Complete Guide to Smart Home Solutions
Created: 01 Nov 2018
- Category: Internet of Things
Smart homes are a big trend right now. Those who are interested in tech innovations on average, definitely pay attention to smart homes in particular. The market of consumer-level devices is flourishing, developers run connected home projects for B2B and B2C fields - the possibilities are nearly endless. There are personal home assistants with intelligent answers, lights that turn on when you are near, even smart plates that advise you on your eating habits. Anything you need for a better and fun life is available on the market.
To investigate the topic deeper, let's take a look at the examples of smart devices. We will review them by rooms of your home, and examine both fun and practical ones.
A bedroom is a place where your surroundings matter the most. You rest, sleep and in average spend time dedicated to yourself here. Air quality, light, sleep condition matter for your health, and there are devices that can help you manage these parameters.
Bedside lamps can be connected to your smartphone to notify you about calls and messages via different light colors or blinking. It is also a healthy approach to wake up by a natural-like soft light, and such lamps can accomplish that. You can connect it to your phone, set a wake-up time, and enjoy a natural and pleasant awakening. The market is full of options - take a look at Notti Smart Mood Light and Philips Wake Up Light, for example.
Philips Wake Up Light, Source: usa.philips.com
Air quality trackers and enhancers
Air quality is fundamental for your health, especially at night. This is why breathing clean and fresh air in the bedroom is especially important. Air condition analyzers, such as theO that we developed software for, give you a precise picture of what exactly you breathe in. The data they collect are often temperature, humidity, the amount of gas, pressure, dust amount, and other. Based on that data, the device gives you advice on how to improve the air quality - just connect it to Wi-Fi and your smartphone via Bluetooth.
theO, Source: wantsomeair.com
When we think of sleep trackers, Beddit comes to mind first. It is a seamless thin sensor that is placed under the bed sheet - it tracks how you behave while you sleep on it. You need to connect the device to your phone via Bluetooth, and it will send data on your sleep: how you move, what is your resting heart rate, how you breathe, do you snore, and more. It will wake you up according to the alarms set on your phone, but in a smart way. It will choose an optimal time according to your sleep cycle.
Beddit, Source: beddit.com
The market of smart scales is flourishing. In addition to weight, you can measure a lot more data on your body and health. In addition to weight, smart scales like Nokia Body, which is now Withings, or Eufy Bodysense measure your BMI, heart rate, lean mass, body and visceral fat percentage, water amount, bone mass, and more. Advanced scales can even analyze air condition and show weather.
Withings Body, Source: withings.com/uk/en/body
Allowing such devices to your bedroom makes this room a hi-tech hub for health analysis, enhances rest quality, and keeps your lights on point.
A living room is a place where you and your family spend time together: watch movies, listen to music, or just chat in a relaxed atmosphere. So there is an idea to give this room a touch of hi-tech to improve the time spent here.
Automated lights can either be preprogrammed to function without you, or be connected to your smartphone for manual remote management. The lights can turn off and on according to your settings, or when there is no one in the room, or depending on the time of the day. Individual LED bulbs need to be connected to some kind of a network via a gateway. The market offers a wealth of options to choose from: Lutron, Belkin, Xiaomi, Philips produce such bulbs and whole lightning systems.
Take a look at, for example, Bali or Serena smart windows - the "smartness" is simple, you can remotely control the windows via your phone or computer app. The windows have built-in motorized controllers that regulate closing and opening according to the timer you set manually, or a system's remote control unit. The windows can also be integrated with smart security systems that alert you when someone tries to break in through a window.
There are dozens of smart speakers available and more are coming. You can choose from a number of options depending on which are the most important for you. Do you want to connect other assistants to it? Is the sound quality important? Do you want a touchscreen in addition to a voice control?
Speaking about basic functionality, all smart assistants will keep you updated on your schedule, provide real-time answers to your voice commands, act as translators, read news for you, tell the weather, and so on. These devices can also connect to the other smart appliances all around your home and become a single management hub for all of them - just use your voice to command. Take a look at Google Home, Amazon Echo and Lenovo Smart Display.
Enhancing your living room with smart solutions makes it easier to control all the other appliances you have installed, makes your time spent at home safer, and adds a bit of flavor to entertainment. Devices from different manufacturers can be integrated with each other and controlled via a custom IoT mobile app.
A kitchen is a place where you can automate or at least make easier the biggest number of functions. This is the place where you cook, first and foremost, and cooking involves a lot of action. In addition, here you store and eat food - the following appliances allow you making it the smart way.
This may be the most unexpected device on the list. SmartPlate is a 10-inch plate with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules, small cameras and weight sensors - the plate is watching what you eat. SmartPlate alerts you when you serve too much, and sends data to your smartphone on what you eat. You can also connect it to your Fitbit or MyFitnessPal apps.
Adding a taste of "smart" to your kitchen makes food storage and meal preparations easier and more fun than ever. The devices will also help you keep your food behavior healthier.
SmartPlate, Source: getsmartplate.com
Connected kettles come in a variety of forms and possess different tech insides. Some of them can be connected to smartphones only, some of them can be controlled via smart assistants like Google Home. But using them is similar - you can set the time when you need the water to boil, adjust the temperature, set the schedule or tell the kettle to boil according to the time when you turn off the alarm on your phone. The Smarter iKettle does all of the above, take a look at this device as an example.
Smarter iKettle, Source: smarter.am/ikettle/
Thinking about fridges LG comes to mind first, as they have been to the smart fridge market for a while. LG InstaView ThinQ has a built-in AI platform to integrate with Alexa and read recipes for you, advise what ingredients you have run out of, and allows ordering them right from the fridge. It has a large display and built-in apps for notes and more. Tapping on the screen makes it transparent so you can see what is inside without opening the door. If you want to know it remotely, you can do it via your smartphone - there is a panoramic camera inside that streams the picture to your smartphone.
LG InstaView ThinQ, Source: lg.com
Fire and smoke alarms
Fire alarms are crucial for kitchens due to the big number of electrical appliances that work here. And don't forget that no one is safe from the danger of burned food, which can cause the fire. Nest Protect is an efficient and attractive device that is placed on the kitchen ceiling to track signs of smoke. Nest will alert you with voice and phone notifications if it senses smoke or because of low battery. The alarm can be turned off via a smartphone app, or if you have connected Nest to your smart assistant, just tell it to turn Nest off. It also works as a nightlight - it will light up when you move under it.
Nest, Source: nest.com
Drop is a smart wireless scale that makes the idea work. The scale can be connected to your iPhone or iPad that will work as a screen that guides you through the steps of the recipe. The scale helps you to measure the amounts precisely, and if you run out of some ingredients it will scale the recipe up or down or suggest how to replace lacking products.
Drop, Source: getdrop.com
While the bathroom does not seem a very "smart" place, it is still likely to store a number of valuable connected devices that improve the quality of life. This is the room that all your family members visit regularly every day, so it is a great idea to make this place more comfortable.
Motion sensors, remote device control, user habits recording, and similar are utilized to make bathrooms smart. Let's take a look at the examples - some of them seem extremely useful for any bathroom.
A mirror can carry extra functions to become a more valuable device. Built-in sensor lights that are activated by a gesture, bright enough so that you see every detail clearly, and adjustable to a lighting level comfortable at night. A good example is Duravit Luv mirror - it has a light control panel that you do not have to touch and a heating option. For late hours the light can be dimmed with a wave of a hand. The smart mirrors under development will have such futuristic options as onscreen weather, personalized appearance advice and more.
Duravit Luv Mirror, Source: duravit.us
Following right toothcare habits can be difficult, and smart brushes. One of them, an Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries helps to make a healthy habit easily. It keeps track of your brushing, gives feedback, alerts you when you put too much pressure while brushing, and tells you when you complete a 2-minute toothcare routine.
Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries, Source: amazon.com
Having these smart appliances at hand you will build a cleaner and cozier bathroom that helps you take care of your health.
Automating the inside of your house, do not forget that you can also automate the outside. The devices here are more practical than fun.
For the outdoors, it is the most valuable to light up the paths and important spots where people gather. A popular solution is Philips Hue Calla Lights with the adjustable color. You need a bridge to connect all the lights to, in order to control them centrally. Just place them within 30 feet of the hue device to take your outdoor lighting to the next level.
Another option is spotlights. They can illuminate places where you spend time, or light up trees or bushes to add beauty to your yard. We will again turn to Philips for their product Hue Lily - they also need a hue hub, and the color is also adjustable.
Personal weather stations with outdoor modules can track climate and send data to the app on your smartphone. For example, Netatmo tells you the temperature, humidity level, air quality, real-time environmental changes, produces forecasts. You can connect it to your smart assistant as well.
Netatmo, Source: netatmo.com
Smart security solutions allow keeping an eye on what happens at your door remotely. Install the Ring Video Doorbell to see on your phone who is at your door before you decide whether to answer. You can also talk to that person via this device.
Another option is to totally replace your door lock with a smart one - an August Smart Lock, for example. It can be connected to your Nest or Apple HomeKit systems. There is a possibility to use numbers of virtual keys so that you can let someone in just once. You can lock it with a voice command, and add extra features for additional security - a doorbell cam and a wireless keypad.
Robotic lawnmowers and sprinklers
If you own a yard or a garden, you can automate the everyday routine. Rachio Smart Sprinkler will help you water your plants according to the schedule you set. It is a smart irrigation system that saves up to half the water you usually use, tracks leaks, adjusts to the weather conditions and more. You need to adjust settings in an intuitive app beforehand.
Another smart and useful device is a connected lawnmower, like the one from Husqvarna. It is silent, boasts an intelligent algorithm of detecting the lawn's growth rate and rain saturation - the mower needs this data to adjust its mowing time.
Smart outdoor devices make your life easier, more pleasant and secure than ever before. With the help of smart solutions, you can rely on the technology to do the work for you.
Deciding whether you need a smart home at all is an important action. Having the aforementioned examples and options at hand you will have a picture of possibilities the smart gadgets give you. This information will guide you in the world of smart homes, providing relevant examples of what exactly you can make smarter at your home, bringing your life quality to a new level.