A Smarter Home | Planet Ryan

I’ve written several columns in the past concerning the future and what it holds for us mere humans on the technology front – and mostly because I’m pretty darn excited about it.

But let me be the first to remind you once again – the future is here.

The technology you grew up watching on TV shows like the Jetsons, short of the flying vehicles, is essentially all here and quite a bit of it can be purchased at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s.

The latest craze – and perhaps the one that will prove to be most beneficial – is the availability of “home automation” devices to turn manual, everyday household devices and appliances into something you can control from afar, using a phone or a computer.

Also known as “smart home” products – which range from smartphone-controlled thermostats to Bluetooth-controlled door locks, they’re all designed to make life a little easier for our ridiculously fast-paced lifestyles.

I know, I know. Some of you are more than happy with doing things how you’ve always done them. I get it to an extent,

I’m the same way.

But, hear me out…

One very simple example of converting your home into one with brains is a device known as the Belkin WeMo switch.
It’s a small, wireless device that plugs into any electrical outlet, which contains an outlet itself. You can plug in anything from an iron to a space heater or whatever your heart desires.

Now, remember all those times that you’ve left home for work or even worse, vacation, and wondered if you unplugged your curling iron or (insert potential fire-starting device here) and completely freaked out about it… scrambling to find a neighbor or family member to swing over to your house to check it out?

With your device plugged into a WeMo Switch, one simply clicks a button on their smartphone, opens the WeMo app and literally press the “off” icon – and viola! Your hazardous device is now turned off – no matter if you’re down the street or across the country.

On the slightly more complicated end, a friend of mine who’s automated just about everything his wife will let him in their home emailed me and told me about his latest setup, which blew me away simply because it’s so cool and so very useful.

Since he has “smart locks” on all of his home’s doors, including the garage door, using a special app, whenever he leaves his home and exits his neighborhood, the app triangulates his position with a nearby cell tower and alerts him if he’s left any doors unlocked and if so, if he’d like them locked.

He simply answers “yes,” and keeps driving, avoiding a return trip to home to secure everything. How amazing is that?
The future is looking pretty amazing, my friends.

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