The famous animated Jetson family amazed us all with their futuristic home conveniences. In today’s world, we call that home automation!
Your smart phone can essentially be turned into a remote control of sorts, to control anything and everything that happens inside or outside of your home. Smart home technology has opened the door to a new, modern day household with time-saving advantages at the press of a button. Or in many cases, the sound of your voice.
The first step in home automation is determining which key features you’d like to control (i.e. lighting, temperature control, etc.) Second is deciding whether to use a wireless or hard-wired platform. When Mosby installs home automation systems our preference is Powerline, where all devices are hard wired and powered through your home electrical wiring via outlets. Hard wiring affords more accuracy and enables the technology to keep running in cases when the internet is down.
Another option is to set up a wireless system using Bluetooth technology. Compared to hard wiring, there is a broader array of choices when it comes to wireless. The con being it will only be as successful as the strength of the wi-fi signal at any given time. A third option is to create a hybrid system utilizing a combination of hard wiring and wi-fi options.
Before you get started, you’ll need to choose which digital assistant you prefer to use to manage the home automation. Apple has Siri, Google Home has the Google Assistant and Amazon has Alexa. Do your research to identify which platform/assistant is best suited for your lifestyle.
As the home automation movement grows, more and more smart products are being developed for your home. Let’s look at some of the ways to automate your bathrooms and kitchen.
Using your preferred voice assistant, you can turn on and off the sink with your voice using Kohler’s Sensate Faucet. Grohe offers Infrared Sensor-Operated Taps where water only starts flowing when hands are placed over the sensor. Both of these technologies help reduce wasted water when doing everyday activities.
Kohler’s Verdera Voice-Lighted Mirror has Amazon’s Alexa technology embedded within the product, so you can ask it to play music, listen to the news or adjust the lighting when you’re shaving or putting on make-up. Middle-of-the-night bathroom trips are less disruptive with a motion-sensing night-light.
Moen’s smart home voice-enabled bathroom technology features U by Moen, an Alexa-enabled smart shower system that controls one to four shower heads. Consumers can manage all shower activity (turn on the shower, control the temperature, etc.) with simple voice commands. Crosswater’s Digital Shower has valves that flash red when water is heating up, blue when cooling down and white once it’s reached the right temperature, an especially handy feature to prevent scalding if you have young children.
The Numi Intelligent Toilet is a compact, streamlined option that comes with integrated cleaning. The stainless-steel bidet wand gives adjustable spray shapes, positions, water pressure, temperature and other functions. Launching in early 2019, it has a colored display, heated seat, foot warmer, bidet, and customized playlist of songs.
The 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends survey found that 22 percent of homeowners add voice-controlled home assistants such as Google Home or Amazon Echo when remodeling their kitchens. The most popular tech trends in the kitchen include voice-activated controls to adjust lights, play music, and look for a recipe.
Technology can also be used to improve safety in kitchens. Some appliances have automatic shut-offs and alert systems for appliances that are not turned off. This is an increasingly important tool for elderly people adjusting their homes to better meet their physical needs. Other kitchen smart features include:
Some smart refrigerators have an LCD panel on the front with a menu of apps that function as command control for family messages, a TV or digital notepad for shopping lists. Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator even has a camera that allows you to see its contents when you’re at the grocery store.
Philips Hue Light Strips are worth a special mention, as they are so versatile. These long, multi-color LED strips are designed to provide accent lighting. You can use them for under-cabinet lighting in a kitchen, and set them to display different colors at different times (i.e. bright white when cooking, dim colors at night).
Appliances are also evolving and becoming more intelligent over time to adapt to modern lifestyles. Built-in cameras, machine-learning software, voice-powered devices, guided cooking systems and smart surfaces will be seen more and more in kitchen appliances.
GeniCan Trash Can
Of all the mundane kitchen-related tasks, keeping a grocery shopping list is probably one of the most annoying. That is, unless you have a GeniCan. This scanner attaches to your trash can or recycling bin and keeps a log of items you toss out and updates your grocery list accordingly. When the app is synced with an Amazon account, GeniCan can even order items such as paper towels and snacks. To add items to a shopping list, you simply swipe the item’s barcode code on GeniCan’s barcode reader.
Hello Egg is the only voice-operated smart assistant with a display and personality designed specifically for the kitchen. The gadget’s top features include step-by-step voice-navigated recipe video tutorials, real-time prompts from a support team, streaming music, audio news feeds, weather forecasts, multiple voice-activated timers, and reminders. It supervises your pantry, organizes your shopping list, and can even order your grocery deliveries!
If you’re ready to make your home a smart home, our Mosby Building Arts’ professionals will work with you to design and implement a system that best suits your needs. Call 314.909.1800 to get started discussing options!