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The Internet of Things and Your Home

Published: Jul 25, 2015 at 08:01 UTC

Even though the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been around for years, it’s probably something that you’ve only recently started to hear about. Simply put, the IoT describes the relationship between “things”, or objects, and a network, such as the Internet.

The idea behind the Internet of Things is that you can connect all kinds of things, from lights and washing machines to televisions and automobiles, to a network to improve their functionality.

You might be wondering how connecting a washer to an internet network can possibly improve its functionality, but imagine being upstairs and far away from the washer when you receive a text letting you know that your clothes are done or even being able to set your soaking clothes in motion as you leave work so that they’ll be ready for the dryer when you arrive home.

Using the Internet of Things to Protect Your Home

While a washing machine that lets you know your clothes need transferring to the dryer may not interest you, there is plenty to be excited about with regard to the ways that the Internet of Things can protect you, your family and your home.

Most security systems are comprised of sensors and alarms. When an equipped door or window is broken open, it trips an alarm and possibly a phone call to the police. But what happens when you leave the house and forget to set the alarm? Or what about when a burglar breaks a window and climbs through rather than opening it and setting off the sensor?

In both of these cases, having a home security system that concentrates on the IoT can be a great help. If you realize you forgot to set the alarm on your way out, you can log into your system using your smartphone and equip it.

How about the crafty burglar? How do we deal with him? By purchasing a motion- or sound-detecting device, you can be alerted to movement within your home. Some products, such as Point, simply detect sounds and transmit data to your phone to make you aware of what’s going on.

Other products, such as Cocoon, take things a step further by activating cameras and alarms when they sense that something is amiss. When you receive notification that there might be a problem at your home, you’ll have the option to dismiss it, ask for more information or send people for help.

Getting Started with Wireless Home Security

If you’re used to traditional security systems, the concept of the Internet of Things might seem a bit futuristic and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. The nice thing about the IoT is that you get to control just how involved you get.

As a beginner, you’ll probably want to invest in easy-to-install and easy-to-use technology. The Canary device is a good example of one such machine. Packaged in an attractive and lightweight design, it can be placed on a shelf, table or any other surface to keep an eye on your home. Its features include a high-definition camera for surveillance, a microphone for sound detection, a motion sensor, night vision and an ear-piercing alarm.

Home security isn’t just about keeping dangers out; it’s also about keeping you feeling safe and comfortable. When you utilize smart lights in and around your home, you can set them up to turn on at dusk so that you don’t have to stumble and bump around your walkway or living room looking for a switch.

Other convenient home automation ideas include thermostats that detect when you’re out of the home to conserve energy, coffee machines that sync with your alarm clock so that a perfect brew is waiting for you when you make it out to the kitchen and even devices that will pull open your drapes to deter you from sleeping in.

Home automation and the Internet of Things will only get bigger with each passing year. More and more companies are jumping into the fold with their innovations, and some are even going to incredible lengths to show off their versatility and reliability.

Z-Wave, for example, recently sent a climber to Mount Everest to test their FIBARO system of products. The experiment, unfortunately, had to be cut short when the 7.8 M earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, triggering on its wake an avalanche that swept away their equipment. Despite this setback, they’re committed to trying again in an effort to bring you products that are sure to exceed your wildest expectations.

 
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