Nowadays everywhere you look there is some kind of gadget, whether its a smartphone, tablets, machines for making babies bottles up, even where I work we have a touchscreen machine which you select which hot drink you want and in less than a minute its sitting there ready to be drank. So is the increase in technology and the concept of a Smart Home to help to save us time and money making us more efficient or just making us a little lazy?
I had previously voiced my concerns that technology was ruining my social life and the temptation to indulge in an intimate relationship with my smartphone in the evenings (and weekends) was all too easy but this time I want to look at the wider array of electronic devices available in our lives.
I still believe there is a fine line between the need for technology in our lives and the need to experience things first hand too, for instance “family time”. If you look at Christmas, I remember when even though I received a SNES and revolutionary TV & Video combi one year for Christmas and despite loving playing Super Mario All Stars or Super Soccer, or even watching the Goonies on VHS, a highlight for me was still playing a Christmas family board game such as Monopoly or Cluedo.
Equally only recently (I say recently but mean 5 years ago) becoming a father for the first time, I fondly look back at being in the middle of the night, sleep deprived and making up a bottle for H, having to boil the kettle which seem to take ages, make up some formula and then put it into cool water and wait an eternity for it to cool down enough. Fast forward to now and theres a machine you can buy which makes a bottle up for you in seconds and its also ready for baby to drink too. Does this make life easier? I’d have to say yes, but what happens if such machine breaks? Does having this fantastic time saving device make us lose the ability to go back to basics?
One area I have a massive interest in is creating a Smart Home for us as a family. The ability for various modern day home appliances to interact with one another, send messages to their owners as well as save both time and money is something I’m keen for us as a family to embrace.
Being a working family as well as only having a small support network to lean on means the luxuries of being able to pick our children up from nursery or school at 3pm, cook a neutricous evening meal, casually complete homework / reading, have a long bathtime before snuggling down to watch the soaps night on night is a dream which will probably never happen. Instead its racing home from work in time to pick up both children from afterschool club before it closes, trying to rustle up something for tea quick enough which allows it to be eaten just as fast to then ensure any homework or reading is completed before over tidieness kicks in of the eldests and render it a waste of time… oh and did I mention their need to have a bath and get enough sleep in for them not to be tired for their 6am wake up call the next day when we do it all again? Its tough, for all of us at times, so any way which we can save time and even save money is a winner with me.
At present we already have a few devices which help us to save time (and money) such as our Hive heating system v1 which allows us to turn on (or off) our central heating remotely, so instead of coming home to a cold house, we can turn it on before we leave work. We also have our Tefal Cook4me which has the ability to super speed up traditional cooking times. Elsewhere we have the D-Link Smart Home HD Set which includes a smart plug, IP camera and sensor all controllable via an app on our smartphones.
Typically all these things tend to be slightly more pricier than the common alternatives so its easy to stick to traditional appliances but for us they really help us, whether its through convenience and in turn shaving a bit of time off the ‘need to do but non rewarding’ and in some circumstances money too.
Over the next few months, I’ll be taking a much deeper looking into the world of smart homes and working with a massive brand in the world of electrics, components and consumer products to bring you more information as well as a sneak peak of things to come…
Until next time