Home Technology: The Brave New world

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Technology is a vital component of the modern workplace and underpins the business world. However, we do not leave it behind as soon as we walk in our front door. Unless you have opted to live entirely ‘off grid’ you will have an array of technological devices running most of the functions of your home as well.

The ‘smart home’ is the brave new world of domestic bliss. The concept is also sometimes referred to as a ‘smart house’ or even as an ‘intelligent building’. These synonymous terms all refer to a home where smart technology or advanced automation systems have been incorporated into the function of the building. The aim is to make you, as the home dweller, more comfortable or to save you money. There are some limitations. In order to take advantage of this technology, you need to be able to afford it and understand enough about it to make it work for you. This may put some sectors of the population at a disadvantage

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Your smart home

As the owner of a smart home, you should be able to observe, monitor and control individual processes. The latest wave of smart technology does a lot of things on your behalf. It will collect and analyze data, and use this to improve performance. No smart home can be without a voice assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home, which can extend your access to the web. TVs are connected to the internet so that you can view what you want when you want to. You can install smart heating which allows you to control your home heating thermostat remotely. Some systems use GPS to detect that you are on the way home and turns your heating on for you! Smart lighting does a similar thing with the lights. Smart home security is wirelessly connected to a secure cloud server through a wireless router or mobile phone network. You could be on the other side of the world and know that you have an intruder or turn the lights on!

Using smart technology in the home

As with all new technological developments, there have been concerns about what a world in which smart homes are common would be like. Technology can go wrong. The good news is that there are plenty of fixes out there. Smart TVs can show a Netflix proxy error but there is a simple fix for this that you can access online. The instructions are easy to follow so that everyone can use them but this is one of the major concerns about smart technology as a whole. Will everyone be able to use it?

This can be summed up as disempowerment of a home’s occupants. Will you lose control of the house where you live? Will some sectors of the population fail to use it correctly and therefore be disadvantaged by its introduction?  There are also genuine concerns about artificial intelligence deciding what is ‘best’ for us and whether we agree with it!

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