Smart devices seem to make your life easier, safer and environmentally friendly
FOX43’s Sean Streicher breaks down Smart Home technology.
YORK, PA – When you’re searching for the perfect Christmas gift, you’re likely to come across more than a few “smart devices” that can turn your house into a “smart home.”
A smart home is a house that uses technology to control or automate that home.
These devices can range from a thermostat, to light bulbs, even a refrigerator with a camera inside so you can see if you need to pick up milk without actually having to call someone at home to check.
These smart devices connect to Wi-Fi and allow you to access them from your phone or tablet.
The aim is to provide a simpler, safer and in some cases environmentally friendly lifestyle.
For example, smart thermostats can be programmed to adjust the temperature in your home to a more energy-friendly level when you are at work or sleeping.
Some even use geofencing technology to detect when you’re on your way home and automatically adjust your home’s temperature to your liking.
You can also connect to the thermostat from your phone and control the temperature in the house manually.
When you think of security, alarm systems come to mind. Most of these smart alarm systems can be controlled and monitored all from your phone, letting you know when doors and windows are opened and closed and notifying the police if necessary.
There are also a number of cameras available that give you a live view both in and around your property.
There are also smart smoke, carbon monoxide and even water detectors that connect to your alarm system and can send an alert to your phone or the fire department if a problem is detected.
They can even trigger a response from other parts of your home.
“If it detects a real fire signal, you know, the smoke detector shuts down the HVAC system so that if there’s an actual fire, it doesn’t spread smoke throughout the house,” explained Michael Dobb with Today’s Home & Leisure Products, Inc. it’s 2 a.m. and the alarm system goes off, let’s turn on all the lights in the whole home, just because lights are a deterrent and hopefully that will stop it if something happens.”
Of course, for that to happen, you need your smart devices to be connected and integrated so that they work together.
“Those are the things that you’re going to start reaping the benefits of with the home automation system,” Dobb said. “When you get these things working together as opposed to being ‘hey, I’ve got 10 different apps that I can do really cool things with.'”
As with most Internet-connected devices, there are some concerns that come with Wi-Fi connected devices.
Despite all the security measures in place, there is a small chance that the devices will be opened by an outside party. Some advice from the pros to avoid this is to make sure you have a secure Wi-Fi connection, have updated firmware and choose a good password.
“What I mean by that is hey, you don’t use the same password for all your different logins,” Dobb explained. “It’s critical because if you’re using the same login variants, when one site gets hacked, those hackers can start using programs to try to log in, and when they find something that works, yes, it can be vulnerable, things can is taken over.”
Experts add that it is important to buy reputable, secure devices.
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