What Is A Smarthome?

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Over the last few years a whole new genre of technology has emerged – smart home tech – with the aim of leveraging the ‘internet of things’ in order to connect together different devices in the home. Smart Home tech incorporates gadgets and systems in order to make your home more secure, comfortable, cost efficient (most notably energy expenditure) and convenient, not least when you’re not at home.

Defining a smarthome

The term “Smart Home” is increasingly being used to define homes which are leveraging these new technologies. Such technologies span lighting, heating, TVs and entertainment systems, appliances and security systems. The core component making these devices ‘smart’ is the way in which they talk to one another, compounding their ability to add substantial value to your life. The other core component is their ability to be controlled remotely – whether it is an oven that you can switch on to heat up when you’re still twenty minutes from home, or a doorbell that you can answer through an app or a lighting system which you control from your iPad.

Whilst on first glance, a lot of these technologies were originally criticised as decadent, showy and ultimately of limited use – but much like personal computers before them, people are quickly waking up to the advantages that they bring. Whilst smart home technologies are definitely not a cheap solution, they do offer substantial forward facing cost savings. They also bring environmental and other green benefits, rendering them popular amongst the younger hipster sets. The security value of being able to remotely set and monitor alarms, or more pragmatically, to be able to remotely flick lights on and off to give the appearance that you’re at home are of value to almost all members of all communities. Last but not least, the convenience factor in an ever faster, ever more 24/7 world is not one to play down. We all want our technologies to do more for us and to save us more of the most precious commodity of them all – time.

As a result, it’s of little surprise that more and more new homes (as well as newly renovated homes) are coming with these features and smart tools baked in. However more realistically, the majority of households are going through a retro-fitting process as they identify and purchase new pieces of home tech. Many homeowners are moving to fit devices built around the same protocol (The four main protocols are: X10, Z-Wave, UPB and EnOcean). This enables the devices to be added to as the smart home evolves.

Here at hometechstar.com, we provide the latest guidance, tips, news and reviews about the best smart home products. We are under no illusions about the value that a smart home brings, and its clear that more and more homes are adding their first pieces of home tech. Over the next five years, it is estimated that over 50% of households in the US and UK will have at least two pieces of smart home technology, so we figured it was time to provide some more information on these hot new gadgets.

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Michael Homestead is passionate about all things 'smart tech'. He built a previous Digital business around wearable technology (acquired) and has now started HomeTechStar to cover all things 'smarthome', an area that he believes will become fundamentally disruptive through 2016 and beyond.