We all know they’re everywhere. We see them at the grocery store; in drivers’ hands, at restaurants and in movie theaters. If fact, some people wear them on their wrists!

They are for communication, certainly. And for playing games. But they’re also, increasingly, the remote controls that Americans use to manage their homes, conduct business, shop, check on their children, and assure their own safety and security.

There are, according to reliable statistics, more than 207 million smartphone users in the United States in 2016, and more than 2 billion worldwide.

Smartphones to Smart Homes

Safety and security are major concerns. Today, by most reliable estimates, only 17-18% of U.S. homes have a security system installed. The growth of wireless technology and a corresponding reduction in prices is expected to drive that number to about 30% by 2020. Cameras and video surveillance are the top choice for home security. With security, however,  whole house hubs for other devices are growing in popularity.

Other Popular Smart Home Devices

Top choices include:

  • Energy-saving applications: Programmable thermostats have evolved into smart devices that can be controlled remotely by smart phone.  Other apps can monitor water heaters, control home irrigation systems, raise and lower window shades in order to control interior light and heat, and start the oven.
  • Monitoring air quality and safety: Phone apps and modern technology help monitor home humidity, carbon monoxide and noxious fumes, detect water leaks, and check locks or garage doors. They also send alerts if there is a problem.
  • Making life easy: The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but technology means you can spend less time there. Check refrigerator stocks remotely, send your shopping list automatically to the market, and start your dinner with the push of a button.
  • Controlling it all: Wireless hubs manage a houseful of devices. Smart speakers allow voice commands for home features, allow you to make voice purchases online, and give your smart phone a rest occasionally.

The exploding technology that has brought mobile phones from a luxury for the few to a necessity for nearly everyone affects not only the way we do business and conduct our social lives, but also influences our home life, traveling plans, shopping habits, child rearing practices and leisure time activities.

There’s even a smart mattress that monitors heart rate and body temperature, adjusting automatically throughout the night to help you get the best sleep possible!

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