T here was a time when we used to watch robots doing things in the movies or answering to vocal commands, and it all seemed pure science fiction. Well, that era is here, and artificial intelligence couldn’t be more real. Today, you can connect almost all the systems and appliances in the house to a hub or smartphone and start monitoring and adjusting everything. A smart thermostat, for example, can help your select the right temperature without being at home. Moreover, there are plenty of smart alarms that will send you a notification if your home experiences a flood or a gas leak.
Home automation offers you excellent advantages, and it is certainly the future. Nonetheless, disadvantages are present as well, and it is a good idea to analyze them well before making an investment, as it surely isn’t cheap.
In today’s article, we will focus on presenting the pros and cons of home automation and analyze what specialists say about the evolution of this technology, so stay with us, as we explain how it can change your life and how much you may have to pay for it.
The Advantages of a Smart Home
This technology is becoming increasingly more popular. Many people choose to install smart security systems or go for smart home and kitchen appliances that can make their lives easier. This is proof that the benefits are substantial and overcome the few drawbacks that come with these systems.
Here’s a list of the main gains a smart home can offer.
This is the main purpose of home automation. We are looking to reduce chores to a minimum so we can use our time to do more important things. With smart technology, you don’t need to supervise your kitchen appliances, for example. The oven will send you a notification when dinner is ready, the coffee maker can be actioned from the distance so you can find fresh coffee when you get out of bed. Even the fridge can send you a notification when it is empty, and, in the future, it may even be able to place an order itself.
The appliances around us are learning, and this is a good thing up to a point. Lighting systems can learn the hours you get home from work and turn on the bulbs on the driveway when you need them most. With a smart thermostat, you can program your HAVC system to start and stop at precise hours. Moreover, a wide range of robots is now ready to handle tiring jobs like vacuuming, mopping, lawn mowing, etc.
Although there’s a small debate here (you’ll find more about it in the ‘Disadvantages’ section), there’s no doubt that having a system that lets you know in real-time if someone is at your door or is trying to force their entrance, makes life more secure. Thus, you can call the police and catch the burglars while they are still in the house. We all know how difficult it is to get things back once the burglars have left the premises. Besides, smart systems offer high-quality cameras that will not only record every movement but will allow you to see what’s happening live on your phone.
Smart keys and garage door openers allow you to check if your home is closed, even when you have already arrived to work. Plus, if you notice you have left it open, there’s no worry, as you can quickly lock it from your phone.
Not all smart homes look the same, and this is a big advantage. Once you are done with the wiring and made sure you have strong internet, it is up to you to decide what systems should be automated and what appliance should be connected to your hub or phone. Thus, even if you have a smaller budget at first, you can, in time, upgrade your home until it reaches the stage of full automation. Or leave it partially automated. In the end, this can be a matter of taste and trust.
The HAVC system, along with the lighting system, is known to be the most power-consuming in a home. But, if you decide to connect them to your smartphone, you instantly get full control of them without being at home. Thus, you can program them to start and turn on at certain hours. Automatic blinds that come with light sensors are even more independent as they can open and close as the shade shifts. You can also get smart cameras that activate only when they feel motion. It may seem little, but these will make an important impact on your energy costs. Plus, less energy wasted means a longer life for the planet.
The initial investment is considerable and makes lots of people reconsider their decision. Nonetheless, in time, it starts paying for itself. First, as we have explained, your energy bills will be lower. Secondly, you can even consider using a green energy source and reduce the costs to a minimum. In this case, you may even qualify for government subsidies and tax benefits, which are offered to make the energy transition process faster.
Increased Home Value
Smart houses sell at higher prices than traditional homes, so, if you ever decide to sell it, you may not only get more money for it but more requests. People today are looking for convenience, and many of them would pay more for it. In fact, in the past years, there has been an increasing demand for automated houses, so you shouldn’t worry that if you automatize yours, you may not be able to sell it later.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Nothing is perfect, and this technology comes with a list of disadvantages as well. For some people, they are deal-breakers, while others understand that these problems can be reduced or even solved with a bit of care.
Here are the cons of home automation.
It isn’t cheap to transform your home and make it smart. As a matter of fact, only the wiring may cost you around $2,000. Considering that you will need to make sure all your appliances and systems can link to your phone, you may realize that some of them need an upgrade while others need to be replaced. The truth is that a smart home can cost as much as $80,000 and even more. Nonetheless, the good thing is that you don’t need to buy everything at once. This project is doable if you are willing to accept that your home transformation may take years.
Everything depends on the internet, so you will need a strong signal throughout the house. Moreover, the more elements you connect to the WiFi, the more bandwidth they will take up, so you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot do your job or watch a movie. However, this issue can be solved if you sign up for more bandwidth through your Internet service provider.
The problem with the hackers looking to gain access to your information and your home is still not solved. So, many people are afraid that connecting all their systems and machines to the internet will offer hackers a way to launch attacks and viruses and compromise the security system. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution for this problem, namely, to use strong passwords that cannot be guessed or overpassed. This would mean using long strings that would include lower and upper-key characters, as well as numbers and special characters.
What Will Smart Homes Look Like in 10 Years?
As expected, the trends say that the future belongs to smart technology. By 2021 it is expected that consumers will spend around $141 billion on smart technology, while the systems will becomes increasingly smarter. Artificial intelligence will reach a new development level, and gadgets like Alexa will no longer only be able to offer information and operate appliances around the house at your request but will learn behaviors. Thus, they will automatically play music according to the observations made upon your behavior or dim the lights.
Moreover, health devices are anticipated to evolve to the point sensors positioned in toilets will be able to analyze human waste before it gets flushed and determine if an illness is present. Cameras incorporates in refrigerators will analyze eating behaviors and recommend healthier food. And the list can go on.
Nonetheless, as a hub can become the brain of the house and use cameras and sensors to know everything about the user, a breakthrough in cybernetic security is expected that will be able to offer complete data protection.
Even if the common user is just starting to discover artificial intelligence, and the concept of a smart home is still science fiction for others, odds are that we all may end up living in an automated house one day. Some construction firms started building smart houses from the ground, as it is foreseen for this technology to become an integrated part of buildings in the future. And the truth is that the advantages are enormous. It remains the security part to be solved, and it may be in the following years, for more and more people to start leaving tiring chores to the hand of the robots.