(Family Features) For busy families juggling to keep up with the pace of life, technology brings convenience and peace of mind to home life, making things easier for all of us. At the touch of a button, new technologies meet the needs of busy families who benefit from thoughtful, technological shortcuts throughout the house.
In the home
It is now possible to control lighting throughout the interior and exterior of your home using your smartphone. With the proper bulbs, in-home Wi-Fi network and an app on your phone or tablet, you can control lights from anywhere and even schedule lights to turn off and on at intervals to give the appearance that someone is home. You’ll never have to enter a dark house again when you use lights with geofencing technology, which recognizes when you pull in the driveway and turns lights on automatically.Similarly, you can automate and control your home’s temperature from your smartphone or device. Although many thermostats allow you to drop temperatures while you’re away at work for the day, options such as the Nest Learning Thermostat and Honeywell Lyric take climate management to a whole new level, learning your schedule and adjusting temperatures automatically.Motorized drapes not only add a stylish enhancement to your windows, they help keep dawn at bay and your privacy intact through smartphone control. A variety of options allow you to customize settings based on needs, such as blocking daylight, obscuring valuables from outside view, managing the impact of UV rays on your possessions or regulating solar heat.
In the garage
Peace of mind that the garage door is closed and the home is secure comes in the palm of your hand with the Chamberlain Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener and MyQ Garage smartphone app. The first garage door opener with Wi-Fi built in lets you open and close your garage from anywhere and receive alerts to your phone every time the door has opened, closed or been left open. And if you already have a working garage door opener, you can add this same smartphone connectivity to nearly any garage door with MyQ Garage.The daily grind can make it tough to manage maintenance, even for items as important as your vehicle. Fortunately, there are numerous apps, such as Gas Cubby, that let you take control of your car care by helping monitor and save on gas, and Automatic, which tracks driver behavior and auto performance, recommending maintenance and repair schedules to improve your vehicle’s overall health.Dead battery? Dead cell phone? With JumpStarter, a new product from Chamberlain, you’ll never be left stranded. The device provides multiple outputs for charging not only your car, but everyday devices, such as cell phones, tablets, MP3 players, GPS, portable game consoles and cameras — and its small size fits in the glove box.
In the backyard
With landscaping a chore for many, and water conservation a growing concern, a robotic hose attachment may be the answer, delivering precise amounts of water to each plant.For a large yard, or to use your existing irrigation system, a smart sprinkler system may be a better answer to keep your yard looking lush. Most models can be customized by valve or zone, and many use weather data or moisture sensors to ensure the right amount of water is delivered each time.When dinner plans call for a steak on the grill, keep your meal deliciously on target with a smartphone app, such as iGrill or Grill It, which guides you to the perfect temperature based on variables such as the cut and thickness.
With such advancements right at your fingertips, it’s becoming easier than ever for families to manage household tasks and functions quickly and easily with new, secure technologies, making time for other more important activities.
What is Apple HomeKit?
It may seem like “The Jetsons” cartoon has come to life, but new gadgets are making it possible to operate a growing number of appliances and home systems from a single device, even when you’re far from home.
Expected for release in mid 2015, Apple HomeKit will make controlling smart devices simpler or more seamless using iPhone and Siri. Some of the first products to support HomeKit are Chamberlain MyQ garage door openers, Honeywell thermostats, the iDevices Switch and Schlage door locks.
Imagine relaxing at the end of the day, saying, “Siri, I’m going to bed now, is my house secure?” HomeKit will confirm that your garage door is closed, doors are locked and the thermostat is in nighttime mode.
And the Apple Watch will have a place in the home as well. You can expect to control many of these devices and other apps from the watch on your wrist, where you might receive notifications that you left the garage door open after leaving the house.
Evolving technology means more sophisticated alternatives are yet to come. It’s clear that when it comes to home management technology, the future is only a click away.
Learn more at www.chamberlain.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (house exterior and woman and man looking at thermostat)