First the Smartphone Now the Smart Home: What’s Next?


| 6/21/2013 3:31:00 PM


modern houseHomes sure have come a long way. From caves to huts to shacks to houses, the evolution of the modern home mirrors the evolution of the modern human nicely. And as our species continues forward into the digital information age, our homes are following suit. Where once our televisions, climate control, lighting, and appliances all functioned as simple standalone systems, now everything is becoming a part of a larger matrix of Wi-Fi communication and smart technology. And as with any good insurgency, the digital revolution seems to be gaining speed. So I hope you’ve gotten used to your smartphone, because here are a few smart home automation gadgets that have become relatively common place, and a few things that we can expect in the future.

What’s available?

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Probably the first “smart” device to be marketed in homes, the thermostat was invented way back in 1883. Its function is simple: to monitor inside temperatures and activate heating/cooling systems to maintain them at a desired point. And although the specifics of the thermostat have gone through some periods of redesign, the overall function hasn’t changed. The modern smart home does make a few important alterations, however. Take the Nest thermostat, for example. While it easily handles the basic thermostat duties, it can also learn your temperature preferences as you use it. If you turn down the heat in the morning before you head off to work, but like to turn it back up at night, Nest can remember these proclivities and build a schedule around them. And like most new smart technology, Nest can be controlled through your mobile smart device.

web towerTelevision



There was a time when you would have to rush home if you didn’t want to miss something on TV. Now, nearly everyone has automatic digital video recording (DVR) devices that can store over a hundred hours of television for later viewing. TiVo has become so commonplace, that the corporation name has actually become a verb meaning To record using DVR. But while many modern homes make use of this technology, a few are taking it towards its logical conclusion. Cloud based storage allows for a greater number of hours to be recorded, and Wi-Fi connections make it possible to direct—or even watch—recordings on mobile devices. Many smart televisions can even perform some of the duties of a home computer, such as internet browsing or online gaming. Apple TV is a digital receiver that can play internet based media, and can wirelessly connect to various other peripherals.



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