As the smart technology advances and communication between people, places, and even things becomes more accessible, the way we go out about our daily lives is changing. Residential living is no different. Current home technology trends use the Internet of Things (IoT), i.e. smart gadgets and products that are connected by the Internet and remotely accessible by smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices - to increase your home’s technology level seamlessly and effortlessly. If you haven’t already, it’s time to come out from underneath and enter the world of home automation. Here are our top tips for giving your entire home a tech upgrade.

HVAC

Upgrading your existing HVAC system can be costly and time consuming, but we don’t think that your home tech upgrade necessarily requires installing entirely new units. Instead, we at Modernize recommend investing in smart energy meters or thermostats. Smart meters have the ability to monitor, track, and change your existing energy settings with the push of a button. The best smart meters that are currently on the market, from manufacturers such as Nest and ecobee, learn and adapt to your energy use preferences over time and can even send you messages and alerts when something isn’t right.

Home security

Take your home security to the next level by purchasing IoT-based locks, security cameras, and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Like smart energy meters, smart home security products are accessed via smartphone or tablet apps and can be monitored and controlled remotely. The August Smart Lock, BeOn security light bulbs, and Nest Protect smoke and CO2 detector are all hailed as some of the top home automation products for 2016, but if you don’t see something you love on their list, there are still dozens more smart home security products to choose from in your local home improvement store.

Lighting and electronics

As far as tech upgrades go, changing out your existing lighting and electronics is surprisingly on the less difficult end of the scale. While energy-efficient light bulbs have already become widely available in stores everywhere, they are now being stocked alongside smart light bulbs and outlets. Bulbs equipped with WeMo (an automation system powered by Belkin) connect instantly to a central hub and are accessed remotely by smartphone app, and smart outlets and sensors learn your lighting preferences and switch lights on and off with timers and predetermined schedules.

Check out how to get started with your home automation!

 

Appliances

Various home appliances are also being designed with built-in smart technology like WeMo and similar competitive automation systems. The next time you need to purchase a new home appliance, consider spending a little more at the outset to reap the benefits of smart appliance technology. Currently, you can find dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers all equipped with sensors and enabled for interoperability and m2m communications. If you want to take your upgrade up another notch, some coffee machines and CrockPots are even made with WeMo already built in!

Other smart tech upgrades

If you take on board the recommendations outlined above, your home will be almost entirely upgraded to the latest smart technology specifications. However, there are still plenty more home products laden with automation functions that you can fit into your home. Smart entertainment centers, wireless phone and tablet charging stations, universal smart remote controls, house hubs and control panels, automated vacuum cleaners, and even furniture with built-in smart technology are becoming more common in technologically advanced homes. The future is full of new and better technology, so check out these kinds of products now and give your home the tech upgrade it deserves today!

Do you have an IoT / home automation project idea and need professional assistance with estimation, PoC, specs, prototyping, design, software development and testing?
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Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. She enjoys writing for Modernize.com with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on home projects with confidence

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