Technology is exploding right now and our homes have never had so much catching up to do! The future hasn’t been so fashionable since the Space Race and now the technology we have is significantly more exciting. In fact, there is so much on offer that trying to figure out the best way to bring your home into the future is getting quite complicated.
On the one hand, you don’t want to be left behind, but on the other, technology is now moving so fast, it is hard to figure out what could be obsolete by tomorrow morning. So what should you invest your money in to bring your home up to date?
The main thing is to keep an eye on the current trends. Technology is developing all the time and while some technologies are gaining popularity around the world, it may take some time before they either hit the mainstream or make it over here. One weird example is the toilet that you can ask Alexa to flush for you which can also play your favorite tracks. The future certainly looks a bit brighter now you know that, doesn’t it?
The internet: The Basics
The internet might be getting on a bit now but it is more central to our lives than ever before. Now that so many people are working from home, using the internet to watch TV, stream music, talk to each other and answer any question you’ve ever had (and some!) getting a fast connection is vital to keep up with your needs.
In fact, all of these services are now so integral to our lives that companies like Optimum are now offering a service that combines everything into one package. They also bring you voice automation which we will certainly be seeing more of as the technology takes giant leaps towards understanding more of what we say. You can find details at www.Optimum.com.
The great thing about the internet is that it is now being used to integrate more and more of our things to create smart home systems. However, the downside is that with so many companies competing for our attention, choosing one system can be difficult. The thing is that until all the big players like Apple, Amazon and Google make their technologies compatible (unlikely at this stage), you are stuck trying to choose between them in the hope that you will pick right.
The Internet: Advanced Level
With the interconnectivity comes the internet of things. This is essentially the transfer of the internet from your computer screen to almost everywhere in your house. There are lots of big companies working along the same ideas and now smart furniture is making huge leaps from pads you can put on tables to charge your phones to tables you can put your phone on directly to charge.
Everything from the watch you have on to the lights that switch on automatically when you get home may be part of the internet of things and this is just the beginning. In the future your car could be connected to a wider network, driving you to work autonomously and, if all the various experiments happening in both the tech and automobile industries are anything to go by, this could happen any time soon.
The area where you can start to update your home now is through a virtual assistant like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home or Apple’s HomePod. These devices are all there to make interacting with the internet much easier, but they can also control elements in your house such as the lights, the heating and plenty more.
It’s not too much to suggest that within a decade, these devices will certainly be more integral to the way that we live and how we use the internet to assist us with daily life. Almost half of all Americans are already using apps like Siri to interact with their smartphones so it makes sense that they will all transition in the near future to use this technology at home. For now, it isn’t clear who will win the race to create the best virtual assistant so your best bet is to pick the one you like the look of most and seems to suit your needs.
Minimalism is having a huge revival at the moment and now electronics are not the status symbols that they were, hidden electronics are much more fashionable. There is a growing trend for all electronics to be hidden away or at least made to blend in with the room.
As more things are transferred to the internet, the ownership of lots of physical things will steadily decline. This trend is already at play with people choosing e-readers over paperbacks and watching films on demand instead or buying DVDs. People are curating what they own much more carefully now and so every object in your home will eventually tell a story that goes much further than ‘I just bought it at the store’.
Eco Friendly Homes
As we realize the impact that we are having on our environment and more measures are taken to clean up, making our homes more eco friendly will be a step in the right direction. There are already a lot of things that you can and should be doing to improve your sustainability. First and foremost, you should switch to energy efficient appliances as soon as possible.
It’s no secret that we are fast running out of the fossil fuels that are polluting the planet and we need to be thinking more seriously about the energy we consume. Starting with switching to more energy efficient methods is a good start, but even better is switching to an energy supplier that only uses renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydraulic power. These companies aren’t usually more expensive and are competing well with traditional sources.
If you are really going to go for it, you could even take your home off-grid and install your own energy supply such as a wind turbine or solar panels. There are lots of benefits to this - not least that your energy bills will be non-existent - and you may even be paid if you are willing to sell back to the grid. Solar panels, in particular, are a good investment and will increase the value of your home to prospective buyers in the future.
Right now, the future of our planet is in danger and we need to use as many technologies as we can to ensure that we can preserve what we have and create a brighter future for our children. Though eco friendly homes might seem like a fashion blip now, they are almost certainly going to be a permanent change to the way we live our lives.
So How Should You Bring Your Home Up to Date?
When you are looking for ways to update your home, you should always keep in mind the length of time you want your investment to last for. As technology is moving fast, it is quite easy to make an investment now that you will need to update in a year or two, when you had hoped it would last longer. While you can’t ever be certain of what will last and what will be replaced, some common sense should prevail.
For example, we now tend to spend around 17% of the amount we spend on our mortgage or rental costs on buying new technologies and while this is allowing us to keep up with the Joneses, it may not be the best approach. Instead of buying things for the hype or for the novelty, think carefully about how the technology will influence your life and how it may improve it. If a technology isn’t doing something you couldn’t easily do yourself, it may not be worth the money spent on it.
Technology for the home is advancing rapidly and it often feels like there will be an explosion into the future as soon as tomorrow. While the exponential increase is almost certain at this point, there are still a lot of unknowns, especially when it comes to the state of our planet and how we will live. With this in mind, when you are bringing your own home up to date, you should remember that everything you do has an impact on the planet. Ripping everything out to start again may feel good, but it certainly isn’t sustainable.
There isn’t a fail-safe way to prepare for the future but to do the things that will preserve the future now. Investing in eco-friendly technologies as well as renewable energy is the best way to curb the production of greenhouse gases and could lead the way to better energy efficiency too. Your house might feel like a tiny dot on the map, but the more people see things like solar panels, the more likely they are to want them for themselves.
So, it’s time to make some changes and be a trendsetter in your neighborhood.