The term ‘smart home’ has been used for a number of years to describe homes that will allow people to have more control over how they interact with their home. A smart home also can save the homeowner energy and money, something that everyone seems to be able to agree is a good idea. As technology advances even further there are tools coming forward that will make tomorrow’s homes even more efficient and more connected to their owners than ever before.
For example, in Denver, Colorado Radiant Glass Industries has brought to market a new type of window that not only blocks heated air from escaping a home but also heats the home through the use of radiant heat. Their Power*e windows use a coating on the inside of the glass that is conductive and passes a low voltage electric current to the window, heating it up. This adds heat to a room and also makes the windows practically 100% efficient. John Capper from Oakworth Homes has said” “This technology combined with a sustainable timber frame home means that energy efficiency will be off the scale!”
There are new systems that are being developed by most of the major lighting companies that use apps on smart phones to control a home’s entire lighting system. One of the more fantastic things that these apps can do is actually turn lights on or off depending on the time of year and the position of a home to the sun. Turning on lights when the system senses that you’ve arrived home or dimming them with just the flick of your finger on your iPhone is also coming.
The same thing that can be done with an app for lights is also being done with a home’s heating and air conditioning systems. For example, turning the heat down when a certain temperature is reached outside or turning off the ac when a door is left open to conserve energy will be something that the next gen of home will be able to do.
The same can be said for burglar alarms, pool and spa controls, video monitoring systems and any other system that you may currently use to monitor, heat, cool and protect your home. Apps are being developed to do all of these things and more.
One of the coolest new products is called Twine and its being developed at MIT. A Wi-Fi hub sensor that can be ‘tripped’ alerts the homeowner to practically anything, like water in the basement or a window left open on the 2nd floor. It then notifies the owner wherever they happen to be via smartphone and on the cloud.
Lastly there are keyless entry systems that will allow you to not only get in and out without a key but, for example, let others in for a specific amount of time only, such as the cleaning service. Once the time period is passed the door no longer opens and the home is secured again. Amazing stuff this future technology!