Archives for Smart homes

5 Awesome Innovations on the Frontier of Home Automation

Remote home control system on a digital tablet or phone. In today’s digital world — recently dubbed “The Age of the Internet of Things” — technology is changing everything. From wearable health tracking devices to cars that drive themselves, tech has made day-to-day life easier, more convenient and also more fun. One area in which technology is having a huge impact is in the home. Recent inventions have made maintaining, taking care of and enjoying domestic life better than ever before. The following five home automation innovations represent some of the most cutting edge technologies that are shaping the way humans experience their homes.   Connected Refrigerators There’s a good chance you’ve run to the grocery to pick a few things up — only to return home and find out you’ve forgotten one essential item. You can avoid that annoyance now that there are smart refrigerators, which not only help you regulate the energy that your fridge uses, but also help you keep track of what is inside them. Smart refrigerators have a Wi-Fi connection, and are equipped to take photos of the inside each time it opens and closes so you can check and see what is in them, even remotely. Some smart fridges even have capability to play videos and songs, while others allow you to pull up recipes or order groceries from a touchscreen. Two of the most popular smart refrigerators on the market right now are the Samsung Family Hub and the LG Smart ThinQ. Connected Washers and Dryers Connected appliances don’t only make cooking easier — they make laundry better, too. Internet-connected washers and dryers now allow you to stop and start cycles via an app remotely, as well as to monitor how much energy you’re using. Many smart laundry appliances also allow you to “download” special cycles for certain clothing items in order to make sure you are washing and drying your garments just the right way. Whirpool’s Smart Cabrio Washer and Smart Cabrio Dryer are two of the most popular smart laundry devices on the market. Self-Learning Thermostats Keeping the temperature regulated in your home is key to making sure you and your family are comfortable. Now, you can use a self-learning, self-regulating thermostat, like the popular Nest device, to keep the air feeling just right. Nest’s thermostat does a whole host of things, including learning your schedule after you use it for a week, then automatically changing the temperature by itself — both to make sure that you’re comfortable when you’re at home, and that you’re not using excess energy when you’re not. Smart Locks Keeping your home locked means that you can keep your family and your belongings safe. But locks can also cause challenges, such as when people get locked out, or when you leave your house and forget to lock up. Thanks to smart locks, however, you can control the security of your home via a remote app, which allows you to lock, unlock and check the status of

What Is a Smart Home?

If you can turn the lights in your home on and off from your cell phone, you have the beginnings of a smart home. Smart home technology is now available that allows you to remotely control a variety of electrical appliances and components in your home, even when you’re not there. The purpose is to let you make your home more comfortable, secure and energy efficient. While smart home technology is still in its infancy, there are already many ways you can make your home smarter. Here are just a few examples: Smart Thermostats Programmable thermostats have been around for a long time. These thermostats can make you more comfortable at home by, for example, turning the heat down around the time you leave for work, then turning it back up before you get home from work. It keeps the temperature in your home just where you want it. However, there are now smart thermostats that can do even more. For instance, they can be controlled from a smartphone, and also come with sensors that can be placed in different rooms. So, if you have one room in the house that always seems cold, the heat won’t turn off until the sensor in that room indicates that it has reached a satisfactory temperature. Smart Speakers Smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo, Google Now and their competitors, let you talk to your house. Smart speakers control a voice-activated smartphone assistant, and provide a wide range of capabilities, such as: •             If you add something like Amazon Prime or iHeartRadio, you can ask the smart speaker to play a specific song for you. •             Add your home and work addresses to the application, and you can ask the smart speaker how long of a commute you’ll have. •             The application will maintain a shopping list and you can add to it using voice commands. There are hundreds of other features for these smart speakers that will help you manage your home! Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors Have you ever talked to someone whose house burned down when they weren’t home? It’s a tragedy because often the home is lost before a neighbor or someone driving by notices the problem and calls for help. With a smart smoke/carbon monoxide detector, you’ll be notified on your smartphone immediately. If you’re not sure whether someone is home, you’d want to call first just in case a family member is burning something on the stove. Otherwise, you can contact emergency services almost as quickly as if you were home. Smart Slow Cookers Anything that has electrical components might someday be made into a smart device. In fact, Belkin has introduced a crock pot that can be controlled from your smartphone. You can turn the temperature up or down, adjust the cooking time and more. Smart Refrigerators Companies like Samsung are making smart refrigerators. The Samsung version boasts a large touchscreen that allows you to leave notes for other family members, play music and even watch television. The

Buying Near Parks and Recreational Facilities

Buying Near Parks and Recreation Facilities According to RealtorMag, twenty-three percent of recent buyers indicated that convenience to parks or recreational facilities influenced their choice of neighborhoods.  Proximity to parks and recreational facilities was the most important to recent buyers aged 34 and younger, and to those aged 35 to 49.  Here are some reasons to believe those numbers will rise. Public Health Concerns The alarming increase in obesity, especially among children, has focused attention on how important physical activity is to our overall wellbeing.  Governments at all levels are promoting the benefits of active living and we have become more receptive to the message.  That means even more people will want accommodations that provide opportunities for physical activity (i.e. near parks and rec).  Further, governments (to save its citizens and reduce health care costs) and businesses (to ensure their developments sell) are improving the planning, design, quality and availability of parks and recreation resources to meet the rising demand for activity-friendly communities. Seniors Want Active Lifestyles Seniors, in particular are becoming more aware of the benefits, both physical and mental, of an active lifestyle including walks, picnics and outings. It is increasingly common for buyers over 59 to purchase townhouses and condos, sacrificing space and privacy for convenience, savings and safety of walkable communities.  Nearby access to parks and rec is a critical factor for them and this group seldom compromises when buying – they know what they want. A Sense of Place (Home Turf) First-time buyers, families and couples intending to have children often seek a neighbourhood where they can raise their family fostering a sense of place with the unique and special characteristics and comforts of “home turf”.  They value the relationships and collaborations with the community as a whole.  For them, building a vibrant community includes participating in activities and events offered by parks and recreational facilities for all the family’s stages and ages: personal fitness, Girl Guides, coaching the kids in local sports, Tai Chi class, a family swim, romps in the playground, the Canada Day Barbeque. Enjoying Life The aesthetic qualities of green space, trees and trails, gardens and picnic areas appeal to a group who have decided to slow the pace and live an eco-friendly lifestyle.  To them parks and recreational activities are an essential part of quality of life.  It’s  hard to disagree if you’ve ever witnessed a sunset walking along the Ottawa River Pathway.   Like what you see? Subscribe to our Blog. The post Buying Near Parks and Recreational Facilities appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Voice Control & Connected Devices Fuel Home Automation

Connected devices hooked up to the Internet are advancing home automation in a way that helps you make your new home a clean, energy efficient and welcoming place. The key to controlling the devices can be a smartphone, tablet or computer.  As you bring devices under your control and make your home a Smart Home, get them to interact with one another, you can also help them work together to improve your living environment even more. Voice automation, which involves controlling connected devices with your voice, makes it possible for you to direct many changes. Through a virtual assistant, the devices may be able to talk back, telling you everything from the weather outside to how you can order spare parts over the Internet if the device breaks. Remote home control system on a digital tablet or phone. How Do I Know What I Want? The best way to get an idea of what items can be connected is to take a tour of a residence with home automation. This will allow you to understand how the devices communicate with your phone and one another and what the items can do for you. The key areas of home automation are lighting, energy management, safety and security, electronics and entertainment, and locks, from garage doors to front doors. There are also automation options for gardens, decks, storage areas, and items for pets. The more innovative items on the market include solar panels to power a home, combined with occupancy sensors to make sure a person is in the home, and one-touch capability to lock the doors; and the assignment of unique codes to open the door, with alerts to your smartphone to tell you who is home and when they arrived. There’s even an internal camera for an oven that takes a picture of the meat or pie you’re cooking to help you decide when it’s done. Should I Get Help? It’s important to get some assistance to ensure connected devices are set up properly and are secure. One-third of homeowners who bought a house in 2015 are considering adding home automation systems to their residence. Creating an automated home is a process, especially if you’re adding devices over time. You should start with a professional and contact him or her for further assistance as needed. The first step of creating a smart home is installing a hub. This gadget connects all the devices. Hubs are not yet programmable to the point where the device will take certain actions when you express a concern. For example, if you say, “It’s cold in here,” the device may not know whether you want to turn on the heat and to what degree. Yet at this point, a hub should be able to schedule devices like thermostats and fans to turn on at a certain time. It may also be able to take actions such as shutting the lights and heat off when you leave the house. Working with a professional, especially on significant