What is a Smart Home and how Smart Devices are helping with it.
Several years ago, the world population was very small. People’s needs were much less, work availability was plenty, expectations were less and thus were leading a much better life than now. However, as they say, only change is permanent. Animals as gigantic as Dinosaurs disappeared from earther because they couldn’t cope up with change. But the Homo Sapiens are much smarter and have been surviving. If you look at the trend of how the human race has evolved you’ll agree that “necessity indeed is the mother of all innovations”.
Human race sustained, grown multifold in population and hence kept finding newer things to do and in different ways. In the process invented many technologies. Now it has reached such a stage that we’re ready to automate every single mundane task that we do even at home, so that we can save time for other important stuff. In order to achive this we currently use mainly two things, i.e. automation and smart devices. The both complement each other, we automate tasks using smart devices. Few examples of such smart devices are Smart Wearable, Smart Home, Smart Camera & Smart lights. We’re particularly interested in these categories because they’re useful in our daily lives. Now let’s see how each of these are useful to us:
- Smart Watch/Band: This means a device, which is smart and you can wear on your body. There is one particular device that made this segment really wide spread and popular is the “Mi Band”. At a smartly decided price it provides you most of the basic features of a smart watch or smart band. The current version is Mi Band 3, which is coming shortly to Flipkart and offers features like Heart Rate Monitoring, 40m Water Resistant, Call & Notification Alert, Sleep tracking, Activity tracking and many more. Besides there are many other such smart bands available on Flipkart, from FitBit, Lenovo and many other brands. While keeping the basic functionality of showing time intact, these bands are also helping in improving our quality of life in many ways, especially in keeping track of our health.
- Besides, there are some other smart wearable devices also available, i.e. Panasonic Seekit. These are very small devices that can be connected to key chains or kept in wallet. Its location can be tracked from your cell phone if lost or misplaced.
- Another type of smart wearable is the VR Box. You may use your phone along with a compatible VR device and world in pictures will come alive in front of your eyes.
Currently these are all the Smart Wearable devices that I’m aware of and are easily available online. There could more for sure, but I’m not very familiar with them to write about.
Smart Home itself is not a device, but it’s about how an ordinary home can be made a smart home by using smart devices like Smart Assistants, Smart TVs, Smart Switches & Plugs, Smart Camera & Smart lights.
Now let’s see what some of these mean, how they help to make a home smart and what are the options available in India on Flipkart.
These are just like normal LCD or LED televisions but with added advantage of being smart. Here being smart primarily means being able to connect to the internet via wire or wireless and stream content from the internet to the household. The advantage is that you’re not tied to the program schedule of any TV channel, there is gigantic amount of content available online, both paid & free, you can watch them as and when you want via a broadband internet connection. Even if you don’t have a smart TV, some devices like Chromecast (by Google) help you make your ordinary LCD/LED TV smarter.
Sometime ago, a smart camera meant a digital camera, running android or similar operating system, can take great photos and can directly share them via social media using WiFi internet connection. But today, it’s not just limited to that. High end surveillance cameras also now coming under smart camera category. They can connect to WiFi internet, stream live video to your mobile phone no matter where you’re located as long as your phone has internet, can stop recording to save power where there is no movement in the monitored area & can automatically start recording when they detect movements. Isn’t that really smart?
Want to know more? See the Flipkart page here.
Smart Switches & Plugs
Smart switches are like any other switch but with added advantage of remote control and automation. By automation I mean switching on/off a device at particular times etc.
A smart plug has the features of a smart switch but any device can be connected to it.
Smart lights are not just smart light bulbs it also needs to be connected to a smart device or a home automation hub to function properly. They help in completely transforming the ambience inside a house. The lights can be dimmed or change color right from the comfort of you couch.
There is a lot of information available here on Flipkart to help you know more, if you’re interested.
Conclusion: Many may argue that automation is not good or these modern changes are useless and have side effects; maybe. But I think only change is permanent. To keep up with the page of change, you need to automate many things in life, today or tomorrow. Home automation is one such thing. Have you come across a website named IFTTT? If not, take a look. Together with a Google Home or Amazon Echo device, this website can do wonders in automating your home.
Hope this article and the resources given here would help people to get started on making their lives smarter.