We’ve been hearing the term “smart home” for the past few years and it has actually meant a few different things to different people. For the most part, a smart home is a home that is equipped with remote-control electronic devices that manage your home’s heating, lighting and other things that bring your house to life.
Figure that a smart home is expected to help owners stay secure, comfortable, and energy efficient at low costs and easy convenience. And we’re going to be seeing a ton of products, articles and features of other products that are meant to help us make our dumb homes smarter.
While the Smart Home market is expected to reach $15 billion by as early as next year, it’s still not so expensive that the average American household can’t take advantage of these new technologies.
The Smart Money is On SmartThings
One of those companies that’s really taking the smart bull by the horns is SmartThings.com, which launched in 2012. Alex Hawkinson recently did an interview with Time Magazine, who had a 39-page special report about the Smart Home in their July 7-14 issue.
“We’re at the outset of this wave where … your home can give you security, peace of mind and more,” Hawkinson told Time. “Eventually, everything that should be connected will be connected.”
SmartThings has several components to it, including a mobile phone app that keeps you connected to your home while you’re away. You can find out every time someone comes home, if your lights are on or off, and a host of other things with the addition of their Wi-Fi enabled hub.
The SmartThings app essentially learns your routine and begins adjusting your household to serve you better. The app also serves as a remote control to your house, from heating to security, you’ll have access to it all through your fingertips, once you’re house is SmartThings ready.
Turning your home into something The Jetsons would be proud of doesn’t have to cost you thousands of dollars, thanks to smartphones, Wi-Fi and some very creative people.
For less than $200, you can teach your dumb home to be a Smart Home by buying the SmartThings Know Your Home Kit. This package comes with:
- A SmartThings Hub
- A SmarthSense Multi sensor
- A SmartSense Presence sensor
- A SmartSense Motion sensor
- All the batteries necessary, an Ethernet cable, power cord and mounting tape.
One of the best features to know about with this product is that there are no monthly fees that you’ll pay for years on end. You’ll just plug your Hub into an Internet router, download the apps to your smartphones, and then place the included devices around your home. Once you’re all set, you can watch the video tutorials that come in the app to customize everything.
The features of this kit help homeowners:
- Know when cars, people and/or pets leave or come home.
- Be alerted when doors, drawers or certain valuable items have been moved.
- Track where you’ve left your keys in the house at any time.
- Find out when the mail arrives.
- Know when a visitor knocks on your door — even if you aren’t home to answer it.
- Be alerted when doors or windows are unexpectedly open.
The best part of all of this is that SmartThings works with hundreds of Zigbee and Z-Wave devices, as well as Belkin Wemo, Philips hue, Sonos, Kwikset, Schlage and a host of other companies and products.
Users that buy this SmartThings hub can add as many other smart devices as they’d like to really create the perfectly connected home.
The “Internet of Things” appears to be something that will take shape and define the 2010s much like social media did for the 2000s. And having great smart home devices, like SmartThings, is one step in that direction.