Now, technology is starting to invade our homes with the name “smart” attached to it from our kitchens to bedrooms. Appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and stoves are turning “smart” along with our TVs, beds and even toilets. This may seem exciting but some argue “smart” technology in the home is dangerous. Not only that but is investing in this technology worth the price? You’ll need to decide.

The smart home evolution

Some of those gizmos are useful like a smart thermostat. It’ll know when you’re away and when you’re home so it can adjust the temperature accordingly. These thermostats can plan ahead and anticipate your arrival. You can even change the temperature from a convenient app, no matter where you are. The goal is to save energy and big bucks. Then, there’s a connected weather station that sends ultra accurate information about the weather from the outside to the device that in turn sends the information directly to your smartphone. It’ll tell you things like outdoor humidity equality and thermostat pressure but also gives you an indoor air quality, temperature and humidity report. These can cost up to $200. Sleep trackers are found in smart watches and smartphones, assess your sleep quality and give feedback on how to improve sleep. There are also ones that hide under your mattress. They connect to your smartphone and display a lot of information, including your heart rate, respiration, and sleep cycle. Sleep trackers start at about $50 but run as high as $350. Smart locks are keyless entry systems. Or, in other words, your keys are on your phone. They connect via Bluetooth and WiFi. Get close enough to the lock, open the app and within moments you’re inside.  Some smart locks have a motion detector, camera, speaker and microphone and can cost anywhere from $50 to about $300. Smart technology has even entered the bathroom with smart toilets.  These new toilets will sense you walking into the bathroom and open up and mist the bowl with water. Smart toilets start at about $600 but can go as high as $1,700. Other smart items for the home include smart refrigerators that, among other things, allow you to see the food inside. There are also smart smoke detectors, smart TV’s, smart baby monitors, and smart garage door openers.   

What are the risks?

Each of these items come with a warning: As our homes become smarter and smarter, we’re putting ourselves more and more at risk.     Imagine yourself sitting in your new home and then, all of a sudden, the lights start to dim. Is it the previous owner playing a prank? These things will, in most cases, stay with the house when the house is sold. And the old owner will have access.  There are no standards to prevent this from happening at the moment. That’s because this is such new technology. Like with any tech gadgets, proceed with caution and know the risks.  So, are these devices worth it? That’s up to you to decide. Our advice: Whenever you’re considering bringing another smart gadget into your home, you’re going to have to do your homework. Look into the security and privacy features, and don’t forget to take these steps to secure your entire home network! 

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