March 14, 2016

How our home lives are evolving with smart technology

Just before Christmas, Greendog did some research into the technology trends of 2016, discovering that the Internet of Things (IOT) was about to take the world by storm. And as experts predicted, we are starting to see smart products being introduced into work places and designed for home.

At January’s Consumer Electronics Showcase, Samsung revealed their new smart fridge which allows you to control fridge temperature by phone and even lets you virtually shop for food.

Earlier this week, we caught up with Glenn our Lead Digital Developer to hear his take on home automation. It’s clear from talking to Glenn that he is passionate about technology, which he uses to make his home more comfortable and secure.

The benefits of a digital heating system

Glenn uses the Honeywell Evohome system to control his home heating. The main benefits of smart technology is that it gives you better accessiblity and flexibility. The Honeywell evehome allows you to control your heating by mobile and set which rooms you want to be heated, without setting the temperature for all rooms.

The Main features: 

  • Wall mounted control panel
  • Control unit which fits on a hot water tank
  • Digital actuators which fit on radiators in place of your thermostatic valves.
  • By switching a radiator valve off it means I can stop heated water flowing through that radiator and save money spent on fuel.

Glenn’s Final thoughts on using technology for heating

“Every day we get up at 6am and want our bedroom and the kitchen downstairs to be warm. My wife is at home with our children a lot at the moment, so on cold days, so she can heat up 3 rooms instead of the whole house. I choose not to heat my office until about 8pm so I don’t waste money on heating.”

The benefits of using smarthubs for home security

Glenn uses Samsung’s new Smartthings hub for his home security. One of the best features of the home security feature is that it gives you instant notifications by mobile if there have been any security breaches in your home. The Smartthings hub is designed to make home security more accessible, while helping you to feel more comfortable when away from home.

Glenn explains how he uses technology to control his home security

Smarthubs rely on applications and sensors to control home security:

  • The first application arms the system if we leave the house. It knows this when all of the key fobs, and our smart phones are a certain distance from the hub.
  • The second application arms the system at a certain time in the evening, and disarms it in the morning. The application also sends a notification to our phones when armed or disarmed.
  • And the third application will send a notification to our phones if any of the sensors are triggered while the system is armed.

The combination of these three applications means that we have the core functions that we want. I am now looking to extend our system so it includes a siren which will be triggered if the sensors are disturbed when the system is armed. Plus cameras which will allow us to view what is going on in our property.

On top of that, the system will eventually be connected to our heating system. If the Smartthings hub senses that we have left the house, then it will turn off the heating so we don’t heat an empty house.”

Glenn’s Final thoughts on using technology for home security

“My original focus was to use this hub for home security as I believe the days of conventional burglar alarms are numbered. How often do you hear an alarm going off in your neighbourhood and go out to properly inspect their property? I wanted to be notified if something was going on in my house while I’m not there and have the ability to verify that things were okay through the use of cameras”