Switched on [Middle East Interiors]
(Middle East Interiors Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) JEAN-BAPTISTE PLAGNE on benefits of a smart home system
The order of the day is smart. Today, the world is inundated with smart technology from smartphones to smart homes. While smartphones are enthusiastically adopted there is much reluctance with regards to migrating to a smart home system, particularly in the UAE. Undoubtedly, there are many questions about the real value of smart homes that go beyond implementation costs and savings. Do such residences function at the touch of a button or simply add to our technological challenges of everyday life? Do we have to be tech-savvy or can we get away without technologizing our mind-sets?
The answer lies in being open to taking advantage of technological advancement. More so, we must seek technological sophistication to make a meaningful difference such as enhancing our families' quality of life and participating in the conservation of energy to reduce our environmental footprint.
Although the environment is a core responsibility of every individual, we are prone to taking things for granted and tend to let most of our appliances and utilities running even when not in use or required.
Today, the UAE is one of the major consumers of electricity and is the world's third largest per capita water consumer after the US and Canada. Then it is only befitting that we think even more closely about cutting back our energy and water consumption through the adoption of the smart home phenomenon.
But, before we jump headlong into implementing the technology, we must completely understand what it entails, which will help us make prudent and effective choices. A smart home essentially is putting all the elements of the home controls into a single, convincingly intelligent operating system. Each room's lighting, curtain/shutter, audio-visual equipment, kitchen appliances, climate control and security monitoring devices are connected and integrated into the smart home solution. To the point that you can even set up RSS feed and email notifications and alerts onto the visual devices in your home such as TVs. The networking can also be extended to the lighting and security systems of the garage and garden.
The set-up can be operated from a hand-held device bringing in more convenience, the smartphone be utilised to remotely operate this one fantastically networked home adding comfort, security, flexibility, and helps save energy to improve the overall quality of life and well-being.
Imagine you have been away on annual vacation and need to ensure that the house temperature is maintained to avoid negative effects of keeping a house closed for long durations such as the growth of moulds. What do you do? A smart home allows you to remotely control the air-conditioning and lighting from your smartphone. You can turn on the air-conditioning for a few hours every day instead of leaving it on the entire time you have been away, and save money and more importantly energy.
A family can ensure that lighting is used appropriately and as per the needs. A smart home allows you to pre-set times when the lights come on or off. For instance if the entire family leaves home at 8:00am for work and school and are back at 4:00pm, the smart home technology can ensure that the lights and unused appliances are switched off during this period. If the air conditioning has been left on and you remember while at work you can turn it off with a touch of a button from your smart phone to which the whole system is connected.
This is not the end of the benefits that come from implementing a smart home system. The technology that made its debut in the early 2000s is now not only a reality but also an affordable prerequisite to comfortable living around the globe. It will not be long before the UAE's tech-savvy population will see the rationale of adopting the smart home system to make 'every drop of water' and 'every joule of energy' count.
Plagne is the vice-president, Life Space Business Unit, Gulf countries and Export, Schneider Electric.
(c) 2013 Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
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