Homes these days are looking more and more like the one George and Judy Jetson lived in. Digital is rapidly replacing analog, and smart is supplanting dumb.
The use of home tech has been growing rapidly since the launch of home internet service. But a pandemic that forced everyone to hunker down in their homes sent the demand for home tech soaring. Now, it seems, everyone wants more and more of it.
Incessant advances in home technology create a perpetual flow of bright and shiny new things into the consumer market. Those who have the financial wherewithal to keep up with the Jetsons do. Those who don’t keep dreaming.
Home technology is great … until it’s not. It’s only natural that when problems arise, you look to replace what you have with something newer and faster.
But what if replacing your home tech isn’t the only option for optimizing it? Here are three recommendations to improve your home tech and make it work better for you.
Make Your Wi-Fi Work Smarter
Maybe there’s a faster internet service out there you can connect to, but your budget can’t take the hit. Nonetheless, as you watch those buffering icons spin, you think about what you can sell to afford a faster package. Or you may have no faster option available unless you sell your house and move.
Before you rent that moving van or sell a pint of blood, consider making your Wi-Fi work smarter. Power your home with smart Wi-Fi that makes your signal faster and adapts to how your specific household uses it.
Adding more and more internet-driven devices on the same signal is like having a 60-amp electrical service.
You learn over time to turn off the dishwasher before plugging in the coffeemaker to keep from blowing a fuse. In a similar fashion, smart Wi-Fi determines where you need the fastest signal at any point in time and sends it there.
Let’s say you’re on a Zoom meeting in the home office when the kids are on the Xbox in the family room. Smart Wi-Fi boosts the signal in those locations at the expense of items where it’s not needed at the time. That could be to the idle washing machine or an unused iPad.
A smart Wi-Fi system makes the most of what you have without breaking the bank. Plus, it does all the work of gathering information it needs to adapt to your household demands. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the absence of spinning circles.
Make the Dumb Smart
A great strategy for improving home tech is to replace appliances and devices with smart ones as they wear out. For example, when the old dryer quits drying, replace it with a smart dryer. Over time, all your appliances will be connected to your internet of things.
In the meantime, you can make some items in your home smart even if they weren’t designed to be. Think smart bulbs, plugs, batteries, switches, and keys. Any light can be a smart light if you replace a regular bulb with a smart one.
Some smart bulbs work directly with your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, while others need a translator to talk to your router. But you can then control them with your smartphone, voice assistant, or smart home controller.
If you want to skip replacing all your bulbs, you can just replace the existing switch with a smart one. If your television isn’t smart, plug in a Chromecast or Roku key or a Fire Stick, and voila! Plug grandma’s floor lamp into a smart plug, put smart batteries in smoke detectors, and install a smart thermostat.
Smart devices are all about having the ability to control them through apps, hubs, and voice assistants. Over time, you may fill your house with devices designed with smart tech inside. Until then, just give what you have an education.
As the number of your home tech devices grows, you may find yourself struggling to keep track of their control mechanisms. Devices may come with their own apps or only be compatible with certain third-party apps but not others.
You begin to question whether the convenience offered by home tech is outweighed by the complexity of managing it.
Installing a hub used to be the only solution, and it’s still a good one. The hub handles all the translation between devices and allows you to control everything from a single app. But hubs are pretty pricey, which leaves a lot of people making do with multiplicity.
The good news is that there are other options for integrating your home technology. Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Home, for example, each let you control everything from a single app. Even better, they’ll work even with products that aren’t their own, meaning your Alexa will work with Apple Home.
Instead of controlling your washing machine through its own app, you connect its app to one of the home apps. That gives you control of the appliance through the same app you’re using to control everything else.
Getting your home tech up and running is easy. Getting everything to talk to each other is less so. Instead of letting your tech control you, take control of it in a single spot.
The Smart Money Is on Home Tech
Unless you’ve chosen to live off the grid, you’re probably yearning for the convenience of smart technology. It’s human nature to always want the next best thing, especially in home tech. Being able to afford it is another thing altogether.
There are ways you can improve your home tech without breaking the bank. Doing what you can to make what you have right now work smarter is the key. After all, it should be working for you, not the other way around.