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What makes a home smart?

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

I'm an almost-30-year-old who grew up watching the Disney channel. There was a movie on there called "Smart House" (1999). It definitely put a scare in me at the impressionable age of 7. If you've never seen it, it's about this dad and his two kids who move into this incredible smart home. (So smart, that "she" cooks breakfast, makes lunches, cleans, etc. Things that don't yet happen in the real world.") Anyway, this is where it gets weird, Pat (think Alexa or Siri) develops feelings for the dad. She makes herself a body, becomes possessive, and - if it weren't a Disney movie - would probably have tried to kill them, but instead just trapped them in the house and slightly maim them. My point is: growing up, smart homes scared me. (You can see an overview of the movie here in case you're weirded out or curious.)

Anyway, we're not quite to the Smart House level of smart products yet, but I believe we're getting closer. We can automate a lot of things these days, which is just what makes a home smart(er): automating things you'd normally do manually.

Some smart products include:

  • your thermostat - automate the temperatures of your home when you're there, away, and asleep

  • your door locks - lock/unlock any door using your phone (helpful for kids, having a technician/electrician/plumber come in when you're not there, and so on)

  • your lights - automate when they turn on and off which is perfect for outdoor lights

  • your outlets - if you purchase a smart plug, you can make anything automated or accessible via phone (obviously, it's limited in what it can do, but you make turn something on and off using smart plugs)

And quite a few more.

There's really a lot you can do to make your home smart, and there are frequently new systems being upgraded to become smart. One of the newly focused areas is home maintenance. For example, there's a detector of water leaks you can purchase and some of these even connect you to a plumber. Wild.

Purchasing a pre-programmed product is the simplest option but there are options to create your own smart home setup or have someone else do it (like us!). An example of a programmed smart home feature we created was for a child. They carried a stuffed bear around all the time, so we installed a chip and programmed it and other items in the house and their room to turn on/off when tapped by the bear.

Another example. We helped a single mother have the house ready when she pulled into a small radius near the house. When her phone's GPS pinged close enough, we programmed her lights to turn on, door to unlock, and garage to open. Simple things to some, but helpful to others.

Keep in mind, as of right now, not all products can be used in the same hub. If you're using things out of a Google hub or Alexa/Amazon hub, then it may be best to continue purchasing products that can be used in those. If you're fine with using several different apps and hubs that do not currently connect or communicate with each other, then pay no mind. Eventually, there should be one main hub for most products - whether it's Google, Apple, or any other smart product company. It's called Matter - I wrote a blog about it.

If it's automated, it's smart. Anyone can have a smart home.

If you're looking for something specific, reach out to us. We have several smart home services but we also can tailor something specifically for you. If you're interested, let's chat about it.


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