People are walking around with smartphones, driving around in smart cars, and even ordering their food through smart screens. It’s time to bring the smart tech home and cross the threshold into future living.
These tips are for beginners who are just starting to add new smart features to their homes. They cover the basics of what most people will want to get started with. These tips cover the internet of things (IoT) devices that make a tangible difference but aren’t too complicated to install or use.
Want to get started with a smart home renovation? These 5 tips should help.
1. Think of the Need the Device Will Fill Before Buying It
Naturally, every device servers a purpose – otherwise, what would be the point of buying one? It’s a buyer’s job to figure out whether that purpose truly fits their needs or not. Those “needs” don’t necessarily equate with necessity, because let’s face it, most smart technology devices are luxury items.
That said, convenience is still a need in its own right. And that’s a need that many smart devices fill. Whether it’s smart lights that turn on when someone enters the room or smart coffee machines that start a cup of joe when they’re told to. Smart devices can also fill other needs, like the need for more security or information. For example, smart door locks with cameras help let someone know who’s at the door no matter where they are in the house.
2. Beware of the Security Implications and Prepare Accordingly
While the internet of things (IoT) provides many new benefits to humanity, it also comes with a couple of downsides. Namely, in the form of hackers. Any internet-connected device poses a threat to hackers, but the IoT is particularly susceptible.
Because of that, homeowners should always make sure they secure their home network and their smart devices as much as they can. When it comes to the network, buying a secure router and adding a virtual private network (VPN) is a solid start.
But keep in mind that some smart devices also need some extra attention. If they can be accessed via passwords, then change those default passwords into something unique immediately. Also, make sure to regularly check for firmware updates for all devices, including the router.
3. Spending Now Can Save Later
Everyone has a budget, and it is vital to stick to that, no matter how tempting it may be to buy the more expensive model. Some smart devices are going to be expensive no matter what, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad investment.
There are smart devices that can help save money in the long run. The obvious ones are smart lighting and thermostats that regulate themselves as needed, but there’s more to money-saving than that. For instance, smart sprinklers may be costly to install, but they save a lot of water in the long run, which can bring down that utility bill by quite a lot. It’s something to think about.
4. Take Device Compatibility Into Account
Compatibility is something homeowners need to think about before they start purchasing any smart devices. The number of manufacturers that make smart devices keep increasing year on year, widening the available devices out there. Those devices aren’t all compatible, and when it comes to smart technology, that’s a problem.
All smart devices don’t necessarily have to be able to connect to each other, but in some cases, it is just more convenient when they do. For example, having a smart speaker to give instructions for turning the lights on or opening the front door.
Manufacturers like Google, Amazon, and Apple make their products compatible with devices from other manufacturers, so it’s unnecessary to buy everything from one company. CNET has a pretty good guide showing which smart home devices are compatible with each other.
5. Leave Room For Future Additions
Smart speakers like Google Assistant and the Amazon Echo are the next big thing that everyone’s grabbing up right now. While they’re certainly making a splash, they aren’t the end of the road for smart home electronics. There’s still a lot more on the horizon, and who knows what the next must-have item will be.
Future-proofing doesn’t necessarily mean looking up cutting edge technology and guessing what comes next. Instead, it can just mean choosing devices that won’t need to be replaced in two years and will be compatible with other devices if any more are added.