Imagine waking up to the blinds opening at the sound of your alarm, revealing the morning sunrise in sync to your favourite song playing softly from the built-in ceiling speakers. You walk into a warm bathroom and your shower playlist starts - complete with the perfect lighting to shield those sleepy eyes. Stepping into the shower, the humidity sensor and extractor fan are set to run intelligently, for a perfectly ventilated the bathroom, while the radiator has heated your towel to optimum toastiness.
Your home continues to assist you through your morning routine, and as quickly as it responded to your life, it goes back to ‘sleep’ when you leave, instantly turning off all the lights and any mains powered appliances on standby while keeping a watchful eye with a highly intelligent security alarm system.
This perfect morning may sound like an experience that belongs in a home of the future, but this is the reality in more than 40,000 smart homes today.
The future is now
There’s a general perception that the smart home is a complicated, ‘futuristic’ concept. But for the user, a true smart home is simple to install and intuitive to use, with an autopilot system that works constantly behind the scenes to truly enhance the way we live.
With a smart home, everything is effortless. The technology blends into the background, quietly managing everyday tasks to allow residents to focus on more important things in life. It’s not all about making lives easier either, as smart homes can provide ultimate peace of mind for emergency situations such as burst pipes, fires or burglaries.
A recent Loxone study uncovered that 86% of people in the UK are worrying about leaving their homes unattended when going away, with break-ins and fire being the main concerns. They’re wasting at least 10 minutes carrying out lock-down routines like turning off appliances, setting alarms and locking doors. These are all things that smart home technology can do in seconds.
The smart home is also not only a lifestyle choice, it can cut down costs significantly. Many of us are paying for energy to heat up the entire home, even when rooms are not in use. Controlled with an app, smart ‘zoned heating’ will only heat up the rooms being used to save up to £400 in annual UK fuel bills, guaranteeing an eco-friendly future that’s minimal effort.
The 2030 vision
By 2030, manual routines, like those we all perform before leaving our homes, will be a thing of the past. In fact, as early as 2019 it’s estimated there will be 68 million homes in Europe and North America alone.
While smart home technology is available today, we will continue to see advances as the mass growth of sensors opens up opportunities for homeowners to integrate personal data from their devices into the smart home, such as fitness watches.
For instance, if you were to leave the house for a run, your fitness tracker could communicate with your home via geolocation and make sure your boiler heated the hot water, ready for a shower upon your return. It could even pick up where you are on your music player playlist as you stepped through the front door.
This relationship between sensors, wearables and the smart home could also enhance health and wellbeing, allowing our homes to track and monitor our vital statistics. For example, recording your temperature through the door handle, analysing your sleep patterns and reminding you through the TV when to take your medication or meals.
Smart homes for assisted living
Smart home automation can play an invaluable role in protecting and caring for vulnerable or elderly individuals, many of whom want to remain independent in their own homes for as long as they possibly can.
Motion sensors will make sure lights always come on automatically when entering a room, and daily routines and activities can be monitored to spot anything unusual. For example, if a grandparent hasn’t switched the kettle on for their habitual morning tea, the smart home can immediately notify a nominated person that there has been a change in routine, making smart homes the perfect places for assisted living. The house can also detect movement in the home and the use of doors and windows, in addition to appliances, immediately alerting loved ones if something is amiss.
Smart home technology isn’t rocket science or futuristic, it’s here and it’s ready to make our lives easier and safer. Instead of us controlling our home, our home will streamline our increasingly busy lives and make the time we spend in them more enjoyable and efficient.
Loxone is the leader in smart home automation with the ‘brain’ of the smart home, the Miniserver Go, providing full retrofit integration at an affordable price.