Examples of smart devices used in a smart home
Technology and the in particular internet has grown tremendously over the last couple of years to become one of the most advanced and revolutionary things in the world. Although the internet has some negative aspects, it can be linked to a lot of positive effects that it has brought with it to the world. The Internet is increasingly shaping, and being shaped by, users' lives. From cyber cafes to businesses, from middle-class houses to squatters settlements. (Miller & Slater, 2001). Through the help of technology, people can communicate easily from thousands of miles away. The advent of platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Skype and many other applications have made communication easy. Other benefits of the internet are found in medicine where doctors can work together from different countries as well as political benefits where technology has been credited for toppling regimes in the Middle East.
The internet has gone into house and nowadays we have smart homes where technology has ensured a home is more than a place to live. Smart homes have been made in such a way that they rely on technology to ensure the comfort and safety of the occupants. Some of the smart technologies include having an application in the house that enables one to control the room temperature using their phones. An application knows as Nest helps a homeowner to monitor the way heat and electricity are used by monitoring the energy usage and the best way to control it. The application is also linked to the house camera and smoke detector making them smart gadgets that can make appropriate decisions when the need arises. A company known as SenseME Technology has come up with a fan that is intelligent and does not require the owner to turn it on or off. The fan can detect the temperature, the humidity and the presence of a person in a room. After taking the three in consideration, the Central processing unit in the fan decides when the fan will start, how fast it will go and when to switch itself off ("World's First Smart Fan - Haiku with SenseME | Haiku Home," ). A house owner, therefore, needs just to have an internet connection and electricity in the home and the gadgets responsible for temperature regulations will do the rest.
Another smart home device is the coffee maker which has the capabilities of being controlled from anywhere in the house. The machine through its WI-FI enabled features can send reminders to the owner in case water is running low or any other reminder that might be necessary for preparation of coffee. The coffee machine also has a timer option where an individual can set the coffee maker to start making coffee at a particular time. A person can, therefore, wake up and find the coffee ready without having to start making the drink.
There are also smart locks that enable an individual to answer the door bell when he is far from home as well as letting friends in the house when the owner is not at home. Although the technology is not widespread, it is quickly gaining momentum, and people are starting to see the advantages of having a smart home. Other technologies include an automatic vacuum cleaner that can be programmed to clean the house on its own. The smart technologies have made life easy and comfortable.
Having a smart home is essential in most building these days as it has enhanced security as well as making a house modern. Technology improves the level of control. The control is possible because most developers have created apps as well as devices that are being used to monitor the stereos at home. The rate at which things like water is being consumed can also be detected by the help of the smart gadgets (Nyborg & Ropke, 2011). For example, one can have an intelligent oven or even a Nest learning thermostat in his smart home and using the mobile app one can turn off the oven from whatever location he/she and the same case applies to an air conditioner. Smart homes are therefore not just luxuries, but they also help in saving the energy.
Advantages of smart homes to the elderly
The improvement in the standard of living has seen an increase in the life expectancy among the US citizen. Data from the social security have also shown that 1 out of 4 people will be disabled before reaching 60yrs ("Calculators: Life Expectancy," ). All these people will need a place to live and someone to take care of them. Although some of the elderly live in homes for the elderly, there are those that prefer staying in their homes. For those who are young and disabled, the majority live with their family members and rely on them for support. There is a need therefore to have smart homes that will help the disabled and the elderly to do some of the tasks alone.
According to a study done by Dianne Cook, it was found that there some individuals who do not like living in homes for the elderly. The research discovered that if such people are forced to leave their homes and seek help in other places against their will, they tend to have emotional and physical stress which increases their chance of early death. Smart homes improved the quality of life that the elderly enjoy in their homes. The advent of voice command technology has made house accessibility and operating around the house much easier. The voice command options can enable an individual to switch on the lights, lock the doors as well as run the other gadgets in the house. A senior person will need to have just the basic operation skills, and the devices will be ready to work. There is no reason to be technologically savvy to be able to operate the devices.
Smart homes are also beneficial to the elderly especially when there is an emergency, and the person needs to call for help. The availability of panic buttons and the ease of using the technology will ensure the older adult can call for help if there is a need for an urgent response (Dahmen, Cook, Wang, & Honglei, 2017, p. 18). The technology will, therefore, ensure an individual can live independently while at the same time giving family members and friends the assurance that he or she will be able to call for help when the need arises. Some senior citizens have eyes or ears problem. Such people are in danger of being harmed if they cannot see a potentially dangerous object or hear a warning sign. However, smart homes have ensured that the houses have enhanced gadgets such as alarms with improved sound system to enable a person with any of the disability to hear and respond to the signal. The enhanced system will, therefore, ensure the safety of the individual living in the house and also give family members peace knowing their loved one is safe.
Other benefits of smart homes to the elderly include the ability for a house to have appliances that can switch themselves off or even lock the doors. Since memory fades with age, such gadgets are critical in ensuring the safety of the individuals. The ability to monitor a house from a remote location using CCTV and WI-FI has also been beneficial to the elderly since a caregiver can monitor the home to ensure the safety of the person living there. Smart homes are also essential especially in helping the elderly with taking their medications. Some gadgets can be programmed to dispense medication as per the persons prescription. Such devices ensure the individuals takes proper dosage and also makes it easier for the person to remember when to take them due to the reminder feature in them. Recent smart home applications are focused on activity recognition, health monitoring, and automation.
Impact of modern homes in the society
There are different implications that smart homes have had on the society from social to economic effects. Some of the adverse effects include a security threat posed to the house wiring system. The technology that allows an individual to control the lighting remotely by use of phones is vulnerable to lightning. The risk of increasing the chances of being struck by lightning will put a house at a high danger of having the electrical system being compromised. The insurance may not cover such kind of damages, and it is important for individuals to understand their insurance policy before introducing (Lee et al. 2011). The appliances and gadgets such as car charger may overload the house electric system leading to an increase in repair costs.
There are other threats such as having the home appliances getting hacked. Any gadget that can access the internet is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Smart homes, therefore, stand a chance of getting hacked or compromised. The cyber-attack can be used to harass or even blackmail individuals. An unscrupulous person can access home CCTV, laptops webcam or even baby monitors and star attacking the owners of such gadgets. An individual who gets bullied by having his or her devices hacked will be left feeling vulnerable and violated. It is, therefore, important to understand how to keep your smart gadgets safe such as using antivirus and keeping the WI-FI safe by use of passwords.
Some of the positive impacts include making the environment cleaner by relying on green energy for its power needs. Most of the smart homes have embraced the use of solar, and wind technology to power their homes. The design is also made in such a way that they enable the houses to be low energy homes. The smart homes have also enhanced the use of technology in its security feature making the house owners feel safe (Alauddin et al.). The alarm system depends on the high-tech program that can go off when some something irregular happens. It is, therefore, a feature that embraces the old method of technology as well combining the new technology.
Future of home healthcare
The health of individuals especially the disabled and elderly have been improved and the quality of life enhanced. Due to the introduction of high-tech gadgets, the old can live more comfortably on their own in their smart homes. The ability to have appliances that can help one meet ones need has ensured self-reliance as well as the safety of such a person (Le, Nguyen, & Barnett, 2012). A healthy nation translates to a better economy and therefore smart homes have played a significant role both economically and socially. The economic benefits that have been brought by smart housing include, reduction of the cost of maintaining a house. Most of the smart homes have been built with efficiency in mind (Nyborg & Ropke, 2011). The designers, therefore, ensure that the house does not consume power like the traditional houses. The reduction of money paid for electricity is achieved by embracing green energy technology in making the home. Reducing in the house bills means more money is left in the hands of the homeowners who can then save more.
Some aged care homes have been able to reduce the cost of running such facilities by introducing smart homes. The number of personnel needed to operate such facilities has reduced due to automation of services. Having less personnel means the organization will spend less on payroll and therefore more funds are available for other projects. A home facility that uses employs technology will, therefore, see a reduction in its expense. Smart technology can thereof be credited for improving the quality of life as well as contributing to improving ones economic condition.
The reforms in the US health care system aims at improving the quality and services offered to clients. One of the components of the reforms is ensuring there is an affordable healthcare for everybody. Home health care may, therefore, become the future of the US treatment center. People like to be in an environment where they feel relaxed and at home. According to Steve Landers, the CEO of Alliance for home healthcare, the future of the healthcare system will b...
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