The Internet of Things: How Smart Homes Work

Did you leave the iron on? The smart home attempts to answer this question and questions like it, bringing automation into your home to help you keep track of everything. While “smart” homes used to rely on silly gimmicks (remember the Clapper?), new technology is not only cheaper, but also more interconnected as this business starts to boom. Sales of these automation systems could grow to around $9.5 billion by the end of 2015 (Berg Insight) and by 2017, it could explode to $44 billion (CNN). Instead of having to buy the same brand for everything in your home to be smart, companies—even big companies—are making their products on standard protocols, designed to be controlled by devices you already have.

How a Smart Home Workshow smart homes work, TJ Woods Insurance Agency Inc., Worcester, MA

A smart home is connecting the things you use every day into a network where they can communicate with each other and with you. You have the ability to monitor and control these devices without physically interacting with them, or even being in the home. This is possible with the “Internet of Things,” the trend of having devices Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, ready to hook up to a wireless network or directly to your phone.

Types of Devices and What They Can Do for You

You can get a staggering number of home devices and systems that can be brought into the network. Here are a sampling of the most common devices and their networked perks.

  • Camera allow peace of mind, from internal ones to monitor from your phone while on vacation, to night vision, motion sensitive outdoor cameras to put you at ease.
  • Programmable thermostats are great, and controlling it from your phone is even better. Have a warm house waiting for you when you get home from the office or the airport.
  • Lighting that you can set to a schedule, or turn off and on from your phone, allow you to keep your home looking occupied when you’re away—or light a path to the bathroom.
  • Worried you left the coffee pot on? With smart devices and apps you can check on the status of all your devices, and turn on the coffee machine or preheat the oven.
  • Automated garage and home locks can be automated to open as you approach with your smartphone, or send out alerts when they are opened without you being there.

Advanced Smart Homes

Beyond using your own home network and smart phone, there are professional services for creating home networks and stand-alone servers. These services are more expensive, but also more secure and reliable. If you are planning to do these installations in an existing or new home, you’ll probably want help with the installation. Make sure the contractor has certification from both the Consumer Electronics Association and the Computing Technology Industry Association. This CEA-CompTIA certification represents a familiarity and proficiency in installing and troubleshooting home networking equipment.

Smart homes require a little bit of work and careful purchasing to bring together, but provide security, convenience, and even savings. This investment in your home should be protected, as well as the home itself. Investing in Homeowners Insurance can provide a great synergy with your smart home, and provide even more peace of mind. Please contact TJ Woods Insurance Agency about insuring your home, or improving your existing coverage. We’ll show you it was the “smart” move.