The smart home and the digital age

It’s difficult to look back and ask yourself how we ever managed to live without the internet or being constantly online.  The internet has changed everything, even how we live and this is so much so that it’s now inside our homes.

Home automation works continuously to make people’s lives more comfortable, and recent advances in technology have gained overwhelming recognition. So it seems that the world’s manufacturers have decided to take digitalisation of the home as a starting point in this process. Innovations for converting the home into a smart home have arrived and are here to stay.

In a recent report by ConsumerLab, the vast majority of people are interested in homes that are connected to the latest technology. Around 92% of Spaniards are really keen to learn more about the new technologies for the home, with a definite emphasis on health, wellbeing, utilities, energy and, above all, safety and security.

What do smart homes offer?

One of the great benefits of home automation are the energy savings obtained by the efficient management of the whole home and the use of renewable energies, programming air conditioning and boilers, control of canopies and shutters and the rationalisation of electricity and disconnection of non-priority use devices.

However, this isn’t everything. There are light bulbs that can be controlled by mobile phone or that adjust depending on your mood, smart washing machines that let you know when they finish the cycle and refrigerators that look after product use-by dates. These are just some examples that form the basis of another important benefit of smart homes: comfort.

Security, another of home automation’s strong points, is hugely important to users, with great emphasis placed on it, and companies have been working for some time to meet their customers’ protection needs. This area covers from intruder alarms to prevent robberies to all types of detectors to ensure our safety: fire, smoke, gas, leaks and water leaks. One curious feature is the appearance on the market of vacuum cleaners fitted with video cameras that allow users to control what is happening in their homes at all times. It can also be used for security purposes, as it detects any movement with its camera and sends images of anything unusual that it records to the user’s Smartphone.

The system installed in the smart home will be fitted with a communications infrastructure that will develop and provide the home with its other features, including remote assistance, remote maintenance, consumption and costs reports and alarm transmission and other notifications.

We should also emphasise the huge benefits that home automation has given people with functional limitations, enhancing their personal autonomy and improving their quality of life and safety through accessibility. Useful services include remote monitoring of inaccessible places, transmitting data about the status of the user to their family and carers and issuing emergency messages.

In short, advances in technology associated with the digitalisation of the home are gaining pace and meet the expectations of users who are increasingly looking for homes (whether to buy or rent) fitted with the latest home automation. Smart homes have gone from being a luxury, when they first appeared some years ago, to an essential that is becoming cheaper and that users, aware of the benefits that these systems have on their everyday and long-term lives, want. Savings and security are important, but without a doubt the most attractive benefit is better management and optimisation of users’ free time, which they can now use to do something enjoyable and easy.

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