Page 62

Your Build - Spring 2018

Phase 3 Interior & Exterior Finishing 62 Spring 2018 Phase 3 Phase 2 Phase 4 Phase 1 The emergence smart Technology has become so ingrained in our everyday lives, that often we’re not even aware we’re using it. Here, Paul Mildenstein, chief executive offi cer at Roof Maker, looks at the rising popularity of the ‘smart home’, including the history, its current features, and what we can expect in the future The beginnings of home automation has its roots planted fi rmly in the early 20th century, with the introduction of home appliances. Whilst they may not be seen as smart now; at the time, they were at the cutting edge of technology. Enginepowered hoovers, washing machines, toasters – these inventions massively changed the lives of many people in the UK. What we would refer to as a smart home today, didn’t come into existence until the 21st century. Defi ned as a home that “incorporates advanced automation systems to provide the inhabitants with sophisticated monitoring and control over the building’s functions,” today’s technology is miles away from what would have been imagined in the past. One thing for sure is that smart homes are here to stay, and they’re only going to get more technologically advanced. Below are some examples of features that are currently found in the smart homes of today. Voice control systems Amazon Echo was introduced to UK homes in 2016, with Google Home following soon after in 2017. These Wi-Fi connected devices can play music, answer any questions you have, and control other devices in your home – just by listening to your requests. From setting alarms, to switching your lights on; voice control systems have essentially been created to make life easier. Google Home can go one step further for Google users: connecting with your calendar, it will remind you of upcoming events, and even send you updates on your commute. Current work is being undertaken to better integrate Amazon, Google and Apple’s HomePod. The end result will be a combination of their individual strengths, to offer an even wider variety of features to smart homes across the UK. Smart products It’s not just systems that make a home smart, but products too; with a wealth of investment in new technologies. Now, you can invest in roofl ights with a built-in sensor, shutting when it starts to rain. Or LED lightbulbs that can mimic a sunrise and sunset, if you ask them to. You can even buy coffee machines that you set an alarm for, meaning you can wake up to a mug of freshly- brewed coffee. All of these digital advancements are helping to evolve smart homes across the country, with them rising in popularity as we rely more heavily on technology. Internet of Things In simple terms, Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of multiple devices over the internet, allowing them to talk to us and each other. IoT, perhaps surprisingly, isn’t new. In fact, it has been around since 1990, when the world’s fi rst internet connected toaster was invented. However, technology has come a long way since then, and it’s playing a big part in the rise of the smart home. You probably already use IoT. Have you heard of Hive? British Gas’ app, which allows you to control your energy metre with your phone – turning your heating on and off, regardless of your location. By 2020, it is estimated there will be up to 21 billion connected devices across the world – up from 3.9 billion in 2016. Just think about what that will mean for smart homes of the future? Already, we are seeing a jump to ‘smart cities’, through the use of IoT. San Diego’s streetlights are equipped with sensors, which turn on when a pedestrian or car approaches, resulting in a 60% reduction in energy costs. Meanwhile, Philadelphia has taken a similar approach to its waste management, with rubbish bins equipped with sensors to alert refuse collectors when bins are ready to be collected. A reduction in petrol, maintenance and salary as a result of this technology, means over $1 million has already been saved. To conclude, smart homes aren’t a new concept, but our defi nition has certainly evolved. With many major recent breakthroughs in technology, this shows no signs of stopping. Only time will tell as to what the future of smart homes will be, but it’s apparent that they will become even more popular over time. www.roof-maker.co.uk of homes


Your Build - Spring 2018
To see the actual publication please follow the link above