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What is a smart home?

For most people the home is sanctuary, a place they are able to disconnect from the world outside. It is also the biggest asset most people will purchase in their life times.  However, maintaining a home can be a burden for time starved busy families.

Once considered to be an ideal only the future generations would acheive, a smart home is pretty much a possibility today. The reason for this are partly because over the last 30 years computer technology has changed the way we work, changed the way we communicate, it's even changed the way we socialise.

Technology is everywhere, it stands to reason that technology will now really start to change our homes. The key objective of any technology is minimize or eliminate time wasted on repetitive and boring household chores.

Probably the most boring and most uninspiring definition of a smart home as supplied by the UK Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) reads as follows;

A dwelling incorporating a communications network that connects the key electrical appliances and services, and allows them to be remotely controlled, monitored or accessed

UK Department for Trade and Industry (DTI)

Another equally uninspiring and dull definition we found defines a smart home as ;

.... is a home that incorporates advanced automation systems to provide the inhabitants with sophisticated monitoring and control over the building's functions. For example a smart home may control lighting, temperature, multi-media, security, window and door operations, as well as many other functions.

A smart home, is far more exciting than the bland and boring corporate vernacular  attributed to it. A smart home is your chance to be entrepreneurial, innovative and just down right geeky!

Sure you can control your lighting by your smart phone, stream all your multi media throughout your house, but how about turning your house into a 24/7 weather station for your local area  or convert your living room to an office at the touch of button?

There is a of cool stuff you can do within this space. The possibilities are endless and with cool gadgets like the raspberry pi enable you to tinker and innovate as far as your geekness will take you.

All that is needed for a smart home, is a little bit of imagination and ability to learn something new and the urge to want to play with some tech!

You don't have to become a technical genius or an overnight computer hacker, to start converting your home into smart home, there are plenty of gadgets out there to help you. You won't have to even start knocking holes in to walls to start building your home network either, just plug in some Powerline Adaptors and you're able to have broadband internet to any room in the house using your home existing electrical circuit.

 Smart Homes are not just about generating data and reports on how much energy your home is using, smart homes are about improving your life so you don't have to worry about the mundane things!

Gary Woodfine
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