Internet of Things is one of the most talked about technologies at the moment. Thousands of companies – both multinational giants and tiny, creative startups – are researching new ways to ride this wave. It is no wonder then that IoT is slowly but surely staring to infiltrate every aspect of our lives. However, a casual observer would be stunned by all of the possible practical uses of IoT in a single home. Most of these uses can be achieved both by buying ready-made solutions and by experimenting on your own with different sensors and small computers like Raspberry Pi. You can practically monitor and control your home in its entirety using apps on your smartphone, or a browser-based interface.
Gain peace of mind with complete home security
If there’s one thing IoT has made certain, it’s that there is no reason to ever worry about your home security again. Security systems that use IoT technology can either use pre-determined normal settings, or they can discover the normal conditions in your home using machine learning. Every time there is a deviation from the norm, you will know it. These systems usually have sound, motion, temperature, air quality, vibration, humidity, as well as door and window sensors, and a camera. You can tune in and have a peak at the live feed from your home at any time. The system will notify you if there is a possibility of, for instance, a break in or a fire, and most of them will also contact the police or firefighters immediately. You can even choose the form of the alert – a text, email, tweet or phone call, and set them to contact someone other than you, for those occasions when you are away.
Make your own weather station
Everyone knows that TV and internet weather reports can be painfully inaccurate. You get up in the morning, check the outside temperature so you can pick out an outfit, only, when you leave the house, it turns out it’s really hotter or colder by several degrees. It’s actually unbelievably easy to create your own weather station that can measure the temperature, dew point, pressure, humidity, and rain. In fact, if you like a bit of tech tinkering, there are tutorials that even teach how to make one by yourself, using some sensors and a small computer. You can make it only for your own personal use, or even make it public and do something useful for your neighborhood. Just invest in some cheap domains, set up a simple website, stream the data there, and let your neighbors know where they can get a fresh and accurate weather report.
Stop worrying about appliances
Many platforms deal with home appliances in different ways. Of course, plenty of systems focus on remote control of appliances, and some of them have alert systems too. Never again do you have to spend your entire day in knots, wondering whether you left your stove or iron on. These smart systems monitor your appliances and their power signatures. Anything out of the ordinary is detected, and you are alerted using a WiFi connection. Of course, safety is not the only use. Perhaps you want your crockpot to make you dinner while you are away from home. Or maybe you like a fresh pot of coffee ready and waiting on the counter. The WiFi app will even inform you when exactly your coffee is ready, so you can utilize your time to the max. Because some of these systems (including those that control your heating and sprinklers) measure the electricity, gas, and water you spend, they can also be used as an excellent starting point for working out how to lower your bills.
Create the perfect atmosphere
The concept has been around for decades in futuristic movies, but now it’s here for us ordinary folks too. You don’t like walking into a dark house? Connecting your light sources to a simple automation system can allow you to turn your lights on or off, or even dim them. Lights can also be adjusted depending on the time of day. Do you want to hear your favorite music play when you come back home from work? Some of these systems even go so far as to control your window shades. Again, that’s something easily controlled through an app. If you can’t be bothered to fidget with the controls all the time, you can pre-program your desired settings.
The concept of smart homes has been around for decades, but only now, with the advent of this promising technology is it truly lifting off the ground. It is no longer something that only the select few millionaires or tech geniuses can enjoy. In fact, IoT is quickly ushering in a new era: the democratization of tech for everyone.