ARTICLE

The Connected Home: Why Smart Homes Are The Future

September 10, 2021 – 4 min read

Smart homes are one of those really cool things that seem like the future. Right now, if you wanted to, you could set it up so that your lights would dim, the curtains would close and your TV would turn on to the movie you wanted to watch at a single command. You could see your delivery driver and ask them to put your parcel behind the bush from anywhere in the world. You can set up a camera and speakers to tell the dog to get off the couch, even when you’re at work. Smart homes are incredible if you’re time poor or have accessibility needs.

Here are just a few of the many reasons why smart home living is the future.

A couple sit on their couch and look at their smart home device

So, what is a smart home?

There are many different ways to have a smart home, but it’s mostly a home that has devices that can be controlled by voice or through an app. Smart light bulbs, like Philips Hue tend to be the gateway because they’re so easy to set up. The next step is usually a smart speaker, like the Sonos One, which has access to both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, because then you can control devices with your voice. After that, the sky’s the limit. You can get washing machines that notify you when the load is done or it’s time to add fabric softener, and security systems you can monitor from any location.

For Matt Gaskell, Director, Devices & Services Partnerships ANZ at Google, the benefit of smart home living is the freedom it provides. “Technology can be even more useful when computing is anywhere you need it, always available to help you. When devices fade into the background, working together with AI and software to assist you throughout your day, in a seamless way, this shows that smart devices are really doing what they should.”

Appliances and the internet of things

Have you ever been at the supermarket and suddenly realised you’re not sure if you have milk, or cauliflower? With a smart fridge, you could just check the camera inside and find out. Or, if that level of smarts is more than you’re comfortable with, there’s always the LG 508L Instaview Refrigerator with its ThinQ system, which uses an app to listen to the sounds the fridge is making to diagnose issues if you’re worried there’s something wrong with it, often years down the track of purchase.

Smart home devices aren’t just about turning things on and off and accessing cameras, but about getting notifications if the dishwasher is low on rinse aid, or understanding how much electricity your devices are using.

A woman manages her smart home using her tablet

Smart/voice assistants

Odds are, you already have access to a smart assistant on your phone and discovered how helpful they can be for setting timers, responding quickly to messages and converting units. With a connected smart home or a smart speaker, you can take that to the next level. Matt Gaskell particularly likes having Google Assistant in the kitchen. “Many Aussies are enthusiastic cooks, and the Assistant can be an ideal companion for the budding chef. Having a hands-free assistant in the kitchen opens up a world of opportunities to make dinner prep simple and mess-free. Simply asking: “Hey Google, show me recipes for green smoothies”, means you can avoid any mucky hands on devices. You can also ask the Assistant for nutritional information, dietary substitutes and how-to videos.”

Smart TVs

A smart TV is the perfect smart home device, because not only can it access all of your favourite streaming services, but you can also control it with your voice if you so choose. With a TV like Samsung Neo QLED 8K, you can just hold down the microphone button and say: “Stan”, to have the TV turn itself onto the right app. Or, instead of asking your kids to turn the TV down, ask a smart assistant to do it for you – they’re much more likely to listen.

Home security

This is a huge category for connected smart homes. Being able to check who’s at your door from anywhere in the world means you can be instantly alerted if an intruder tries to break in, or if someone tries to steal your online shopping from your doorstep.

Google Nest products are amazing for this, being extremely easy to set up and use. The advancements in the latest Google Nest Doorbell are particularly impressive. “With on-device machine-learning, the Google Nest Doorbell can recognise people (including familiar faces), animals, vehicles and packages – cutting down on unhelpful notifications and prioritising what you need to see,” says Matt Gaskell. “And we know conditions across Australia can greatly vary, so these devices have been trained on 40 million images to accommodate lots of different environments and lighting conditions, so reliability and accuracy are even better” says another satisfied buyer from The Good Guys.

“Technology can be even more useful when computing is anywhere you need it, always available to help you. When devices fade into the background, working together with AI and software to assist you throughout your day, in a seamless way, this shows that smart devices are really doing what they should.” – Matt Gaskell, Director, Devices & Services Partnerships ANZ at Google

What’s coming next

The future of smart homes is bright. With our ageing population, there’s going to be a huge focus on making start homes more accessible. There will also be a great importance placed on energy management and reducing food waste. Smart homes are already used to make sure your thermostat is being energy-efficient while keeping you the right temperature, and smart fridges are making sure you know what you’ve got, meaning less waste.

You don’t need to do a full home renovation to get a smart home – it’s something you can develop over time with minimal outlay. At The Good Guys, we’re experts in all things smart home, so come in-store or online and start experiencing the home of the future, today.

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