How Smart is Your Home?

How Smart is Your Home?

Men's Journal magazine April 2012Gone are the days when robots were a distant idea. Now, there’s an automated solution for almost every home task–although we have yet to hear of a toilet-cleaning robot.

My great-grandmother had a clapper in her living room. As the sun went down each evening, she would clap once to turn the lights on. When she was ready for bed after watching the weather, she clapped twice and the lights went off for the night. Silly, yet so smart.

Home automation (home “smarts”) has come a long way since Granny’s clapper. The April issue of Men’s Journal shows us some of the latest gadgets for making our homes smarter.

Like a programmable thermostat. We have one at home that we program based on the time of day, but Men’s Journal highlights one that can be adjusted through an app on your smartphone, and it even knows when you’re not home and turns itself down to save energy. Now that’s smart!

Remember the first robot vacuums that chased the cats around the house while picking up the stray crumb here and there? They’ve come a long way, too. The newest versions are smart enough to go back over extra-dirty areas more than once if need be. There’s even a new mopping robot. I may order myself one of those before the day is up.

The feature in Men’s Journal also talks about smarter light bulbs, updated electrical wiring and locks that open at your command.

Maybe I should start with the clapper and see how I do with that first.