Trends to Watch in Smart Home Technology

Dec 29, 2016

How to keep your personal data safe if you use smart home technologyWith the proliferation of the internet of things (loT), in which more and more everyday devices have network connectivity, the concept of a “smart home” is driving innovation in home systems such as lighting, HVAC, security, entertainment and more. Here are just a few of the popular trends coming onto the scene in home technology—and some advice on keeping your home and personal data safe should you decide to implement them.

Control by your hand-held devices: While earlier home automation often enabled remote control of various functions from a centralized location within the home, the use of portable devices such as smartphones and iPads with specialized apps is largely replacing this technology—enabling you to set, adjust and monitor systems in your home from almost anywhere, at any time.

Home zoning and programmable thermostats: If the idea of spending money to heat or cool rooms that you aren’t using always seemed senseless to you, you may want to put zone-based or programmable thermostats on your radar. Zone-based thermostats operate via motion sensors to control the climate only in the areas of a home that are occupied. And programmable thermostats that connect wirelessly to your hand-held devices enable you to adjust the temperature of your home while you’re away so that you can arrive home in comfort without needlessly using energy throughout the day.

Scaled-down systems: As smart home technology moves further into the mainstream of American life, manufacturers are creating more affordable, compact systems suitable for smaller homes and budgets. For tips on budget-friendly ways to do a smart home conversion, visit

Indoor air quality monitoring:  In addition to making our lives easier, smart home technology also shows promise in terms of providing health benefits. One example of this: sensors that analyze indoor air for carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and humidity levels and can shuttle out unhealthy particles to bring in cleaner, more wholesome air.

More sophisticated security systems: In the ever-shifting landscape of home automation, security systems are another exciting area to watch. A number of innovations are finding their way onto the market—from one-touch monitoring of activities in and around your home to eye scanning automated door locks, and from voice recognition to smart wearable devices capable of identifying your distinct heart rate.

Buyer Beware: An unfortunate but inevitable consequence of the convergence of home automation and the internet is the need to guard against the possibility of an online security breach. Be sure that the home automation products you use are protected by a several layers of access control such as Multi-Factor Authentication. Also keep in mind that most security breaches occur because homeowners have neglected to take important steps such as resetting a default password or PIN code. For an excellent overview on security risks involving smart home technology, and how they are currently being addressed, visit Tech.Co  at

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