Thanks to iPhones, iPads and other devices, we as a society have never been more in tune with technology. Smart home technology continues to make home life more comfortable and efficient and is, without doubt, the future of 21st century homes. However, amongst the endless supply of smart home solutions now available, it can be a difficult task understanding what is worth investing in. While everyone’s wants and needs for smart home technology differ, this article outlines what smart home technologies are worth investing in.
The trend here is for greater quality and a more immersive experience. Ultra HD 4K technology is growing in popularity, and as more and more 4K content becomes available, this is likely to drive our TV enjoyment in the future, especially when it comes to live sporting events such as the Olympics. The higher quality picture will make you feel as if you are in Rio!
New immersive sound systems are also becoming more readily available and are ideal for home cinema enthusiasts. Systems, such as, Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D, don’t just bring more sound into the room, but also an emotional experience that’s hard to beat. By using the latest 3D audio technology, filmmakers can decide exactly where sounds should originate and move as the scene develop, placing the viewer right in the middle of the action.
Thanks to streaming services, multi-room audio has become a must-have for many homeowners. Although there are a growing number of multi-room systems readily available through high street and online retailers, it is worth investing in a good system design that is professionally installed, especially for music enthusiasts. It’s important to remember that high resolution audio, distributed either wirelessly or wired, requires robust broadband infrastructures to support the better quality sound. You can’t invest in one without the other.
In line with the latest TV and sound systems, lighting is fast becoming an integral part of creating the ultimate smart home. Lighting is underestimated, but can truly transform a home. A well designed lighting system has the capabilities to add glamour, ambience and space-magnifying qualities to any home.
As well as providing more efficient lighting through LED technology, investing in a lighting control systems can offer numerous benefits, such as remote control access and additional security. For example, professionally installed lighting systems can make the property appear lived-in, even when the owner is out. This is achieved via pre-programmed personalised settings or remote control devices. Taking this one step further, if integrated into the wider home technology system, lighting control can collaborate with other elements of your home for ease of use. For instance, you might have a “Goodnight” button on a keypad by the bed – once pressed, the lights in the rest of the house dim down, all the TV’s turn off and the garden gates lock.
Connected Smart Home
We are about to see a revolution in connected devices in the home which, if installed correctly, can transform our everyday duties. In particular, it is worth investing in the ‘connected kitchen’. Appliance manufacturers such as Samsung and LG have invested very heavily in smart devices. These include washing machines that detect the wash load size to calculate the right amount of water and detergent needed, to smart scales that not only measure food, but also keep track of the nutritional value of what you’re consuming. However, before you invest in these new products, it is important to establish which technologies will enhance your lifestyle, compared to what is simply a novelty. Consulting a professional is the best way to ensure that you get the most appropriate system for your needs.
Whilst smart home solutions are revolutionising our lives, having all this equipment in the home does bring challenges. Whether you are building from scratch or renovating your home, allow time and budget for expert advice, system design, rewiring and installation. Our members understand that technology in the home is a significant investment and will be able to advise what technology is best for you and your budget.
By Wendy Griffiths, executive director of CEDIA EMEA