Technology is making homes smarter, and safer, all the time. While “amazing” is fast becoming one of the most overused words in the English language, there are few other words capable of describing some of the newest advances in smart home technology. Here are just a few of them.
Imagine being able to control the amount of light that comes through your windows – without blinds. Research Frontiers has developed and patented just such a system. Over time, it will save consumers billions in heating, cooling and lighting costs. That’s because a system capable of powering 15 large smart windows uses about the same amount of electricity as a single night – light. These windows will be able protect fine home furnishings and expensive artwork from damaging UV rays while eliminating the need for expensive draperies. The technology uses microscopic particles called suspended particle devices. (SPD) When electricity comes into contact with the SPDs through a conductive coating, they form patterns to allow light to flow through. When the electrical current is cut off, they block the light by returning to more random patterns. The system can be controlled either remotely, manually, or automatically. Giants like Polaroid and GE have already been issued licenses for some of the more than 470 patents LG holds that make this technology possible.
Remote – Controlled Appliances
Have you ever gotten to the office and remembered that you’d forgotten to start the dishwasher? Or maybe you’ve received news that your mother – in – law is popping in for a surprise visit and you didn’t have a chance to vacuum that morning. Well, technology is making it possible to start your dishwasher or run your vacuum from your smartphone. You’ll also be able to start a turkey roasting and quick – chill the wine you want to serve with dinner by turning on your oven and adjusting the temperature of your refrigerator while you’re out shopping.
LG is revolutionizing the appliance industry by building smart technology into its refrigerators, ovens, robotic vacuums and washing machines. The system works with a messaging service called Home Chat. You’ll never forget to put another load of laundry into the dryer again because your washing machine will send you a message when the cycle is completed.
Wi – Fi Garage Door Openers
Before the invention of modern garage door openers, many people were injured just by lifting their heavy garage doors. That problem was partially solved by constructing them of lighter materials, but the invention of the garage door opener made manual lifting unnecessary. People celebrated the increased level of safety they enjoyed by no longer having to get out of their cars in the dark or in bad weather to open their garage doors. The newest cause for celebration is another increase in safety and security made possible by Wireless Photo Electric (PE) Beam sensors. As explained here, as soon as an object or person moves through the invisible safety beam the door or gate will stop or reverse to avert any potential damage done. Today’s smart garage door openers combine a door control module with a door position sensor. Connected to an app on your phone, you can monitor – and control – your garage door from anywhere at any time with the push of a button. It has all the latest safety features, and you receive alerts if the door is opened manually.
Remember when most doorbells made a clangy ringing or buzzing sound? The fanciest ones could play part of a song. Whoever came to the door looked through the fish – eye lens of a peephole at the distorted face of either a friend or a stranger. Well, today’s fanciest doorbell can do much more than just play a song, and there’s no need for that peephole anymore. Equipped with HD video and a camera, color night vision, a motion sensor and 2 – way audio, this doorbell is practically a complete home security system. Through an app on your smartphone, you can monitor the front door at any time by starting the video recorder. If there’s an unwelcome stranger at the door, you don’t need to give a description – you’ve got them on video. The app is also capable of supporting multiple users simultaneously.
It would have been hard to imagine these types of marvels even five years ago. With technology advancing so rapidly, it’s hard to imagine what life might be like as soon as next year.