The world is getting more hectic with each passing day, but somehow there are still only twenty-four hours in a day, just like centuries ago. And just like centuries ago, we need about eight hours of sleep out of these precious twenty-four. And the world rushes on…
Well, while humankind has not yet figured out how to go without sleep, it is taking huge steps in the other direction and finding ways to use the remaining time as effectively as possible. We have already got used to express transport and instant communication reducing time and distance almost to nothing. Fast food, clothes which need no ironing, disposable kitchenware and dozens of other things were specially invented to reduce the preparation and maintenance time to the absolute minimum. And now we are witnessing the advance of home automation as another step towards letting go of our routine tasks.
Home automation is exactly what its name says — a home run automatically. Smart homes are built around networks of smart devices programmed by their owners to do the things which they can do better than humans. It’s true, the ultimate purpose of smart gadgets is to do the same things people do but faster, safer, more accurately and reliably.
Smart devices do not forget.
Smart devices do not oversleep.
Smart devices do not get distracted.
Yes, we must admit that in certain way smart devices can be more efficient than their owners. But this is no reason to feel miserable and unhappy. On the contrary, this is very encouraging as it means that we can offload some minor and not-so-minor tasks on our gadgets and do something more important or enjoyable instead. So, what exactly can we make them do to free us some extra time?
They are every working person’s dream. With careful planning, cooking can be reduced to grocery shopping and putting the ingredients into the proper containers. And the beauty of it is that you can control your smart toys with your smartphone (gee, everything is smart nowadays).
A smart coffee machine will make coffee while you are still in bed for those sweet ten minutes before your alarm goes off. Check, for example, Behmor Connected Brewer — a coffee machine which you can program and reprogram with your smartphone. And since 2017, you can voice-control it, too, due to Behmor integration with Amazon Alexa. “Alexa, ask Behmor to brew my coffee”, — and hit that “snooze” button.
A smart slow cooker will start your dinner hours before you get home from work, you will only need to set the table. With Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo, you only need to connect the device to your Wi-Fi network and put in the ingredients. It can even manage recipes requiring turning temperature up or down — just set the timer and tell the slow cooker to turn the heat to “High” or “Low” via your smartphone. No need to say that you can be miles away from your home at that time.
Electricity is our best friend and indispensable helper, but electricity can also be deadly when used carelessly. Remember how many times you had to return half-way to check whether you unplugged that curling iron? With smart outlets, all of them are controllable by your smartphone and you can disconnect each of them with a tap of your finger. And smart outlets can also help when your other devices are not smart yet — plug in an ordinary coffee maker and program the outlet to switch it on at 6:30, just like that.
Try Hank Smart Plug — you will not even need to work on your power network, just plug it into any outlet. It will serve both as a power source and a remote control for your home appliances.
These are true multitaskers, as besides their primary purpose — keeping the bad guys out, — they can also save you a couple of minutes. When there is someone at your door, just look at your smartphone and see your visitor through the camera. You can unlock the door from wherever you are by tapping your screen. When there is a party and guests are arriving every five minutes, running to the door may not always be convenient, so use your smart gadgets instead.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 features a HD wide-angle video camera, microphone and speakers, so you can see your guests and talk to them wherever you are. Add an August Smart Lock to unlock the door for the people you are happy to see and to keep it tightly shut in other cases.
Again, their main goal is keeping your house secure, but with all your sensors displayed on the screen you can immediately see if an upstairs window is open. No need to check room after room before leaving for a weekend, another five minutes saved. And, unlike you, your smartphone will not forget, so if two hours later you suddenly cannot remember if you have locked your garage door, look at your smart home application and relax. No need to go back or frantically call your neighbors.
If you choose Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor, it will not only inform you if you have left a door or window open, but also monitor temperature and motion. Additional security can never hurt.
What is the first thing which comes to mind when you see the word “infrared”? Remotes, of course. And what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of remotes? That they are never there when you need them. Well, forget remotes. Get an IR transceiver instead, and you will be able to control all IR devices with your smartphone. No more looking for the pesky little things when you want to watch a movie. And you can hook all your devices to the same transceiver, so no more frustration of finally finding the remote only to see that it controls your air conditioning.
Install Hank IR Transceiver, and you will have one gadget to rule them all — TV, air conditioning, lights — everything supporting infrared communication.
These are but a few examples of how smart devices and home automation in general can save you time. It may seem unimportant — really, what are ten minutes in the morning? But, on one hand, ten minutes do matter and, on the other hand, ten minutes here and five minutes there give you an overall feeling of peace, calm and being in control. When you are not rushed and overwhelmed, you are more attentive and focused, you are more confident and make decisions easier. When you are calm and secure, you are happy and satisfied, and we all could do with some happiness. So, leave the routine tasks to your smart gadgets and enjoy life.