Homes Issue--Waterways Magazine--08/2019

Page 52

Home Smart Home Create the Smart Home of Your Dreams

By Cindy Brzostowski

Since the dawn of electric appliances, people have been dreaming up “the home of the future,” filled with gadgets and gizmos that automatically perform the drudgery of daily living, thus freeing the home’s inhabitants to indulge in leisure pursuits in a luxury environment. Today, many aspects of those home automation fantasies have become reality thanks to smart home technology that continues to evolve and expand. Perhaps the hallmark of today’s smart home is the ability to control multiple appliances and devices as well as monitor and adjust various utilities all through an app on a smartphone, a tablet, a wall-mounted touchscreen or a smart speaker. But with great technology comes overwhelming options and possibilities.

AUTOMATION OPPORTUNITIES The makeup of your smart home depends on what sort of automation best suits your lifestyle and budget. You might be surprised by how many everyday tasks you can automate and control remotely. 50 WATERWAYS | August 2019

Appliances Dishwasher, washer and dryer While you can’t yet automate the loading and unloading of these appliances, you can start and monitor cycles when you’re away. You can also receive alerts if the appliance detects a problem during a cycle or a leak. Refrigerator Smart refrigerators allow you to see what’s inside without having to open a door, which saves you time, conserves energy and keeps food at a more consistent temperature. You can also track food expiration dates, get reminders when you’re running low on an item and even store and view recipes. Outdoor grill No need to stand over that fiery grill all the while you’re using it. With a smart grill you can control the temperature more precisely and receive cooking status notifications. Oven Stuck in traffic and worried about the late start you’ll get on preparing supper? A smart oven lets you start preheating it before you get home. Scan QR codes on product packaging to automatically set cooking times and temperatures. Coffee maker Coffee makers with timers have been