As technology has become part of our daily lives, so too has it become part of our homes. It has swiftly become a part of how we function and get things done, so it follows that we would start seeing high-tech amendments made to everything from our fridge to our lightbulb fittings. While home-tech innovations started small, they now come in the form of fully integrated systems. While it is possible to retrofit a home, more and more homes have high-tech appliances built in from the start. If you aren’t a tech-whizz yourself, you can ask your interior designer in to incorporate the below devices into your new home; yet another benefit of having an interior designer. Designers and contractors have been quick to include this trend into residential interior design, and these technological innovations in new builds and renovations can save homeowners in energy and time and can even affect the resale value of your home.
Smart thermostats have now evolved to the extent that they can learn your movement patterns and decrease or increase the temperature depending on if you’re in or out of the house. As a result, a smart thermostat can deactivate when not needed which can help save significantly on energy bills. By linking your mobile phone or tablet to its app, the thermostat can send you updates on the resulting energy and cost savings to keep you informed as well. Also, smart thermostats aren’t only limited to HVAC systems, you can get one linked to your water heating system and adjust it in the same way as with your HVAC thermostat, to save even more.
Household safety is another area that has seen great technological advancement. Smart security systems include doorbells with cameras and smart locks and now have face recognition technology. That means it can unlock the door for you when you return home with your hands full of shopping or ensure intruders are denied access. The HD camera will also alert you remotely should someone come to your door while you’re out, and built-in speakers allow you to communicate with them. This ensures important deliveries are never missed and warns of suspicious activity. These systems are all linked via wi-fi, and video and sound from the motion activated camera can even be saved in the cloud for up to a month.
Another safety feature that has seen an upgrade is the smoke alarm. It can now differentiate between smoke, steam and various gasses. Should something be detected, a verbal warning is made before an alarm sounds and a message is sent to your phone warning of the danger. If you choose, you can link the smoke alarm to other smart features in the house so you could have it turn on the lights, if the alarm goes off at night, so you can see clearly to get to safety. You will also receive a polite message via an app should the batteries need to be changed, in advance of them going completely flat.
Lighting has also changed and considering it is one of the electronic items that is featured in every room, it makes sense to not only introduce smart fittings for convenience but also for energy savings. LED bulbs require far less energy to run, and last significantly longer than traditional bulbs, however, it’s the fittings themselves that are attracting attention now. Smart light fittings allow you to communicate with your lighting system remotely, again via an app on your mobile phone or tablet, so you’ll never have to worry about having left the lights on while you’re out. You can also link all the fittings in one app which allows you to adjust brightness according to your needs. Also, some systems offer the option to change the colour of the lights from one moment to the next, even allowing you to link your lights to your smart TV to adjust brightness and hue according to what you’re watching.
While appliances have been getting smarter and smarter as independent items, they are now also able to be linked to an app and controlled remotely. This could include a smart fridge that has a built-in touchscreen, allowing you to search for recipes or conversions on the spot, and it has an internal camera so you can check what you need while at the shops. Smart washers and dryers can also be communicated with via an app so you can adjust cycles while you’re out. In addition hey will intuitively adjust temperatures, detergent quantities and water usage according to the load. As these appliances are still relatively new-to-market they come with a hefty price tag, however, smart TVs and robot vacuums have become relatively commonplace with accessible price tags, so it’s likely the other innovations will go the same way, in terms of affordability.
Possibly the most important innovation to hit the home-tech market is the smart home hub. This item is used to link all of your smart devices, for ease of use, as well as syncing them up so they can function in unison. For instance, by downloading the hub’s app to your mobile or tablet, you can set the system to unlock the front door as you arrive, when it recognises your face, turn on the lights and sound system as you enter, and even begin brewing a pot of coffee, all in one synchronised set of actions. Unfortunately, at the moment, individual producers are focused on their own products and are not interested in sharing tech with each other to allow for easy communication between devices. While this will probably change down the line, be sure to check which systems are compatible with your smart devices when you buy them.
Both the Singapore interior design and renovation industries are already incorporating elements of smart technology into their processes, to ensure green building standards are met, so it follows that this smart technology would become important to homeowners as well. Though not mandatory for the most part, it does make sense to ensure your home’s technology keeps up with the rest of the world. While initial costs can be high, some item’s costs will be offset by long-term savings on energy consumption (from lighting to smart thermostats), as a result of them being more energy efficient. Also, tech designers have made more of an effort to create items that will easily fit into your home’s decor whether its vintage or minimal-contemporary. If you are looking for an interior design company in Singapore that can help, Home Guide is skilled at seamlessly incorporating technology into homes, with a final result that is aesthetically pleasing and offers the added convenience, fun and safety of smart technology. Contact us to discuss the options that are possible with your next renovation or new build.