National Smart Home Day was observed on November 3. Did you miss it? Probably. Unless you are a smart home enthusiast or somehow involved in the industry, the day probably came and went without you knowing. That’s okay, however. What is more important is that you familiarize yourself with the smart home concept.
Smart devices have been around for quite some time. Few among us have adopted the smart homes futurists were predicting back in the late 1980s and early 90s, but that’s only because technology has not moved as fast as the predictions. Yet we are almost there in many ways – at least in terms of the types of devices now available to consumers.
The consummate smart home prediction of the late 20th century conjured up images of people barking commands to their homes and sitting back while those commands were fulfilled. It was a big stretch back then. Today, not so much. Anyone with a smart speaker and a few integrated devices can do the same thing.
A basic implementation of the technology involves pairing a smart speaker with smart lighting fixtures. You can speak a command to turn lights on and off. You can turn lights on in one room and off in another. If you have fixtures that can change color or intensity, a couple of verbal commands can create an entire lighting scene.
Advancements in natural language processing have made voice control more accurate and functional in recent years. People are now controlling everything from temperature to irrigation to video surveillance with their voices.
What Constitutes a Smart Device?
Before we can go any further, it is important to define what constitutes a smart device. Vivint Smart Home, a leading nationwide provider of both home security and smart home equipment, says there are three primary characteristics that designate a device as being smart:
- The ability to access it remotely.
- The ability to automate its function.
- The ability to connect it with other devices and/or mobile apps.
It is not absolutely essential that a device be able to artificially learn in order to qualify as being smart. But guess what? Artificial learning is a big part of the modern smart home concept. Take a smart thermostat. High-end thermostats can artificially learn a homeowner’s routine for the purposes of self-adjusting its programming.
Why It All Matters?
At the start of this post, I recommended familiarizing yourself with the smart home concept. That wasn’t an accident. It also was not me just trying to jack up my word count. I made the recommendation because all this matters. Smart homes are not the homes of the future. They are the homes of the here and now.
Unless you are an early Gen Xer or a member of the baby boom generation, the chances are pretty good that you will be living in a home with smart technology at some point in your life. The younger you are, the greater the chances that you will eventually have a home closely resembling what futurists were predicting 30 years ago.
Any smart home device you can utilize today will help you gain a better understanding of the whole smart home concept. More complex devices will not scare you years from now. You will be ready to embrace every new smart technology that comes your way.
Even if you missed National Smart Home Day, you could still observe it in principle by embracing the smart home concept. It is here. It is now. It is today.