Automation at your fingertips


Imagine sending a message to your empty house that you are approaching and the entrance is then lit for you.

Heating inside the house also starts and soft music plays in the background so that you come into a cosy atmosphere. You are in your smart home, all achieved through electronic assistance... no human hand!

This is technology that takes control of the entire home through smart devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

Now imagine closing your curtains with the single touch of a button? That is smart living, and people are embracing it.

Smarthome Audio Visual Kenya Business Development Manager Irene Thenya says technology has made it possible to assign duties to smart gadgets.

“You can press a ‘good night’ button and all lights and electronics go off, and your alarm is turned on in case of emergencies,” she says.

The entire home security is at the fingertips of the homeowner. “You can also view cameras and receive notifications as well as schedule garden watering from the comfort of your sofa.”

Ms Thenya says it is easy to control smart home gadgets whether one is home or away, all you need is a smartphone. Any gadget that is smart-controlled only requires Internet connection to operate.

One of the advantages of smart home automation is that it saves cost; automated lighting saves close to 40 per cent of electricity bills.

“The gadgets alert you when you leave lights on. Smart home hubs also turn appliances completely off when not in use,” the manager says.

“You are also alerted when there is an intruder, and you can command dogs to bark to raise the alarm.”

Also, the technology is affordable as one can start with basic items and grow with the advancements.

“Assuming you are building a home, the cost of smart home gadgets is 5-10 per cent of your construction cost,” Thenya says.

In her experience, people commonly seek motorised window curtains, automated gates, lights, television, music, security and garden watering gadgets.

“The number of people seeking these appliances has grown, looking at our daily inquiries,” she says.

With the help of Google assistant and Amazon Alexa, one can create daily routines. “For instance, you can request Google assist to schedule your coffee machine to turn on and off at the same time every morning.” 

Thenya, however, notes one downside is that with improved technology there will be less face-to-face interactions and poor communication skills.

“The technology is not bad, the culture we build around it and how we use it is all that matters.”

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