Intelligent living – a smart home for every type
Comfortable, energy saving, safe: The intelligent home has many advantages. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, operation is always easier, always more intuitive. And there are always more possibilities to upgrade useful technology. It is even easy to do.
You know the story: there will soon be a refrigerator that stocks milk, cheese and sausage all on its own since it detects the shortage thanks to intelligent sensors and orders the supplies via an Internet interface? This story has done smart home technology more harm than good in this part of the world. Really, who wants a self-activated refrigerator?
In fact, intelligent house technology has so many sensible options that we should just forget about the refrigerator for a change. After two decades of development work, it is ultimately the daily practical things that technology silently and masterfully handles.
Indoor climate: using climate sensors, the system sees to it that the heating, ventilation and shading each contribute to optimum room temperature and humidity using minimal energy.
Safety: from the touch of a button in bed, light up the entire house, see who is ringing the door bell on a TV screen, verify the front door is locked or the kitchen window is still open – intelligent technology makes it possible.
Lighting: LED technology and intelligent control systems are revolutionizing the way we use lighting. In any situation, lighting is available in the desired amount and quality.
Comfort: helpful technology takes care of things while we are gone – it closes louvred blinds when the sun beats down on the roof window and sets off the garden sprinklers if flowers and lawns are close to withering.
Operation: multimedia power outlets clean up cable clutter while innovative switches, push-button or rotary sensors make operation more comfortable. It is easy even on a smartphone or tablet.
Accessibility: all of this is summarised so simply on user interfaces that it is completely user-friendly even for the elderly. It enables them to continue living at home for years to come.
All this has been developed technologically. Those newly building or renovating may sheepishly have additional cables and distribution boxes. But it is possible to network successfully even without cables: a wireless radio system or so-called power line technology best suits an upgrade. Here, the existing power lines are used for information exchange between the control centre or specifically the sensors and devices.
Are these systems expensive? That depends on what they can do. Basic modules offered by many manufacturers are available for a few hundred euros. It is even possible to move with them.