In the property world, smart technology is enjoying a boom in popularity. From home monitoring devices such as doorbell cameras and motion sensors to smart thermostats and lighting, we live in much more advanced homes than we used to.
Today, our homes are also built with greater sustainability in mind, but thankfully we can use our smart home gadgets to help older properties run more efficiently too.
So, what’s driving this increase in smart home tech – its sustainability credentials, cost-saving potential, convenience, or a combination of them all?
Let’s take a closer look.
Why are property gadgets more popular than ever?
One of the great things about technology is that it’s always adapting, evolving, and becoming a better version of its original self. The more technology improves, the cheaper or more accessible it becomes, which is a huge reason why we are seeing such a spike in the popularity of smart home gadgets.
Coupled with the widespread use of Wi-Fi and a greater connection to our gadgets, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s easier to integrate gadgets into our lives. For instance, years ago the notion of placing cameras around your home to monitor it meant fixing glaringly obvious and often unsightly CCTV cameras. Not only did this affect the aesthetics, but it also made it seem like there was a problem in the neighbourhood which was unsettling. Now, cameras are not only smaller and therefore discreet, but they are so commonplace that they are cheaper too.
Smart tech means that when armed with little more than a smartphone, we can turn our heating and lights on while adjusting our blinds and watching a delivery person dropping off a parcel from afar. As a society, we are generally more tech-savvy nowadays, so it’s understandable that this knowledge has made its way into our homes too.
Our homes are our castles, and since 2020 many of us have spent more time within our own four walls than we had done before. From working remotely to adapting our living spaces to suit our hobbies and lifestyles, homes have become more than a place to live, they allow us to enjoy our best lives. And with such importance placed upon the home, we must do what we can to protect them, which is where some of the latest smart techs offer a helping hand.
Doorbell cameras are a great example of how to improve your home’s security with, let’s be honest, minimal effort. The rise in delivery services from groceries and fashion purchases to takeaways means more items are left on our doorsteps than ever, particularly with companies continuing to offer contactless deliveries.
That means you can have valuable items left outside without even knowing it, but your doorbell camera can alert you when the camera is triggered with a message to your phone. These doorbell security gadgets are practically plug-in-and-play, which explains why they are being used as a defence against the spike in doorstep thefts.
Other home gadgets and tech that can be used for security include:
- Electric blinds
- Smart lighting set to a timer
- Water leak sensors
- Motion sensors
- Geofencing alarm systems to turn on when out of range
- Keyless entry
The need for stronger cyber defences
While the increased use of smart tech in our homes is great for making life easier, whether you are a homeowner or a landlord, you need to keep abreast of the risks. Using smart tech that relies on an internet connection can leave homeowners vulnerable to hackers, through their devices or via emails associated with their accounts. This may be to access their cameras to discover when the house is empty or to mine financial data through malware or ransomware.
Joshua Packman, Technical Account Manager at cybersecurity experts Redscan, advises: “Phishing emails are becoming harder to spot, with some well-written types making it past even the most observant users.” He adds that users should be looking out for obvious spelling errors and unsolicited requests for personal information as red flags.
Good smart device safety practices:
- Regularly changing your password and maintaining a secure combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols strengthen your protection.
- Frequently updating applications and software to offer the latest benefits and to patch over any cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
- Multi-factor authentication is another strong form of cyber defence because it requires a code to be sent to a second device, making it a much more secure way to log in and avoid hackers.
Convenience and sustainability
Technology advances to make life more convenient for people, from rudimentary tools in ancient times that made tasks simpler, to cars that practically drive themselves. That’s why we have remote controls on our televisions because the act of getting up and changing the channel on the box all those years ago was inconvenient.
Smart home tech is following the same trend and now we can turn our lights on and get the heating just right before we even walk through the door. This also helps to improve our quality of life, because who really wants to come back from a long day at work to a cold and dark home? But rather than leaving the lights and heating on all day to achieve it, we can use our gadgets to only use those precious resources when we need them.
Increased efficiency with smart appliances
There is no escaping the need to control our energy costs due to the financial crisis that has a stranglehold on the country. Thankfully, implementing smart devices in the home can help to make them more energy efficient and avoid using unnecessary power or resources. Smart thermostats can be installed in just 90 minutes and, coupled with intelligent appliances, can adjust to your home’s changing energy needs. Whether that’s turning off when you leave the house, detecting inefficiencies, or offering remote control, you no longer have to pay for accidentally leaving your devices running.