To Smart or not to Smart

Smart home, or home automation is an important consideration for flat design, as it affects the choice of lighting, home security, air-conditioning and other household appliances like TV and washing machine.

There are different extents of ‘smartness’, from remotely-controlled air-conditioners to smart plugs/sockets to a smart hub. Ideally, a smart home should consist of a single point of control, via phone application, to activate, monitor, adjust and deactivate home systems and components. While it feels ‘trendy’, to be part of a smart city (?) to go for a smart home, it is more important to be truly motivated by the smart concept before embarking on it.

Picture from Gearbrain

Why would I need an automated home when I just need to walk a few steps to the on-off switch? Will there be the need for remote controlling of appliances, eg air-conditioning so that I can start to cool down the room before I reach? Or perhaps I can pre-load ingredients in my cooker, and set it to cook to be just nice for dinner? Or start my washing machine’s wash-dry cycle or robot vacuum-mop as and when I want? Perhaps no. On a need-to basis I guess.

The ‘smartness’ of the homes builds in a sense of laziness. It is a good-to-have, providing some sexiness by changing the style of our usual routines. The novelty will die down after a while. Cost-wise, it may not be value-for-money to deliberately go for smart appliances if they do not serve much purpose.

As such, I opt for simple ‘smartness’ – to just pick and choose smart components which meet my needs. For records, Samsung has a good range of smart appliances, and can be connect it using SmartThings. Another familiar brand is Xiaomi which comes with smart lighting, sockets and sensors, air purifier and robot vacuum/mop. These appliances can already be operated remotely via phone applications. I will also take note of Ikea’s range of smart lighting options, including the TRÅDFRI control kit which acts as a smart plug. To continue to track new products along the way!

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