For the past couple of decades there has been a conundrum circulating the internet which, until quite recently, there seemed to be no plausible answer. Millions of frustrated people were asking why they had so little time if technology was being developed that could take on many of the tasks that people once were responsible for. It made perfect sense that they should ask that because, in fact, most professionals really did have little time for anything but their jobs.
Today you will hear fewer and fewer people lamenting the fact that they have little time because of one technology we have come to know as being smart. The difference between then and now is that older technology still needed to be controlled by a human whereas today’s smart technology is just that. It’s smart! As a combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analysis, Smart technology doesn’t need a human to tell it what to do and when to do it. Smart technology can actually think for itself. Just look at how many tasks are made easier with smart technology.
1. Smart Lights
Although smart lights may not be the smartest of smart technologies because they often require a user interface, there are some smart lighting systems that can be programmed to a light meter. Most of the lower-end smart lights are controlled via a voice-activated app that enables you to turn the lights on or off with a simple command to an app on your smartphone, for example. Other smart lighting systems can be set to go on and/or off if lumens reach certain levels. These work well with home security systems with CCTV surveillance.
2. Smart Thermostats
There are several types of smart thermostats in use today but the two most common are those that control the air temperature in the home and then there are Smart thermostats for hot water. One interesting thing about smart thermostats for home heating is that they don’t just turn units on and off based on temperature near a centrally located thermostat. Instead, they are connected to motion sensors so that if there is movement in a room where the temperature is out of programmed range, they direct heat to that portion of the home. It really is interesting how they work and how much money can be saved because heat isn’t being sent to areas not currently inhabited.
3. Smart Consumer-Facing Commercial Technology
When it comes to smart technology that makes everyday tasks easier for you, not all of that technology is for use in the home. You aren’t in your home 24/7 and so you will find technology outside the home that makes things easier as well. Take, for example, smart kiosks in package pickup at many large home improvement and department stores around the country. You simply step up to the kiosk, plug in your order number and the automated system can actually do the picking itself!
Then there are tasks you may need to do outside the home. With minimalist décor trending today and many people downsizing as part of a growing focus on sustainability, some condos and apartments no longer have washer and dryer connections in the home. Smart technology in laundromats is the epitome of laundry made simple. To get a glimpse of just how easy doing laundry has become, look at the smart technology in the commercial machines at Sundance in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. From sensing load sizes to controlling the amount of detergent dispensed, a patron only needs to load the machine and literally walk away. How easy is that?
4. Smart Security
Smart security makes life so much safer and easier because you can utilize the same kind of system at home and at your place of business, all controlled by the same app on your smartphone. When hooked up to CCTV you can monitor live activity both inside and outside the home or your office and these videos can be uploaded online for even additional benefits. Imagine that, worst-case scenario, you were the victim of a home invasion or burglary at your place of business. Those uploaded videos of the perpetrators can be forwarded to the police for identification purposes – and the beauty is that you don’t even need to do the uploading! The smart technology is programmed where to send everything.
5. Smart Air Conditioning
At the moment, most smart air conditioning units are still in their infancy, meaning that they are typically controlled from a smart app on your phone or a remote-control device. As of this time, smart ACs can be set to coordinate with lighting schedules but newer technology is far advanced from that. Like heating units, smart air conditioning can also provide advanced room-by-room temperature control. They will probably work with those smart thermostats so that upon detecting movement, they direct cooling to those rooms, ignoring those unoccupied.
6. Smart Locks for the Home and Office
Be honest. How many times have you lost your keys this week alone? Perhaps ‘lost’ is too strong a word because they were only misplaced, but how you panicked! If you were like 99.999% of other people, you probably ran around like a chicken with your head cut off thinking you left them on the counter in a store or all the way back at home.
Smart home (and office!) locks simply attach to the top of a lock and can then be controlled with an app from your mobile device. Yes, you will still need to locate those keys at some point, but at least you won’t be late for that all-important meeting with a client or to greet the school bus when the kids arrive home in the afternoon. There is one other benefit to smart locks and that is they can be connected to your smart home/office security system to alert you to the possibility of an intruder. You can then see what those cameras are catching.
7. Smart Technology for the Kitchen
Smart coffee machines may make your mornings easier but when it comes to smart technology for the kitchen, nothing (and that means NOTHING) on earth beats a smart refrigerator. How many times have you inadvertently left your shopping list at home? What if you didn’t write your list in the Alexa app on your phone and you can’t, for the life of you, remember what you needed. Imagine connecting to your smart refrigerator to see what you needed? You may not be able to recreate the entire list unless you have a smart pantry, but have they even been developed yet? Still, at least you won’t get home without your perishables.
Then, there’s one more kind of smart thermometer which could be mentioned at this point. What about a smart thermometer that controls the heat source when the internal temperature of the food you are cooking reaches a safe holding temperature? For example, poultry reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and holds for at least 15 seconds. The burner, oven, or another heat source can then be lowered to safe holding at 135 degrees. What a blessing on Christmas if you’ve left the turkey in the oven while you went to church. No more worry about getting home to that bird in the oven. Smart technology has you covered.
Lest we forget to mention it, probably the most important bit of smart technology would be that smartphone you are reading this on. It is the hub of every piece of smart technology in your home or office. It is the device with which you program all these smart technologies, and it is the smart device that gives you remote control of all of the above. When all is said and done, there are few tasks, if any, that smart technology can’t make easier for you.