Something you might not know about me is that I have a thing for efficiency. If I can save 10 seconds I will do it. If I can save 10 seconds and 10 cents then I really get excited. I tell people it’s because I’m productive and driven but really, it comes down to the fact that I’m kinda lazy. And cheap. I’m cheap and lazy. Aren’t we all? If I can save time in a task that I do not like then I can allocate that time to a task that I do like. If I can save money on things I do not enjoy then I can spend money on yarn. I mean, many other things that I do enjoy. I think it’s human nature to behave this way don’t you?
This desire to be efficient and spend less basically means I tend to jump at the chance to acquire gadgets. Can I save time and money processing my own peanut butter at home? Yes. I can! So the food processor becomes an essential gadget. Can I save time and money on gas and electric if we change a few things around the house? Yes! We can. If we make our homes smarter.
The Nest thermostat is one such gadget. It learns when we’re home and away, it knows the weather conditions, it monitors how often it’s on and off and it can be controlled by my phone. This ability to control it via my phone comes back to the lazy bit. When I’m in bed and realizing it’s sort of stuffy in the house then I can reach my phone on the bedside table and turn the heat down.
Have you ever tried to program your thermostat? It’s a pain in the rear and you end up with something that kinda works if you stick to the schedule you set but we never did. I’m in and out of the house a million times a day. This Nest knows when I’m home or away because it has a motion detector in it that watches us. I promise it’s not creepy! Over time, it will make adjustments according to what happens in real life – not what I programmed into it 2 years ago. It shows the temperature we’ve set it to and the times it runs in the Energy History tab. You can see that it is running over night because it’s still cold at night but during the day it’s hardly on at all.
It was super easy to install, I did it myself in about 10 min. Then activating an account and all of that was easy too. Now it’s just something that works and I don’t even think about it.
Did you know that over 60% of people realize that smart devices are beneficial yet only 34% of people have them? What’s up with that? I know there’s a bit of an investment that needs to happen but it’s totally worth it in the long run. Just like putting in a new window or beefing up your insulation.
“Today, we’re seeing basic functionality like controlling lighting or thermostats from our smartphones, but soon, innovations like biometric security systems, intelligent kitchens and home health solutions will make our lives so much safer, healthier and easier that smart home technology will become integral to our digital lifestyles,” said Rob Currie, vice-president of Mobile Devices at TELUS.
I’ve also been playing around with the Philips Hue lighting system. The bulbs themselves operate at only 9 watts and have a lifespan of 25000 hours but that’s only half of the story. These bulbs can also know when you’re home and away so they can turn themselves off or on and if you sync them with other devices via IFTTT they can add to safety as well, say, turning red when the Nest detector smells CO2. I love that I can change the shade of the bulbs- you can make them whatever colour you want! They are pretty fun and you can even sync them up to movies or find an app that makes them look like fireworks. I can have fireworks in my kitchen now.
Here’s a video review I found that gives a good rundown of this product.
I think we’re going to see more homes with smart devices installed in years to come and I am excited to see what other functionalities they bring us over time. Are you planning to install a smart device? Have you thought about it or is it not something that interests you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
**As a member of #teamTELUS I sometimes receive products and services to facilitate content. All opinions remain my own. My good friends at TELUS commissioned a study all about smart home technology and you can read that here.