Your smartphone is only as good as the apps you have, right? Of course there are other components to a quality smartphone than just applications. Things like cameras, Internet connectivity, file storage, or whatever you want to use it for, but when you get hold of the right applications you can do more then you think. In fact, with the right tools your smartphone might even pay for itself.
Let’s explore some ways we can use our devices to manage our homes. You see, we live in an age where home appliances are becoming “smarter” everyday. That means they have more powerful computer chips installed within their plastic /stainless steel bodies and they can talk to each other and to your smartphone via Wi-Fi connectivity. Here are 10 ways you can utilise your smartphone to control your home.
Smart thermostats – The cool little device called, Nest, is getting a lot of buzz lately. Remember the iPod? Yeah well, the guys who designed the iPod created a really neat thermostat. This thermostat has Wi-Fi, and it comes with an iPhone application. That means you can control the temperature of your home from anywhere! Do you want to save money by turning the temperature down while you’re gone, but you don’t want to come home to a freezing house? No problem. Use your smartphone to turn up the temperature before you get home.Once you start using Nest it will learn your schedule and program itself to optimally save lots of money on utilities. That means it won’t be long before, Nest, is already changing the temperature automatically for you when you leave, and turning it back up when you get home.
Motion activated security cameras – Having a motion surveillance system for your home is almost better than cable TV. There are nifty applications on the market coupled with compact, yet high-quality security cameras which allow you to be aware of anyone in your home. These cameras don’t record everything, they simply wait for motion to be detected and then switch on. It can alert you on your phone that it’s turning on and you can be anywhere in the world and still watch live footage from your home. Talk about a vacationers dream! You can also adjust the security settings with your smartphone, and if you couple that with some other home automation systems, you can control almost everything from your phone!
Security system – Remember that home security system you had installed a few years ago with the control panel strategically placed by the garage door or master bedroom? Now with the availability of mobile computing, you can ditch the old control panel and program everything through your smartphone. You will also be able to receive instant notifications of any foul play.If you have the newest smart key technology on the market called Lockitron, you’ll be able to lock, un-lock, and send time sensitive smart keys to your family and friends if they need to get in your house. Not only does this make life more hassle-free, but it also takes the worry out of giving your neighbor the key to your house while you’re on vacation, so he can feed your dog. All you do is give him a digital key that only works during the time you designate for it and your house locks up once the time expires.
New improved lighting – Phillips makes a smart light bulb called Hue, which allows you to easily control all the light bulbs in your house. This makes a lot of sense if you don’t want to completely retrofit to new lamps or light switches. Simply by these smart bulbs and you can change the color of the lights, how bright or dim you want them to be, and of course turn them on and off… so much for the clap-on and clap-off lights.
Coffeemakers – Sure, some coffeemakers on the market are already fully programmable, but how many are connected to your smartphone? Can they course correct if you want to make a change? If you wake up in the morning and you don’t feel like the normal cup of java, and you want to get your day started with an espresso, instead of trekking across the entire house just to make the switch before the coffee pot turns on, just do it from your smartphone. Scanomat is leading the way in this amazingly useful trend.
Electrical outlet upgrades – If you’re not looking to go around buying a dozen new appliances that have Wi-Fi capability that talk to your smartphone just so you can turn on your coffee pot, you can retrofit old outlets with smart outlets that are app friendly. Simply plug in your appliances into these new outlets and you can control them with your phone. Best of all, they’re very cheap compared to buying all new appliances!