Parenting is no easy task, and getting a helping hand here and there is always welcome. One sure-fire way to make things a little more stress-free is to introduce smart home technology to your life.
Although smart homes and intelligent devices may sound like something from the future, the solutions available today are actually quite simple and have tremendous potential to make our lives safer, easier and more convenient. Sure, they might take a little time and patience to set-up and learn, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be happy you took the plunge. Remember when you got your first smartphone? You may not have been an expert at first, but now couldn’t imagine your life without it.
Pretty soon, smart home devices will be as prevalent as smartphones and tablets in our lives. A recent study by Telus found that by 2018, two-thirds of Canadian homes will have at least one smart device, if not more.As Rob Currie, vice-president of Mobile Devices at Telus puts it; “Smart home technology will soon become the new norm in Canadian homes as parents begin to realize the tremendous benefits that these devices can bring to them and their families.”Here are a few examples of smart home technology that can benefit you and your families today:
1. Saving money. Smart thermostats are one of the most popular smart home devices in Canada right now. These intelligent devices can adapt to your family’s schedule as well as the weather outside and can help lower your heating and cooling bills by 10-15%. The added bonus? You just got a little bit greener.
2. Increased security. For parents, nothing is more important than the safety and security of their families, and smart home tech can play a big role here. Imagine being able to control your lights from smartphone while you are on vacation (rather than setting a timer), or remotely unlocking your front door or creating temporary virtual keys rather than relying that easy-to-find spare key under the planter.
3. Increased peace of mind. Smart cameras allow you to keep an eye on your family right from your smartphone. You can monitor your baby in the nursery or check on the little ones and sitter while you’re out on the town. There are even devices now that let us check in on our pets when we’re not home. Smoke alarms with smart sensors will send notifications to your smartphone whenever smoke or carbon monoxide is detected. That alert could be a lifesaver if the kids or your pets are home alone.
4. More time in the day. Imagine being able to lock your front door or close your garage door when you’re halfway across town by the time you realize you forgot; being able to remotely unlock your front door when your kids are locked out in the rain; or quickly checking your smart cameras right from your smartphone any time you are worried about what’s going on at home. In addition to saving you money and keeping your family safer, smart home tech will also save you precious time. When you’re a busy parent, every second of the day counts.
These benefits are just the beginning. Rob Currie sees an incredibly connected future for Canadian families. “Today we’re able to do things like control lighting or thermostats from our smartphones, but it won’t be long until we see things like smart security systems that recognize our family’s faces, or intelligent kitchens that help us plan healthy meals, order groceries and track our family’s nutrition intake. Within a few years, smart home technology will be an integral part of our lives.”
As the demand for smarter homes increases, so will our need for faster Internet speeds. Luckily, we’re seeing more and more communities in B.C. and Alberta connected to fibre optic networks, which have nearly limitless capacity and can transmit data at close to the speed of light. With fibre optics, speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second (20-40 times faster than most current Canadian Internet plans) are right around the corner.
And that’s great news for parents, because smart home technology powered by fibre networks is going to create safer, healthier and happier families.