives easier”. For some things, Internet of Things is essential; for some others, it only makes us think less and be passive. We’ve slightly becoming involved in a data mining process ourselves. This means that we have many daily-based duties, apart from numerous business tasks. Going back home each day represents an effort since we need to remember all the things that need to be done. That’s why people invented smart technology: to help them ease the process of home-based activities. So, this is what Internet of Things (IoT) is all about.

 

For example, you are driving home from work and passing by the supermarket. Your fridge notifies you via smartphone that you need to buy fresh milk and eggs. It’s time to stop and shop. Or, you can program your washing machine to do the laundry at the time you planned. An even more interesting story comes from Volvo cars.

 

Volvo cars

 

The company already plans to connect your car to the nearest supply center. This will spare your time for some other, more important, activities. According to Gartner, a typical family will be connected to more than 500 smart devices by 2022. This will be a universal process, since last year there were more than 1B smartphone devices sold to the end users worldwide.

To understand how important this concept is, let’s just mention that Google (best known for selling advertising services globally) has introduced a new IoT platform called Brillo, and Intel (always mentioning and working with data centres) has begun betting on the IoT as its core concept. For ourselves, being in the middle of the Internet of Things means both having positive and negative outcomes. The first ones make our homes smart; the second ones make us smart at our homes.

3 Things that Make a Smart Home

ENERGY. The concept behind IoT should provide us a sustainable future, right? Connected devices should give us energy efficient solutions. The power will be always off if we’re not at home. Washing machines will work only when the energy is less expensive. We should not waste food - our appliances will warn us to use the remaining quantities and buy fresh only when needed. This is more than good.

HEALTH. Our health is connected to everything around us. “There’s no place like home”. This famous quote applies to our well-being, physical and mental health. In relation to that, our new and smart devices will help us feel safe & sound while at home. For instance, Nest thermostat is not only saving home energy - it learns exactly what we like and feel comfortable with. This is only one aspect of feeling good with IoT; smart devices will make even more out of it.

TIME. Time is money, time is ours, time is everything! Nothing can bring back the time we spent on some things that were less important, especially doing the housework. We need time to clean our house, make dinner, wash the dishes… and, above all, spend time with our families. This is a repetitive action, which never ends. Smart devices connected within the Internet of Things will only help us prioritize things that are worth spending time on. In this way, we will be less frustrated and will rely on our smartphone to do the work instead of us.

2 Things that Make us Smart at Home

THINKING: Opposite to the automation process, human brain needs to be active and to think. It’s okay when our car drives us safely home from an exhausting day at work. But, if we continue relying on things instead of our brains, what will our mental activity look like? Are we going to spend more time thinking about proactive ideas, be more productive at work? Maybe not. Human brain is there to think and perceive things around. All these activities build our life experience. For example: if you drive a car, accidentally go through the red and being warned by police, you will never make the same mistake again. Driverless cars may not make mistakes, but they cannot think. This is a huge difference.

FEELING: Letting our smart system work for us is a good concept, especially if it frees us from redundancy. On the other hand, we are the ones who need to shape it, make it better and sustainable. Having a plant at home and taking care of it only proves our closeness to the nature. The same with pets - will they agree to be fed and walked by robots or some smart devices instead of us? Probably not. Our home is a place for living beings first; then devices and machines. Internet of Things is here to help us achieve more and better, but not to alienate us from where we actually belong.

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