A Smart Home may be the dream house for any geek who wants to control their gadgets with just a few taps on their smartphone or tablet. But there’s one big thing still standing in the way for most consumers: money. Not everyone can afford to buy new smart appliances like refrigerators, TVs, and washing machines that can connect to the internet.
Good thing there’s a new gadget that brings you a step closer to the smart home of your dreams without having to buy new, expensive appliances.
One of the latest comes from Belkin, which recently introduced the WeMo Switch. It’s an internet-connected device that you plug in your wall socket, with its own plug for electrical appliances. Now anything you plug into the WeMo can be controlled via an iPhone app. It operates via Wi-Fi and mobile internet — no complex installation needed. Just buy the switch, install the iOS app, plug your appliance and the WeMo into the outlet, and you’re ready to go.
Automated home security
Creating a smart home is one thing, but all those home improvements would be useless if your home security sucks.
Enter NextGen Home Security. It comes from broadband home management solutions provider iControl Networks and North America communications provider Bell Aliant, which entered a partnership to deliver premier home security management solutions to Atlantic Canadians via Bell Aliant ‘s NextGen Home Security.
“Our advanced broadband network allows us to innovate and deliver new services like home security and automation to meet our customers’ digital lifestyle,” said Dan McKeen , senior vice-president, customer solutions for Bell Aliant. “With iControl Networks’ award-winning solution we are making the digital home a reality, while also providing greater peace-of-mind for our customers.”
The NextGen Home Security is an Internet-based smart home security service that delivers home security with home automation capabilities that can be controlled anytime, everywhere. The security system links security sensors and video, HVAC, lamps and other appliances, in an intelligent smart home network that can be controlled by the users via their mobile devices.
Manhattan apartments get smart
Single detached homes aren’t the only ones that can be turned into a smart home. Even apartment buildings can join the smart home era.
Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan got with the smart home program when a $13 million visual intercom system was installed, connecting 8,760 apartments through 178 entrances in 89 towers. The visual intercom system is controlled by a central command system and features security and fire-alarm lines.
The visual intercom system is a product of Elbex, a company founded in Japan by Israeli David Elberbaum in 1974.
The visual intercom system, in general, is used as a central control panel for everything in the home, including lights, blinds, audio-video equipment, water heaters and the security alarm, but “StuyTown” had more in mind. The system was ordered to keep tenants in check, make sure tenants were actually living there and see who were subletting their rent-controlled apartments for profit. The system has an e-concierge that send messages, including alerts for water outages, payment reminders and general announcements, to tenants.