So, although you’ve heard and read a lot about it, you’ve managed to go your whole life without the Internet of Things (IoT). You’re perfectly capable of flipping a light switch. When you see water dripping under the sink, all you have to do is call a plumber. If the room is too hot or too cold, you just get up and walk to the thermostat and adjust the temperature. So what is the big deal about connecting your devices to the IoT?
How can the IoT help you?
Here are three simple but important reasons you would benefit from smart devices and systems in your home and in your life: convenience, peace of mind, and saving money.
Having smart home devices makes life easier. In the 1990s, Jim Busby, a co-founder of Centralite, designed its first product for one reason: he was tired of walking all over his house at night and turning off light switches. He had six children, a big house, and lots of switches. His solution was a control panel in his bedroom that allowed him to turn all of the lights off before going to bed. No more walking up and downstairs and through hallways. The IoT and newer technologies designed by Centralite and others now make that process even easier. Pick up your phone. Hit a button and the job is done.
Did you lower the garage door? No problem, a quick glance at your phone will let you know. Uh oh, I left it open. Press one button and now it’s closed . . . from anywhere in the world. When you get out of bed at 2:00 a.m. and step to the bathroom, will you see that toy car your five-year-old left in your path, or will you step right on it? With IoT technology and devices, a smart sensor identifies your movements as you ease out of bed. The sensor tells the lighting system you are coming. Like magic, a lighted path guides you on your way, offering clear visibility and enhancing safety.
Are you getting enough exercise? Need to burn more calories? You can keep a notebook handy and record every bite, or just get a wearable to keep up with caloric intake and monitor body movements. A record will be generated automatically for easy review. With accurate information, you can adjust your diet to reduce calories or increase your exercise.
These are just a few examples of how the IoT makes everyday life better. There are literally thousands of others.
Peace of Mind
Regardless of where you are, with IoT connectivity, you have the data, information, and control to handle the situation. Remember the McCallister family in Home Alone? Hustling to get to the airport to board their plane to Paris, they accidentally left a very important item at home one of their children! Hopefully, most parents wouldn’t forget their child, but failing to lock the door, activate the security system, or turn off a pot of oatmeal boiling on the stove, might easily be forgotten.
With IoT devices and a smartphone, asks can be managed long distances. Just log in, pull up the device or system, and fix the problem. Once you get to Paris or New York, or your grandmother’s house, check the home security system to be sure all is well. No need to call a neighbor or stay awake worrying about the homestead.
Speaking of the security system: just having one deters criminals. A study conducted by the Department of Criminal Justice of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte found that about 60% of criminals were deterred by an alarm system; when one is detected, they simply seek another target. Just having a security system enhances security and gives peace of mind. (http://airef.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BurglarSurveyStudyFinalReport.pdf) the homestead.
Want to check on your baby who’s asleep down the hall? With a smartphone App and a connected baby monitoring camera, you can look for yourself — without getting up or worrying about waking him from his nap.
That big storm that hit last night left a lot of damage in its wake. Did your vacation property survive intact? Or, is there water damage? Has security been breached by open doors or windows? Use your computer or phone to access smart home devices and be certain that doors are closed and locked, the security system is set, and no moisture has been detected by water sensors. Better yet, take a look at your property via the cameras positioned around the exterior perimeter and throughout the living spaces. With accurate information you can either rest easy or call a plumber or contractor to repair the damage.
With real-time data and information, you gain peace of mind.
You’re in Orlando visiting Mickey Mouse at Disney World. You’ll be gone all week. When you left home, all was well. But two days into your trip, the hot water heater in the basement begins to leak. Without a smart monitoring device with a notification system, water quickly covers the floor and starts rising.
While you’re getting soaked riding down the Kali River Rapids in the theme park, your bank account is getting soaked as thousands of gallons from your municipal water supply destroy floors, walls, and furnishings. A smart water sensor could have saved you literally thousands of dollars. Once the sensor detected water, the shut-off valve would have automatically switched to the ‘off’ position. All water coming into the home would have been immediately stopped, and you would have received a notification informing you of the problem. Aware of the leak, you could have dispatched a plumber, had all repairs completed before your arrival home, and avoided serious damage to your home and your wallet.
Your HVAC system seems to be working well. It’s cold outside, but you and your family are warm and cozy inside. Then, without warning, the heat goes out. You call a repairman. The good news is that the system is repairable. For just a few thousand dollars, your comfort can be restored. However, had your HVAC system been monitored by a smart device, you would have known that a small, inexpensive part needed replacement. Since the part was not replaced, the compressor burned up – a few thousand dollars wasted.
These are only a few of the thousands of ways the IoT can help you. Smart products communicate with other devices and systems in your home, your office, and on and in yourself. In the process, you gain greater knowledge, control, and management. Life is simpler and easier. Having real-time data at your fingertips empowers you to handle important issues quickly, easily and, in some cases, automatically.
Why do you need the Internet of Things? To have fewer hassles, more money, and more time and carefree moments to do what you want to do.