Upgrade? How to keep your home technology relevant for 2020 and beyond
Smart thermostats. Home assistants. Robot vacuum cleaners. WiFi-capable refrigerators.
Today, we’re flooded with options to fill our homes with the latest, greatest technology. But these devices can be overwhelming! Where should you start? What’s necessary to keep your home updated and tech-savvy without becoming a hassle or a nuisance?
Let’s break down the core components you’ll need to create a modernized home for 2020 and beyond.
- Optimized Internet
Everything starts here. All those smart, WiFi-enabled devices require a smooth, fast, reliable Internet connection to work properly. If your Internet isn’t up to speed (literally) the devices will not work properly, and they’ll cause you major headaches.
Look for a minimum of 50-100 Mbps download speed from your Internet provider and 5 Mbps upload speeds to ensure you have the foundation necessary to handle these devices. If you play online games, stream TV shows and movies, and/or have multiple devices connected to your home network at once, this step becomes doubly important.
You can conduct a free speed test right here to check on the performance of your current setup.
- Smart assistant
Once you feel comfortable with your home network’s capability to handle the task at hand, look into getting a smart assistant.
Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant lead the way in this realm, but there are several options that can integrate a variety of assistants into your home. These devices are hands-free, utilizing voice prompts to receive commands and provide answers or take a specific action.
With Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, for example, you simply say “Alexa” to activate the device then follow with your command, such as “Play rock radio hits” or “Set a timer for 10 minutes.” The real benefit of these devices, however, is their ability to integrate with other smart devices you might have in your home. With smart plugs, smart door locks, smart thermostats, and other connected devices, these smart assistants can turn your lights on/off, lock your doors, and even control the temperature of your home.
“Usage amongst early adopters proves home automation can improve quality of life, making the technology more attractive to consumers who are currently wary of its benefits,” Euromonitor International Research analyst Luis Zamudio told IoTWorldToday.com in an interview. “The next four years will bring rapid growth as consumers continue to learn about use cases for fully integrated smart homes. I believe some form of the technology will be commonplace in most Americans’ daily lives soon, and the number of automated homes will expand substantially.”
- Home Security
One of the most appealing subsets of smart technology today is home security.
“There is huge demand for security products as people realise the benefits of being able to keep an eye on their property, their pets or families from wherever they are,” D-Link Europe President Kevin Wen told ItProPortal.com in an interview.
From DIY options such as Ring and Frontpoint to robust, professionally installed systems such as Vivint and ADT, the smart home security market is booming with options based on a particular home’s needs.
That said, the idea is the same across the board: These home security systems integrate with your home WiFi network and an app, which you use to control your house and the monitor the various cameras/alarms/locks you have installed and connected.
You’ll receive notifications directly via the app when an alarm is triggered, and you can also access a cloud-based storage system to view live feeds as well as saved videos from anything that may have triggered a camera- or motion-activated event.
With increasing integration with smart assistants, these home security systems can make you feel safe and secure — no matter where you are.
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