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The Smart Home Trend

I’m patiently waiting for smart homes to become the norm for regular folks like me. I can use all the help I can get. Remote control monitoring of various systems have been the norm in industrial settings for quite a while, and it’s just a matter of time before it’s standard for residences as well.

When I leave my house, I run through a litany to ensure that the place won’t burn down, run up excessive gas and electric bills, or be filled with water when I return to it. It’s a mental checklist covering everything from turning off the coffee maker and oven, to shutting all the windows and adjusting the thermostat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been 10 minutes out on the road still wondering if I remembered to do everything. It would be so nice to get a text message letting me know what I forgot, and saying, by the way, don’t worry, it’s all taken care of.

We automatically think to turn lights on when we enter a room, and put up the heat if we can see our breath. Retracing all thing things we do throughout the day for our comfort, however, is not as easy. A smart house could keep me connected to my home so I could watch it while I’m away and make me worry less. It could also make coming home nicer, to a climate-controlled abode with music piping throughout it. Most important, the ability to program security measures would make for a good night’s sleep and anxiety-free extended periods away from home. Anything is possible with today’s technology where we can tap into almost every area of our lives from any location via the Internet or our iPhones.

But I also like my privacy, so I guess it’s a mixed bag. Whatever my opinion is, it’s undeniable that smart houses are the future. I have come to tolerate being constantly available via cell phone and computer, but does my significant other really need to get notified the exact second I get home? And how much would I not appreciate a friend’s house taking still photos of me when I was standing at their door waiting to gain entry? However much I like the idea of being able to monitor my house, I don’t like the idea of houses monitoring me. Yet, it’s important to remember that we as the programmers are the ones in control here.

It seems the only thing standing in the way of us all having smart homes (or at least those not pitted strongly against an overseeing eye) is know-how and money. Just like everything else, most of us will wait for the technology to become simpler and more user friendly, as well as a middle-ground price tag.

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