Imagine leaving office as you whip out your smartphone to remotely bring to life various appliances at home – so that when you reach after your long commute, the air conditioning will be on, chilling your rooms to that perfect temperature, the coffee maker will have brewed a nice cuppa, and your water will have been heated for you to enjoy a nice, relaxing bath. Imagine walking through your house, talking to it as you would to a real person – asking it to dim the lights and play a favourite playlist to set the mood, ask it about stock updates and weather forecasts or even use it as a personal assistant to jot down reminders and make calls or send messages. Imagine having a screen in the kitchen which you can use to video call a loved one while you bustle about or have a recipe video playing for you to replicate, while the system provides a handy way to convert temperatures and have running timers. All of this and more is possible with a connected home.
What makes a home Smart? Why, smart appliances of course. What differentiates a smart appliance from a ‘dumb’ or conventional appliance you have in your home today? First, a smart appliance has a brain – a microprocessor powerful enough to analyze data that it gathers through sensors and take decisions accordingly. Second, it needs to possess the ability to connect to the network – usually your home WiFi network. By being interconnected, these devices “talk” to each other, exchanging information and data to serve you better. All of your smart devices are usually accessible right from your smartphone, allowing you to send commands and receive updates and other information easily, even while you’re on the go.
From increasing your productivity by allowing you to do things remotely, to making sure of your comfort by monitoring your temperature to adjust the thermostat, to even taking a hand in your health by reminding you to exercise, smart appliances and by extension, a smart and connected home revolves around you. They seek to improve upon several distinct aspects of your life. Following this line of thinking, we at Tata CliQ have categorised smart appliances into four segments based on their intended purpose for easier understanding. As a consumer curious about exploring the world of smart gadgets, this will make it easier for you to make informed decisions and choose what best suits your needs.
- Connected Comfort: Connected Comfort as the name suggests, seeks to improve upon your comfort. Most of your everyday smart appliances fall under this category – TVs, Fridges, AC, Lights, Washing Machines and more. The main purpose is to make you even more comfortable through a mixture of intelligent preemptive data-based decision making (like tracking your sleep patterns to regulate the cooling) and ease of access (like switching the lights on or off from just your phone).
- Connected Convenience: These are devices that aim to enhance your productivity. From digital voice assistants straight out of science fiction to wireless printers on the cloud, the entire intention of these devices is to shave time off your regular tasks allowing you to be more efficient and effective. It is much easier to shoot voice queries to a smart speaker than to perform those searches manually, and the prospect of printing stuff directly from the cloud with no wires is a very enticing one on its own. Connected Convenience devices can enable innovative use case scenarios by combining the capabilities of smart gadgets. For instance, you can wirelessly connect your camera to your smart storage device so that when you click photos they can go straight to storage and from there be easily accessible for viewing on a Smart TV.
- Connected Care: Any piece of smart equipment that strives to take care of you in one form or the other falls under the Connected Care umbrella. This category includes a plethora of gadgets from fitness trackers to water purifiers to IP cameras. They perform a wide variety of services – like the smartwatch on your wrist tracking your heart rate to keep tabs on your health, the video doorbell which allows you to see who’s at the door without opening thereby enhancing your security, or even nifty lost item trackers which allow you to use GPS to find things you constantly misplace.
- Connected Accessories: Sometimes, legacy appliances don’t have a smart variant. Or it’s simply more cost-efficient to retrofit your current setup with smart capabilities. For either of these scenarios, what you need is a device from our Connected Accessories category. These include smart plugs, switches, hubs and remotes which expand the capability of regular devices. Like a vintage turntable connected to a smart plug – by enabling you to switch on the power supply to it at will, you can effectively listen to your favourite records from anywhere in your house.
Why should you start building your own connected home?A connected home provides several benefits both tangible and intangible. Obviously, convenience tops the list, allowing for several tedious chores to become seamlessly easy. There’s also a certain futuristic appeal about the prospect of walking around your living room or kitchen, while your digital assistant outlines your calendar for the day, and throws in helpful weather, traffic and news updates. Another benefit is efficiency – in both cutting down of electricity costs (smart devices usually turn themselves off when not in use) and the saving of time, which one can argue is priceless. Why manually switch on and off appliances when you can just schedule your geyser to run around the time you wake up or automatically turn off your lights after a predetermined time in the night?
With a Connected Home, what is not so evident are the intangible benefits. Ever get that sinking feeling if you turned off the oven or not? Well now you need not worry (and can double and triple check just on your phone, to allay your fears). Similarly, there’s the added peace of mind from the security measures that Connected Care devices provide. At Tata CliQ we believe that your home is an extension of you, and as such it needs to be the most comfortable place possible for you to unwind. Why work for your house when your house could instead work for you?