Guest Post by Dan Matthews
Roughly one out of every three homes in the United States is using smart technology these days, while half that number use security systems of some sort or another. In other words, smart home tech and security are common but not ubiquitous.
As smart systems trend upward in popularity, consumers continue to grapple with the basic question of whether or not they’re worth the time, money, and management skills required to set up and maintain them. Is it worth bothering with smart tech and home security systems?
The concept of a “smart home” versus a traditional home is akin to the difference between a smartphone and its predecessor, the flip phone. At its core, a smartphone performs many of the same functions that a flip phone has nearly always done. It can make phone calls, send texts, and tell you the time. However, in addition to those basic abilities, a smartphone connects to the internet and can run numerous applications, which equips it with an impressive array of additional capabilities like checking the weather, measuring distances, watching movies, etc.
The same comparison holds for smart homes and their traditional counterparts. While both are homes in their essence (they have roofs, rooms, furniture, etc.), a smart home takes things to the next level. It is equipped with a number of different gadgets that enable it to perform various additional functions on its own or at the remote command of its owner. Typical smart home features include the following:
In addition to the more functional elements of a typical smart home, there are the added features that come with a smart home security system. This, in essence, “plugs into” your existing smart home setup, providing tools to improve awareness and safety, whether you’re in bed, on the couch, or out of town. The average smart home security system includes things like:
While these are the standard features typically found in smart homes and security systems, many other components find their way into some of the more fully automated models. For instance, things like smart faucets, electric-controlled smart blinds and shades, and even smart toilets are becoming the norm.
In addition, many wealthy people are customizing their smart homes. Take, for example, Oprah, who has a smart heating system that “melt-plows” her driveway when it snows. Consider Mark Zuckerberg, whose home is operated by his personalized AI system named J.A.R.V.I.S. All of this goes to show that the sky's the limit on the future capabilities of smart home technology.
While there’s no blanket answer to the question of whether this technology is worth your investment, here are some of the pros and cons that each homeowner should consider when making the decision:
Whether you’re a brand new millennial homeowner, a Gen Xer humming along with life, or a baby boomer who has owned your own house for decades, it’s important to take your own specific needs into account when considering a smart home or security system. If you do decide to take the plunge, many different providers are available. The important thing is to map out what you want for your home and then gather quotes from competitors before committing to one specific option.
Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture. You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
September 23rd, 2022
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