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What Is Home Automation and How Does It Work? (security.org, May 12, 2022)
“Home automation is the automatic control of electronic devices in your home. These devices are connected to the Internet, which allows them to be controlled remotely. With home automation, devices can trigger one another so you don’t have to control them manually via an app or voice assistant.”
The Advantages of a Smart House (SFGate, Dec. 15, 2021)
“There are many benefits of a smart home. Smart home systems with IoT (internet of things) applications take advantage of automation technology and modern building techniques to give homeowners a new level of control and access to information about their homes. Many new homes are built with smart home products included in the build, with automation as a key design goal. Existing homes can become smart homes during a major renovation. Or, smart home systems such as smart heating and cooling and smart lightbulbs, can often be added to an existing home In either case, the advantages of smart homes can be substantial.”
How to Get Started
Guide to Smart Home Devices & Tech (Consumer Reports, Apr. 7, 2023)
“Consumer Reports tests a variety of smart home devices, including smart speakers, smart TVs, wireless security cameras, video doorbells, smart thermostats, and smart locks, with more product categories in the works. Our experts help you find the best products for your needs and make the most of them with guides to installation, setup, voice control, and automation.”
The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up Your Smart Home (Wired, Feb. 23, 2023)
”With a myriad of ecosystems and standards to navigate, not to mention the diverse array of devices, the smart-home scene is daunting. [Wired] put together this smart-home guide to highlight your options, explain the jargon, and help you understand the consequences of the choices you make.”
Your Complete Smart Home Guide (Security.org, Jan. 30, 2023)
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about a smart home: what it is, what it may include, and how you can get one for yourself.
The Best Smart Home Devices for 2023 (PC Magazine, Nov. 22, 2022)
“You can make your home a little more livable—and a lot more automated—by adding appliances and devices you can control from anywhere. [PC Magazine] tested hundreds of smart home products in more than 20 categories to help determine which ones are best for every room in (and out of) the house.”
Best Smart Home Devices of 2023 (c|net, Aug. 26, 2022)
This list focuses narrowly on the best product in each smart home subcategory.
Benefits: Energy Efficiency & Security
Home Security and Home Automation (U.S. News, Jul. 14, 2022)
“Home automation involves using technology to make your home work better for you. Powered by sensors, software, and wireless protocols (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and Zigbee), everyday appliances in your home can do their jobs automatically. These “smart devices,” which include door locks, lights, thermostats, plugs, and other gadgets, communicate with each other and with your smart home security system. You can control smart home devices using an automated schedule, another smart device, or remotely from your smartphone.”
New Model Shows How to Make Smart Homes More Frugal (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Apr. 1, 2021)
In short, Sowers and his colleagues built a system that crunches a combination of hourly market prices, spot prices (updated every five minutes), and day-ahead prices (determined by energy market prices established a day ahead of time to reduce volatility) to predict the cheapest time to schedule residential loads such as dishwashers, washers, dryers, and the charging of electric vehicles.
Can Your Smart Device Save You Energy and Money? Here’s What to Look For. (ASE, Mar. 29, 2021)
- Does the smart device schedule operations or automatically turn off appliances when you don’t need them?
- Does the smart device alert you to high energy use?
- Does your smart device alert you to changes in energy costs?
- Does your utility offer rebates or programs for grid-enabled devices?
Home Automation and Accessibility
Smart Home Technology: A Game-Changer for Disability Support and Care (LDRFA, Jan. 6, 2023)
Smart home technology can benefit those with disabilities by providing enhanced accessibility, independence, safety and security, and enhancing quality of life.
These Smart Home Devices Can Enhance Independence for People With Disabilities and Mobility Needs (Wirecutter, Apr. 29, 2022)
“[F]or those who live with accessibility challenges, smart-home technology can be a powerful enabler, one that allows them to live a more independent and empowered life.”
Oklahoma Integrators Use Smart Home, Accessibility Tech to Aid Disabled Homeowner (CEPro, Mar. 8, 2022)
Use case of automating and connecting nearly every single process in the house, from the lights to the door locks to the shower all the way down to the doors themselves. The entire control system was connected to an iPad connected to Price’s chair, so he could control any aspect of the home no matter where he was located.
Fully Accessible Guide to Smart Home Tech for the Disabled and Elderly (ZDNet, Sep. 7, 2021)
“Smart home technology has come a long way in the last few years. No longer just a novelty or relegated to home security systems, smart devices can help the elderly and those with disabilities live independently without having to pay a premium for products specific to their needs.”
Security Issues With Home Automation Systems
Unwanted Connection: Who Has Control of Your Smart Home? (The New York Times, Feb. 17, 2023)
“If we have authorization from the former homeowner to deactivate their account, and correct documentation from the new homeowner for customer set up, it is an easy process,” said David Porter, Vivint’s senior vice president of customer experience, in an email statement. “Alignment with the buyer and seller plays a key role in this — we recommend home buyers discuss with their agent prior to closing to avoid equipment missing and delayed deactivation.”
Can Your Home Security Cameras Be Hacked? Here's How to Protect Yourself (c|net, Jan. 21, 2023)
While no one system is impervious to an attack, some precautions can further decrease your odds of being hacked and protect your privacy in the case of a hack.
- Use cameras from reputable manufacturers, whether they are part of a professionally monitored security system or a DIY device.
- Use cameras with high-level, end-to-end encryption.
- Change your credentials to something that cannot easily be guessed (in particular, avoid using passwords you already use for other online accounts).
- Update the camera firmware frequently or whenever possible.
- Use two-factor authentication if possible.
- Use a VPN (virtual private network)
10 Ways to Boost IoT Security in Smart Homes (Forbes, Feb. 22, 2021)
If your home is connected, it needs to be protected. IoT devices are the core technology behind the idea of smart homes, and while the latest devices have addressed patches that made their predecessors vulnerable to security breaches, the onus is still on the end user to ensure that their IoT security is up to date.
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