At no point of our civilization have lives been so extensively touched by technology. It defines, controls and characterizes every facet of human life today. We cannot put a step forward without technology and it never ceases to amaze that just 15-20 years back the world was vastly less connected and dependent on technology than it is today. Things have drastically changed over the last decade.
After ‘smartphones’, the latest technology initiative that has revolutionized the way we operate at home is the introduction of ‘smart homes.’ Also known as home automation or domotics, smart homes have been conceived as a concept where you can connect all devices and appliances in your house to allow them to communicate with you and with each other. These devices will be connected to a single system which you can control through an app on your smartphone or any other device. All you need to do is give a command and the appliances or devices will perform. You can connect them further to a home or voice assistant like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Voice command will cause the appliances to open, shut, increase or decrease as per your requirements. It is amazing what home automation systems seek to do for its users.
Motorized Smart Shades
As a part of this home automation system, window blinds and shades manufacturers have started coming out with their all new and innovative product, the ‘smart shades.’ These are motorized shades equipped with energy-efficient, light-filtering, and privacy control properties. They come in a variety of fabrics and materials. What sets apart the smart shades from the run-off-the-mill variant is in their control. There are no cords involved, and sometimes you don’t even need remotes. A voice command is all that is needed to operate them. These shades can now be integrated with the existing home automation system and be controlled from any part of the house through app or a smart device. This futuristic technology is becoming more and more popular because of their extremely ‘smart’ features.
What Makes Smart Shades Smart?
So we know that these shades are integrated into the smart home system. But does that make them smart? Are smart blinds are shades really smart? To understand this let us take a look at some of their features.
• As we have already discussed earlier, to operate these blinds and shades you don’t need cords or remote control. You can connect these shades to voice-activated devices like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. A simple voice command like, “Alexa, lower the shades” or “Hey Google, open the bedroom shades” will get the job done.
• Smart shades allow you to set an alarm for operating the shades. For example, “Alexa, schedule shades to open at 7 am”. The shades will rise by themselves at 7 am in the morning without you having to leave the comfort of your bed.
• You can also set these shades and blinds to an automated schedule. You can set the time when you want these shades to be lowered raised during the day. This is particularly helpful if you frequently travel and need to give an appearance that the house is not empty.
• The best part of this automation is that you do not need to remember to draw the shades or open them. So that even if you forget to close the shades during the night, the shades will close as per your set command. So your sleep will not be affected by unwanted sunlight streaming into the room.
• Say you are preparing to watch a movie at home. The movie had been switched on, you have just settled into your couch with popcorn when you remember that the shades need to close as the light from outside was interfering with the TV screen. You no longer have to grunt and get up to draw the shades. Give a command on your voice assistant, “Alexa, can you turn on movie theatre mode?” And bam! The shades are lowered.
• These smart shades can be programmed to operate in response to temperature and light sensor commands that are sent from the home automation system. So these shades and blinds will raise and lower according to the amount of light pouring in and the temperature being recorded.
• You can download the app on your smartphone and use it to operate the shades from anywhere.
Energy efficiency, light filtration, privacy control are provided by the ordinary shades as well. However, the biggest appeal and increasing popularity of smart shades is the convenience factor. A tap on your mobile device, or a voice command, and your job is done. At different times of the day, you do not need to run around the house pulling up and pulling down shades. It provides security and foolproof privacy to your homes. And when combined with other smart devices, you can set automation to operate the shades according to different conditions or in sync with your other smart home devices, making these shades a crucial part of the smart home.