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The rise of technology in new homes: could you save money through automation?

In 2014, the number of internet-connected devices surpassed the world’s population*.

The real turning point of automation in the home was in 2014 when Amazon introduced its Alexa. A number of products have since followed such as the Google Home Hub, allowing us to use voice control to make repeat orders for groceries, listen to our favourite music or even link the device to our heating systems to control room temperatures more effectively - just a few examples.

What is a ‘smart home’?

The concept of a ‘smart home’ is a property that uses internet-connected devices, allowing homeowners remote control of systems such as security, lighting, heating or kitchen appliances.

Such devices make up what’s known more commonly as the ‘Internet of things’ – using sensors within the devices (that connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth), they collect and analyse data in the physical world to automate everyday things we do in our homes, such as dimming the lights, altering the room temperature or even ordering milk!

The idea of a smart home is that such gadgets can help make our lives a little easier and give us some time back for the common things we do around the home.

What are smart home devices?

As with all new technology, there is of course some scepticism about the concept of the ‘Internet of things’ in that it opens up our connected devices in the home to potential hackers, and also gives the companies that develop the technology more control.

However, regardless of your view on smart home technology, what we do know is, there are now several internet-connected devices that you can use within your home to essentially save you time and money.

Here’s how they break down:

Heating and lighting

These are the most obvious areas where you can save money. It’s also the space where more technology is coming to market, simply because of the environmental and cost-saving aspect of controlling your heating or lighting remotely, thus saving energy. Many new build homes now come with smart home heating systems as they’re much greener and efficient.

Security

A smart home security alarm allows you to control your alarm from an app remotely and can also connect the security hub to other devices such as CCTV. There are clear benefits to using these as you can be alerted to potential intruders whilst on the move, and also physically see your home. For example, Yale has a range of smart home security systems.

We’ve partnered up with Yale to help people secure their homes more easily – read our simple tips on how to keep your new home secure.

Electrical appliances

Having smart electrical appliances in the home are more down to customer preference rather than the housing developer installing them. Take the smart fridge as an example. There are now several brands who have manufactured fridges which can automatically monitor stock within the fridge, connect to your favourite retailers to make repeat orders or even automate them as well as using the screen on the fridge to display recipes or reminders. You could argue that appliances such as the smart fridge can help you save money by managing your food and drink orders and cutting down on waste.

Entertainment

Smart home entertainment systems are arguably the more ‘luxury’ end of the scale as opposed to practical or cost-saving. However, a home entertainment system could be considered a key lifestyle choice for some homeowners and an incentive to buy.


* https://www.wired.com/story/wired-guide-internet-of-things/

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