How smart homes can help improve quality of lifeSeptember 16, 2018
smart home technology impresses the neighbors and make us marvel at how far innovations have come in the last decade. It also helps increase the value of your real estate investment while improving your quality of life.
Here are three ways highly connected homes can help improve your quality of life and increase the value of your real estate investment.
1) Independence for people with disabilities
One of the most convenient things about smart home technology is it lets people do things in ultra-simple, quick ways. For example, instead of walking across a room to turn on a light, a person living in a highly automated home might say a phrase to illuminate an area of a house. This user-friendly, straightforward operation is particularly advantageous to disabled individuals who might otherwise not be able to live in their homes without assistance.
An organization called Tunnels to Towers gets funding from grants and worldwide donors, then uses it to equip homes with intelligent technologies that give disabled veterans levels of independence that enable them live with dignity. So far, the group has transformed 36 dwellings around the U.S. into smart homes, thereby helping the people who bravely fought for the nation’s freedom live in maximally fulfilling ways.
Outside of the U.S., organizations are also examining the unique issues of people with disabilities. For example, in Spain the ONCE Foundation has collaborated with home automation companies to create a prototype of an intelligent, accessible home adapted to individuals with diverse needs.
2) Smart Home technology makes life easier for everyone
From traffic jams to unexpected deadlines at work, plenty of things cause kinks in plans. Fortunately, the advent of smart home technologies is minimizing hassles through convenience. Voice-recognition speakers let people add meetings to their schedules, search for information, or even place orders for products.
Smart homes can also be fitted with thermostats that help people cut costs on utility bills by automatically adjusting to energy-saving temperatures. Moreover, some smart door locks open without keys but can restrict access to those on a list that the owner carefully created. Such solutions prevent people from having to make physical keys for dog walkers or house sitters and eliminate the frustrating scenario of losing your keys.
Not surprisingly, the latest genre of security cameras and smart doorbells for home use offer many features that can save you money and increase your safety. They learn to recognize familiar faces and can alert owners to strange sounds that occur when they’re away from home. Because these security systems typically include smartphone apps, people can check on their abodes from wherever they are—even while they’re on vacation.
Together, smart home technologies simplify many of the things we do every day, both by learning our habits and providing features we can use to get the most out of our time at home.
3) Revolutionizing the care for the elderly
We all have to eventually deal with the challenges of getting older and gradually losing some of the abilities that once came naturally to us. For elderly individuals, those shifts in ability and mobility often cause resentment and depressed moods. Then, their caregivers—which may be professionals but are often family members—struggle with feelings of worry and inadequacy, especially if they can’t always stay with their loved ones due to personal obligations.
Statistics show family caregivers spend over 24 hours per week providing support to relatives in need. Although smart home technologies can’t typically replace the types of assistance those devoted people give, companies are coming up with innovations that could let them know when something happens in a senior relative’s home, such as a fall.
Some companies sell smart motion sensors that connect with complementing apps, so caregivers can get real-time updates about changes in everyday activities. For example, the sensors can detect if a person walked from the bedroom to the bathroom in the middle of the night but never returned, or if the person does not start moving about a house before Noon on a particular day despite a history of usually rising by 9 a.m.
Older adults are also at high risk for feeling lonely and isolated from society—problems that smart home technology could help ease. A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco found that over 40 percent of seniors are regularly lonely.
However, emerging technology from robotics companies may very well help. For example, the ELLI-Q is an artificial intelligence-powered robot that fits on a nightstand or another prominent place in a home and suggests activities to users, urging them to socialize instead of staying consistently cooped up. This makes for a great Mother’s Day or Father’s Day Gift
As homes get smarter, people can become happier than before
While it’s true that products and technology alone can’t elevate individuals from discontent to joyfulness, it’s clear from the examples covered above that smart homes could help users feel maximally content as they go about their lives. Expect this sector to get even more attention from companies going forward.