Smart Home Tech: Luxury vs. Practicality
For the most part, smart home products are priced relatively affordably, so almost anyone can enjoy some degree of customizability and connectivity in their home environments. Yet, as smart tech becomes more popular, the market is evolving along two distinct paths: luxury and practicality.
Luxury smart home goods tend to be outrageously expensive and offer little functionality — but they look stunning and integrate well into a fully smart and connected home. Too often, luxury smart homes are embarrassingly inefficient and quite insecure.
Meanwhile, practical smart homes focus on function over form; they often build a system from the ground up, making additions consciously with an eye for integrations. Plus, practical smart home purchasers will check their home network security frequently throughout the process to prevent disastrous vulnerabilities. Though practical smart home goods might not be flashy, they promise their users unique and powerful control.
Every smart home is different, reflecting the needs and wants of its users. Whether you prefer luxury smart tech or err on the practical side, the following smart devices might be enticing.
Smart Energy Monitor
A smart energy monitor won’t catch your guest’s eye, but it will work its way into your heart. Possibly the most functional smart tool you could own, a smart energy monitor tracks your home’s energy usage, compares it to previous days, weeks and months and generally keeps you abreast of how much power you and your home are consuming. As you build your smart home, understanding your energy use is key; smart tech can be energy vampires, sucking power even when they are ostensibly off or not in use. By connecting a smart energy monitor to your system, you will gain greater visibility of the energy you use — and therefore greater control over your utility bills.
Most of the time you are using your mattress, you are unconscious — which is exactly why you need your mattress to be smart. All the time you are asleep, your smart mattress is collecting data on your sleep patterns and habits, which is incredibly important for your overall health. For instance, if you are tossing and turning all night, you might not be reaching deep sleep, which your brain, heart and body need for full recovery before the next day dawns. High-tech smart beds also offer control over angle, softness, support and temperature, sometimes allowing unique control for both sides of the bed. Mattresses are an investment anyway, so you might as well invest in something smart enough to help you sleep.
When you have smart locks installed on your exterior doors, you can say goodbye to getting locked out of your own house. Often, in addition to a keyhole, smart locks have a number pad that allows you to unlock your home with the right code or by pressing “unlock” on your connected device. For many homeowners, smart locks have become integral for checking and double-checking home security while they are away.
However, smart locks could pose a security risk if you aren’t smart about keeping your network locked tight. If you allow your smart locks to become hacked, thieves could easily gain access to your home and your belongings. Though smart locks are an important element of smart security, you need to protect them from cyberattack even more than other smart tech in your home.
Smart Pet Feeder
Four-legged friends are fantastic, but unlike human friends, your pets require consistent care, especially when it comes to daily feeding. If you often can’t get home to give your dog or cat a scoop, you might need to invest in a smart pet feeder, which provides your fur-baby with nourishment at an allotted time every day, or multiple times per day. Some smart pet feeders also have built-in cameras and microphones, allowing you to see and speak to your pet from afar. Though a smart feeder isn’t a solution for ownership, it is a great way to ensure that your pets won’t starve before you make it home to cuddle and play.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you prefer style over function, aesthetics over ease-of-use, luxury over practicality. As long as you take pains to make your smart home security and choose items that you will use, your smart home will be perfect.