What is a smart home?
What is a smart home?
A smart home is a residence integrated with computers and sub systems. Where these technologies are used for the automation of household functions, such as climate control, entertainment devices and appliances. As well as for the purpose of implementing energy efficiencies and renewable energy sources.
Smart homes feature systems which:
- Automate everyday household tasks
- Optimise your home to match your living habits
- Automatically monitor and adjust devices to save energy
- Store and manage renewable energies
- Integrate entertainment system throughout the home
Ultimately, smart homes vary depending on the homeowner's lifestyle. The technology installed is tailored to suit their needs and their way of living.
What your smart home could look like will come down to what you want to achieve with smart technology.
Creating your own smart home. Where to start.
At Integrated Technologies Australia (ITA), we recommend that Australians thinking of creating a smart home give us a call.
That's because, the first step in making your home a smart one, is simply understanding what is available. And, how you can get the maximum functionality for your budget.
Smart home technologies come in a range of shapes and sizes. Also, installations will differ based on if you're building a new home or if you're implementing technologies into an existing one.
When you call us, you'll speak with a smart home consultant.
They'll listen to what you want to achieve. Then they can provide you with options as to how you can turn your plans into a fully functional reality.
Common traps to avoid
There are some traps for those new to smart home technology. Here are some of the most common ones and how you can avoid them.
1. Technology not supported in Australia
The Amazon Echo, for example, is a simple off-the-shelf technology which offers homeowners basic smart home functionality. However, right now these systems are only available via import. They have not been released by Amazon for the Australian market.
The drawbacks of this is that:
- Not all functionality is available here
- The devices are optimised for overseas use
- Amazon does not offer Australian troubleshooting
For early adopters, these may be manageable issues. However, for the everyday user, lack of support can lead to regular frustrations and difficulties with accessing basic functions.
2. Not all smart devices are equal
In recent years smart homes have become increasingly popular. And, with big names like Google and Apple now entering the market, it's easy to see this trend continuing.
The downside of this rapid growth in the industry is that some companies have begun rushing devices to market. And, because they're rushed, they lack the Research and Development (R&D) and testing phases which would normally be expected.
Problems with some new devices include:
- Patchy or unreliable operation
- Lack of features (sometimes even basic ones)
- Below-average build quality and appearance
3. Consultants which only promote one brand
Some consultants form alliances with specific suppliers and brands. Because of this, they become very product-focused, as opposed to providing a complete solution.
This limits what they can offer. If they're only interested in one supplier, then they may not have the broad smart home knowledge which is required to deliver a total package.
So, before reaching out to a consultant, check their website and make sure that they are accredited with different brands. If they only have one supplier, it's better to look elsewhere.
Speaking with a consultant vs. your architect or builder
If you've asked an architect or builder 'what is a smart home?' then you'll already know the limitations.
Smart home integration is a different field to both architecture and building. So your architect or builder may only be able to offer general advice. Therefore, if you want an expert opinion, you'll need to speak to a smart home consultant.
Only a certified and accredited consultant can provide the latest and up-to-date industry knowledge. As well as qualified advice on systems and devices that best suit your needs.
They can even work closely with your builder or architect to ensure that your smart technology is integrated perfectly into your home renovation or new build.
Like how your builder is a specialist in building, and your architect is a specialist in architecture, your smart home consultant is a specialist in smart technology. They have the professional skill-set and experience which you need, to ensure that your smart home system is implemented successfully and to the highest standards.
"What your smart home could look like will come down to what you want to achieve with smart technology."
Find out more about smart homes. Speak with a specialist.
Ready to take the next step toward your smart home? Have a chat with a specialist at ITA. They can advise you on all of your options, as well as how to make the most of your budget.
An over-the-phone consultation is obligation-free. Whatever your smart home vision we can offer information on how to turn it into a reality. We can answer all your queries with expert and friendly advice.
ITA on 20 January 2015
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