Living alone has some major benefits. I can starfish, I can walk around in the buff (sorry neighbours) and there’s no-one to tell me I need therapy for my addiction to The Bachelor. It does, however, have one downside and that’s the feeling of hearing a bump in the night and realising there’s no one else but you and the cats to go investigate. Or when you’ve left for work and suddenly realised you’ve left your straighteners on and there’s no-one else to go back and check.
Thankfully, the development of smart tech has seen the creation of some amazing innovations, which give the power firmly back to the property owner and tenant.
At the core of this smart tech is the Google Home, which I recently sent by the team at MoreThan as part of their focus on creating a safer home with smart tech. Not only does this bit of kit look sleek and stylish, it acts as an assistant by linking up to all the safeguarding technology I’m going to talk about below.
All you need to do to get started with your Google Home is download the app and follow the instructions on how to pair it up via the wi-fi. Once you’ve activated your voice, you can start with something along the lines of “OK Google, is Ben Higgins from The Bachelor currently single?” – she’ll reply within seconds and the internet is your oyster.
So how does a smart home make for a safer home exactly? Well, let’s start with if you leave your straighteners on like I mentioned above. There’s an amazing innovation which links up to your Google Home and android called Belkin WeMo switch, which works with both Android and iOS devices. It allows you to turn electronic devices off through Google Assistant. Just open the app on your phone and advise your Home device what to do.
Nest, meanwhile, offers a range of smart products that can communicate with each other, including thermostats, cameras, and doorbells. One of the most interesting features for me is the ability to notify you when you’re out that there’s smoke or high levels of CO2. With one tap of an app, the emergency services are notified.
If you’re out and you can’t remember if you locked the door, the August Smart Lock enables you to call through to Google Home to ask whether the house is secure. If it’s not, then the August Smart Lock can fix this for you.
Finally, a brand-new development called Ring allows you to answer the door even if you’re on the other side of the world. How? When someone rings your doorbell, you’re altered via your phone. The video camera and two-way mic on the doorbell enables you to see and speak to the other person as if you were really in the house but can’t come to the door. You’ll also be altered to any motion and the camera will record any suspicious activity.
I don’t even think ten years ago we’d have been able to imagine the advancements in technology that we’re living with now – to think that you could turn your heating on through your phone, or you could answer the door thousands of miles away would have been mindboggling. Obvious home security still warrants the need for home insurance so be sure to check out what MoreThan (who are actually my home contents insurance provider) are able to help you with.
*Google Home kindly gifted by insurance provider MoreThan