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Smart home devices include technology that can automate and control security, air-conditioning and heating and ventilation and which can extend to household appliances such as washers and dryers and refrigerators. This technology is becoming more popular.

Home automation at the touch of a button. Image courtesy of martawalsh.com

These devices can be remotely controlled and monitored, usually through the Internet using a central hub. However, an article in digital journal.com highlights the fact that there are very few worldwide accepted industry standards that are applicable for smart home systems. This is causing problems for homeowners wishing to automate their homes. Without industry standardization, it’s possible for someone to invest in an entire system that will fail to communicate adequately with all the devices. Then there is the problem of hacking. Often a consumer must purchase an entire smart system from just one vendor although the article points out that there is some open source software that can be used with proprietary hardware.

The advantages of integrating smart home devices into everyday life are easy to see. Users can program their security, lighting, and heating to exactly meet their daily needs with many features being controllable remotely. Then there’s the opportunity to customize smart home systems, adding and removing products as needed. While some people may decide a smart thermostat is the most important feature for them, others may choose an automated home security system and many systems are relatively inexpensive and can be easily installed. When properly used, smart home devices can save money and enable homeowners to track expenditure and energy usage. However, most depend on an Internet connection and may fail to work properly without it. Another potential problem is the use of wireless signals which while economical, leave these products open to the possibility of different signals interfering with each other.

The average cost spent on home automation was recently estimated to be $1331 but products are available for as little as $75. Obviously, it is possible to spend much more depending on budget and requirements. The article suggests that smart thermostats are a good device, to begin with since the energy savings can provide a return on this investment. Other recommended devices to start off with include smart locks and alarms.

Allison Halliday

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.

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