What’s a SMART Home and can you Afford One? - Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company Ltd.

Fri 23rd Jul, 2021

Our homes have been transformed by technology – from how it’s built to how it’s protected!

With the rise in technology usage across all industries, you’re probably thinking that smart home technology is new to homeowners. It may surprise many that smart homes have been around for at least the past two or three decades. Initially smart home innovation solutions were perceived as only for those who could afford the extra expense or the early-adopter techies who wanted to do things like:
• remotely control their lights or turn on their air condition
• stream audio-video content between rooms
• home security monitoring

However, with increasing internet coverage and more affordable smart products being produced, more homeowners are hopeful that they can include smart technologies into their homes or at least plan for it. This can now allow you to control your entire home straight from your mobile device with the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Planning for a Smart Home

A smart home system requires that you have a smartphone app or a web portal as a user interface. Smart home systems can be categorized into six major categories: Security, smart appliances, ventilation and air-conditioning, home entertainment, lighting systems, and energy management.

Whether buying a new home, upgrading your current property, or thinking about building, you would need to have an idea of what technology solutions are a fit for your needs and what these would cost to implement.

Smart Security

You may also want to consider a key concern such as protecting your home with appropriate smart security technology. When thinking about keeping your family safe, consider devices like indoor cameras and smart locks to not only help you keep an eye on those at home but also help keep your home safe from intruders. Home security apps help to protect your home when you’re not there with capabilities to check-in on your smartphone or tablet. By downloading a smartphone security mobile app you’ll always know what’s happening at home when you’re away.

Mobile apps can allow you to check the status of your monitored security system and easily arm or disarm your system via a smartphone. Some apps also connect to other equipment such as security cameras to see live footage and save videos. Your mind can be more at ease knowing your security system can detect motion and instantly notify you via the smartphone security mobile app.

Smart Office

One of the most consequential changes seen in the past year is the need for a home office space as more workers transition to a remote lifestyle. This means that you should consider a home office with Artificially Intelligent devices like Google Home or Alexa – which manufacturers says will make your life easier by having the ability of integrating voice control into your world.

Here are four ways AI. can enhance your smart office:
1. Reminder/To-do lists
2. As an audio note keeper
3. As a timer
4. Calendar integration

Be sure that your WIFI system of choice is strong and would not occasionally drop you in the dead zone. Outfitting various rooms can also serve dual purposes; such as a remote classroom if you have young children or a study area for older children needing to attend virtual lectures.

Smart Care

If you have older relatives living with you or you are taking care of a differently abled family member, their mobility may be limited. With smart appliances you can safeguard against appliances remaining on longer than needed with automated timers or by providing them the convenience of using either voice control or the simple touch of a mobile app button.

Making Smart Home Decisions

Be sure to consider these points when shopping so that you obtain the right technology solutions for your home:
1. Research the cost of buying what you need directly from the supplier.
2. Ask for a warranty for all technology solutions that you purchase.
3. Decide on your priority devices – What are must-haves versus nice to haves?
4. Research by device but also by brand to ensure compatibility.

Above all, avoid being overwhelmed with choices! Start with manageable and affordable solutions and then scale up. Your journey can start with just one device such as a smart plug, speaker, camera or door lock and you can eventually integrate other devices or features when you are ready from there.