Smart Home Technologies

Smart home technology is no longer only available to the wealthy or tech-savvy, and the industry has responded with ever sophisticated solutions. While many people associate this automation with gadgets like Google’s Nest or Amazon’s Echo or Apple’s HomeKit the term is more comprehensive than that and covers many different options for your home. This includes everything from remote-controlled lighting and heating to CCTV, home security systems, doorbells and smart locks. Some of them even let you keep tabs on children pet, elderly relatives and other pets and monitor electricity or water usage, and much more.

Integration is the main ingredient in a good smart home system. This is why the best devices are those that can work with other devices and systems to make your home more intelligent. For instance smart lighting can communicate with an centralized hub to set your lights according to a predetermined time or switch them off when you leave the house. A video doorbell could alert you to visitors coming in and trigger your alarm system call the police or fire department. Once you’ve got the hang of the IFTTT (If this then that) service and you’re ready to use other services like Stringify to automate devices in more complicated ways.

Of course, bringing new smart devices into homes comes with its own set of issues. CNET is determined to learn about the policies of companies, raise privacy concerns, and even direct questions to companies.