What’s better than a smart home?
A community of connected smart homes, working in tandem to keep homeowners informed, monitor energy use and provide a large-scale smart irrigation solution.
The upside to smart home technology is clear, but a collection of linked smart homes is beyond impressive — it’s powerful. Here’s a look at how home automation may eventually be able to help entire communities.
Monitoring energy use
From locks to refrigerators and vacuum cleaners, a variety of household appliances and features can already connect to the Internet. On a home-by-home level, this makes it possible to observe and record energy use levels. Imagine being able to monitor energy use on a larger scale — particularly in regions prone to blackouts. Smart communities could allow inhabitants to do more while using less energy. A community of connected homes that operate on a network could allow homeowners to compare energy use, making community members more aware of how their habits stacked up. This would foster community collaboration to keep those figures within a certain range.
Connected water technology
Connected water systems provide homes with information that can be paramount during a drought by measuring water levels and chemical content in real time. This would allow sprinkler systems to make informed decisions about the amount of water needed to keep lawns and plants healthy using soil moisture sensors.
Studies have been done to show just how much smart water systems can do when implemented community wide. A community smart water system reduced water consumption in Dubuque, Iowa, by 7 percent. The use of WaterSense weather-based irrigation controllers is estimated to save homeowners close to 8,800 gallons of water per year, on average. That number could add up quickly in a community of connected homes, providing relief for California and potentially saving both water and money in other communities. Smart irrigation systems present a more efficient option for keeping tabs on responsible water use — something else that’s at the heart of IoT and smart technology.
The resounding idea behind IoT is that it uses the Internet to improve everyday life. If entire communities could figure out how to safely and securely use technology like smart irrigation systems, the benefits could be tremendous.