It's 2017. Smart home technology isn't exactly new at this point, but we're still discovering new benefits beyond what the product packaging describes.
Despite Amazon having sold over 10 million of its Alexa-fueled Echoes to date, and in light of the myriad affordable smart devices on the market, over half of the US population has yet to purchase a single one. Automation and instant gratification are reasons enough to invest in a few smart home gadgets, but so far they haven't been enough to spur a significant revolution.
These four unexpected benefits of smart home tech might be the trigger we've been waiting for:
Depending on the smart devices you own, your homeowner's insurance company may cut you a break. For example, American Family Insurance states on their website that homeowners who install certain smart home products can save on their insurance.
Things like smart smoke alarms, security cameras, and smart locks may be enough to trim your expenses, which means your investment will pay for itself a little faster than you initially thought.
Not all devices are guaranteed to boost your home's resale value, but the right ones can attract better buyers. One survey revealed that 90% of respondents emphasize safety and security as the top reason they'd buy a smart home. Security devices like smart locks and cameras add appeal to the home more so than, say, lighting or sprinklers.
In addition, 68% of respondents mentioned they like to see technology that's energy efficient. Things like programmable thermostats and lighting schedules are known to help reduce energy bills, but it could be years before you see an ROI on these. However, the real ROI may come in the form of a higher sale price when you're ready to move.
Yes, a smart home could improve the health of its occupants. Using a hub like the Echo or Google Home, you can set reminders to keep much-needed maintenance from falling through the cracks, such as regular mold prevention or repairs to a loose gutter that could fall off and hit someone. Medication reminders for elderly residents mean they'll never forget a dose. Detecting an oven that's been left on reduces risk for a fire and associated injury.
There are countless potential health benefits when you consider what smart home tech is capable of. It simply takes a little creativity in finding them.
There's nothing greater than knowing your home and its inhabitants are safe. We all worry about possible disaster: Did I turn the oven off? What if I forgot to lock the door? I hope nothing happens to the house while I'm on vacation. These little what if's can stop us from enjoying the here and now, causing us to stress more than we should. Peace of mind is priceless, and the right smart home tech can deliver it affordably.
Lower energy bills weren't enough to spark an immediate reaction to smart home tech. Convenience didn't do the trick, either. When consumers realize there's more to smart devices than the obvious benefits, smart home tech may finally get the attention it deserved years ago.