The apps you have on your smartphone are only as good and reliable as the ones that you have. There are many other components that make a smartphone a great device than its apps. You can use your smartphone for many purposes, including file storage, Internet connectivity, and cameras. But, if you have the right apps, you can do so much more than you might think. Your smartphone could even be worth its cost if you have the right tools.
Let’s look at some of the ways our devices can help us manage our homes. We live in an age when home appliances are getting smarter every day. This means that they are equipped with more powerful computer chips and can communicate via Wi-Fi to each other as well as your smartphone. These are 10 ways your smartphone can control your home.
1 – Smart thermostats
Nest is a cool device that’s gaining a lot of attention lately. The iPod? The guys who created the iPod also designed a thermostat. The thermostat comes with an iPhone app and Wi-Fi. This thermostat can be controlled from any location. You don’t want your home to freeze, but you do want to save money. It’s possible. You can use your smartphone to adjust the temperature before you arrive home.
Nest will learn your schedule to optimize savings on utility bills. Nest will soon be able to change the temperature for you automatically when you are away and turn it up when you return.
2 – Motion activated security camera
A motion surveillance system in your home can be almost as good as cable TV. You can have a complete home surveillance system with a variety of clever applications. These cameras do not record everything. They simply wait for motion to detect and then turn on. You can receive an alert on your phone that the camera is turning on. This allows you to be anywhere in the world while still being able to view live footage from your house. This is a vacationer’s dream! You can adjust your security settings from your smartphone. If you combine that with other home automation systems, it’s possible to control nearly everything with your phone.
3 – Security system
You may have remembered the home security system that you installed years ago, with the control panel strategically located by the master bedroom or garage door. With mobile computing now available, you can get rid of the old control panel. You can program everything from your smartphone. You’ll also be able receive notifications immediately about any suspicious activity. These home security companies offer control via your phone: SimpliSafe, Vivint, Frontpoint, and SimpliSafe.
Lockitron is the latest smart key technology available. You can lock, unlock, and send time sensitive smart keys out to family and friends to allow them to gain entry to your home. This makes life easier and takes away the worries of giving your neighbor your key to your house, while you are on vacation. You simply need to give your neighbor a digital key. It only works for the time that you have set and locks up when the time ends.
4 – Pet feeder
You may be like me and love your pet but are busy and can’t always be there for scheduled feedings. You can find many apps that will allow you to see the status of your pet’s food and remotely feed it. Pintofeed is just one of the many feeders that use this new technology. They have taken the hassle out of owning pets. We all can thank them. If only someone could invent an automated pooper scooper.
5 – Improved lighting
Phillips has a smart lightbulb called Hue that allows you to control all of your light bulbs from one place. This is a great option if you don’t want to retrofit your existing lamps or switch. These smart bulbs allow you to change the color, brightness, or dimming of your lights. You can also turn them on/off.
6 – Coffeemakers
Some coffeemakers are fully programmeable. But how many coffeemakers are connected to your smartphone? If you make a change, can they correct themselves? You don’t want to wake up every morning feeling like you have a cup of coffee. Instead of walking around the house trying to find the switch, you can do it all from your phone. This is a very useful trend that Scanomat leads.
7 – Smart keys
Traditional lock and key deadbolts are still a good option to open doors. You can upgrade your lock and key system to increase security. You can also see what doors are locked or open at any given time. Temporary keys can be made for those who require access to their home temporarily. This means that you no longer need to carry around a bunch of keys in your pocket to unlock your home. This exciting technology is being pioneered by Lockitron, as I already mentioned.
8 – Electrical outlet upgrades
You don’t have to buy a bunch of new appliances with Wi-Fi capabilities that talk to your phone to turn on your coffee maker. Instead, retrofit existing outlets with smart outlets that can be used to control your phone. You can plug your appliances into the outlets to control them from your smartphone. They are much cheaper than buying new appliances.
9 – Remotely Start Your Vehicle
Many apps are available that connect to your smartphone and allow you to start your car remotely. This is particularly useful if you live in cold climates where it’s not possible to wear shorts throughout the year. It is not necessary to run outside at 10 degrees below in order to warm up your car. Viper is a company that I have read great reviews and has an innovative product.
10 – Home automation
You can do most of these tasks yourself. It is true that you can DIY most of these applications. However, you may find yourself unable to cover all the areas in your home if you try to do it all at once. You might also need to download multiple applications that talk to dozens upon dozens of appliances or devices to make it all work. It can be confusing.
You can automate your home with a third-party solution by retrofitting outdated appliances, lights and security systems. Vivint is a great option if you are located in North America. Many third-party reviewers consider Vivint the best value for money. Quby is a good option if you are based in Europe. Quby is a great option. I have heard good things. You can DIY small projects for pets, or you can hire a professional to automate the project.