What does it take for a home to be smart? Actually, it doesn’t take very much at all. Something as simple as an LED light bulb can count towards a home being seen as smart. For a home to be smart, it has to have a certain amount of automation behind it. So you’re home, or appliances within the home, can be directed with simple commands either by sound or by a command centre. Smart appliances, for the most part, are also wireless. This means you can fully automate your house and no one would even know it.
The command centre is where you can control all of your devices, from one place such as an iPad. Many use their smartphones too to automate certain parts of the home. You could, for instance, use your phone to turn on a kettle so that you can have a cup of tea when you get home from work. Many see automation as large televisions coming out of the floors, blinds that are fully controlled and other high value items. But home automation isn’t just for the rich and famous, anyone could make their home smart.
It’s been predicted by industry experts that by the end of this year 11% of all homes will be considered “smart”. The UK government are even aiming to install smart meters in all homes by 2020, this will mean you’ll only ever be paying for exactly what you use. The smart home industry is a large one, it’s estimated to be worth £6.6 billion by the end of 2017 and to be worth £29 billion by 2020. This is an annual growth of over 20%, and it doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.
Smart homes aren’t just helpful for those who want a cup of tea however, it is slowly paving the way when it comes to the long term care of the severely disabled. Being able to control their homes from one place makes it much easier for them to get things done without having to lift more than a finger.
There are over 11 million people in the UK who have an impairment, disability or long term illness, according to latest statistics from the UK government. So this is a potentially vital lifeline for the future of healthcare patients.
Most would assume that smart technology is a fairly new discovery, but it’s actually a technology that has been talked about since the very late 1800’s, starting with a story by Mark Twain. This story talked about a device called a “Telectroscope”, which would use telephones to create an information sharing network (much like you would see in Facebook and Twitter today). Below is an infographic by Big Brother All Security that is a timeline style image looking at smart homes of yesterday and where it is heading.