8 ways smart home technology can make your life easier
Smart technology is becoming more and more present in our everyday lives. From our phones to our watches and fast becoming ever more present in our homes.
A recent report from Smart Home Week showed that in today’s multifaceted digital age, 43% of people have at least one smart product in their home.
Empowering all consumers, smart homes are showing particular strengths when it comes to users experiencing illnesses, mobility issues and other vulnerable attributes.
From voice-activated virtual assistants – “hello Alexa” - to fridges that automatically reorder your weekly shopping and beds that move with your sleeping mood, there is an abundance of ways that smart home technology can help take away some of the pressures of everyday life. Helping to ease minds about safety and urgent care issues, smart home technology is also helping the elder generation with their health and keeping their homes closely under surveillance when looking towards a future full of travel possibilities.
As we get older, it’s a common understanding that certain everyday tasks can present themselves as more difficult - particularly when it comes to movement and mobility issues. And when planning for your own retirement, this is where advanced technology options and a smart home system can be of serious consideration. Let’s take a look at 7 ways in which a smart home can ease the stresses and strains of everyday life.
- Less Physical interaction
Taking away the need for physical interaction, voice-activated technology is fast becoming a staple in many homes. From the soothing tones of Amazon Echo to the help of Google Home, smart speakers offer you the chance to control a whole host of functionalities just with your voice. In fact, over half of those aged 50+ utilise their voice search options at least once a day.
From cutting down housework and running errands to booking those all-important flights, a virtual reality assistant makes life that much easier. Instead of pressing buttons on an app, you can issue voice commands and voila; calendar appointments scheduled, shopping list ordered, and accommodation abroad, all sorted.
Voice-activated smart systems can also help in the case of medical emergencies. Let’s say you or somebody you know has a fall and can’t get up to get help. In the past, this would’ve meant hours of waiting for someone to show up or trying to reach for the phone. Now all it takes is three words. “Alexa, please help.”
- Making automatic adjustments for convenience and comfort
One of the most intriguing things about adopting smart home technology is understanding how it learns. Temperature control is a great example of this. Working in the same way as a typical programmable thermostat, smart options allow the user to control the temperature of their home at any point in the day with a handy schedule. No matter if you’re home or away on holiday, a smart home learns all about your favourite temperature settings and adjusts itself accordingly.
So, if you want to ensure your heating is off while you’re on your travels, or you need to crank up the heat just ahead of your return these days, simply make the adjustments using your phone. It’s also a great way to say goodbye to energy wastage.
- Keeping costs down
We’ve already mentioned the way in which a smart thermostat can help to save money on energy costs, but there are ways in which you can help to cut down on costs. But it’s not just the four inside walls where savings can be made. Yes, we’re talking about your garden and more specifically, a smart sprinkler system. With the constant maintenance and upkeep required on such a space involving time, energy, this type of smart home technology can help to save you money by just using the water your garden needs, and only at times when it really needs it.
Another fantastic way to save money at the hands of smart home technology is with a smart fridge. Helping you to stay on top of food expiry dates and re-order your essential items when things are running low - it does this by connecting with your chosen supermarket - you can even check out its chilled contents with a handy remote. Less wastage equals a lower cost.
- Helping to avoid accidents and keep you and your home safe
When looking to future proof your home as you plan for your own retirement, there are various smart products that can help with the process. Devices that can automatically sense dangerous temperatures and any potential fire hazards are an addition that you may seriously want to consider, especially when you’re not there. All you need to do is download the relevant app and connect your own device wirelessly. If an alarm then goes off, you’ll be notified with an audio alert and information about which alarm was activated and what the issue is.
Smart technology has also made it’s way into the bathroom, particularly in terms of health and safety. While a walk in bath can help to ease away the stresses of the day. It is so much more than just a tub filled with warm water. In today’s modern world, safety features such as thermostatic bath fillers can help to keep your skin safe and avoid any potential accidents.
- Providing a stronger sense of security
As you contemplate travel in your work-free future, you'll likely be interested in installing smart home systems that keep your home safe and secure. A recent study conducted by Sellhousefast.uk revealed that ‘video doorbells/security systems’ is the smart technology that most appeals to British people, with 47% planning to purchase either one or both within the next two years.
With 48% of consumers viewing security as one of the top drivers behind investing in smart home technology, you can even introduce a robot vacuum cleaner or lawnmower into your home - controlled by your smartphone - and set up a programme to enable it to move around using cameras and sensors. This is another device that helps you to keep an eye on your abode whilst you’re off on your travels.
- Upping your Health & Fitness
When planning for your retirement, you’ll want to make sure you don’t forget about your health. 23% of people say health is a massive factor behind their decision to adopt smart technology, and it’s not surprising. With Apple watches offering functions from step counting and workout statistics to heart rate monitoring and even reminders to keep moving, smart additions such as these are rising in the popularity ranks.
Another way to make your life that little bit easier, whilst also ensuring a focus on your wellbeing is the introduction of resonance sound therapy into your home, or more specifically, your bathroom. With Chromotherapy systems on offer - an ancient natural treatment that uses light waves to enhance your wellbeing - the belief is that this results in an overall benefit to the body, which creates a positive effect on our glands, cells, organs and muscular tissue. Pretty smart, hey?
- Offering more independence in your own home
For those who want to live as independently as they can within their own homes, there are advancements taking place all around. From ElliQ who created a robotic companion which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to offer helpful reminders like when to take your pills and move around, to smart-home sensors that can send automatic alerts to loved ones or carers. Apple Homekit even allows its users to customise a loved one’s environment at the magic touch of a button. From light and temperature control to window mounted CCTV, it is perfectly suited to those struggling with mobility in their homes.
- Audiobooks to aid your boredom
“Alexa, read the next chapter!”. Books are a great way to keep up with the world especially for elderly people who might not be able to keep up with the news all the time– and having it read out is a great way to enjoy them. There are now hundreds of thousands of books available on Audible and other audio book platforms, in genres ranging from fishing, history, romance and all types of fiction. Helping with resilience and mental health, especially for elderly people living alone, audiobooks are a great option for someone who`s eyes don’t work as well as they used to or get easily tired. Not only a great way to fight boredom, but Audiobooks were also found to have a positive link to the improved mental health of seniors, as listening to old favourites can have a calming and nostalgic effect.
Apart from books, there is now also a special video streaming platform specially created for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia called My Life TV – a Netflix type service curated especially for their cognitive needs.
This special streaming service works with video content that are shooting as well as entertaining such as old movies, baby animal videos, music and exercise videos.
Whilst the introduction of such services can seem a touch too invasive at times, really its aim is the opposite. The installation of such smart technology in the home can negate the need for 24/7 supervision from carers and family members and provide solutions to keep your home more safe and secure than ever when you’re not there. Meaning freedom is rightfully restored.