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But what do smart homes actually do?

10th November 2017

We spend such a lot of time thinking about smart homes that it’s sometimes easy to skip the basics: like how does a connected home actually help you? And what’s the simplest way to get started?

So today we thought we’d rewind, put the gadgets down for a moment, and start from the top: this post is all about why we think smart homes are such a good idea.

New tech for an old idea

It might seem futuristic but actually the idea of the smart home is nothing new. The architect Le Corbusier described the home as “a machine for living” way back in 1923, and science fiction writers have long predicted the arrival of voice-activated gizmos and automatic home appliances.

That said, for a long time the reality of home automation never got much further than security lights, timer ovens and timer plugs.

Useful but hardly Star Trek.

Now though, thanks to the ability to connect home appliances to the internet, our technology is finally catching up with our imagination.

‘Alexa… we need more toilet paper’

It’s now possible to have a robot take care of the vacuuming while you watch the shows your smart television has recommended to you.

Voice-activated technologies like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant let you turn on your lights, control your heating and even do your weekly shop with your voice.

Connecting things to the internet lets you control everything from one place too – more often than not an app on your phone. The future really is coming home.

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Yes, but what’s the point?

Smart home tech isn’t just gadgetry. It makes managing your home easier, it helps you have more fun, and it helps you relax more while you’re away.  

For example, when you can turn your lights and heating on from anywhere, you never have to arrive home to a cold, dark house again.

If you’ve got little ones at home who don’t like the dark, you can make the landing lights come on automatically for them when they open their door (you never know, it might even stop them waking you up…)

When you use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control your home it takes it to a whole new level: feeling too hot while watching TV? Just say ‘Alexa, turn down the thermostat’ and the job’s done without you leaving the sofa.

Of course, there are financial and security benefits to a smart home too. Making your home smarter could save you loads on your energy bills, as you’ll never have to heat an empty home, and cameras and motion sensors let you know about any unusual activity wherever you are, so you always have peace of mind when you’re away.

So where does Hive come in?

It’s totally natural to think that setting up a smart home is complex or expensive. But that isn’t true anymore – and that’s where we think we have a role.

Our products are designed to make turning your home into a smarter place easy. Our shop will help you start from scratch, or if you’ve already got Hive Active Heating it’s simple to add on extra things like smart lights and plugs to get your home working around you.

Another important thing: you can choose whether you buy your products upfront or pay monthly. We’ve bundled our products into plans so you can pay over a 12-month period with no interest.

Anyone can use our products, no matter who your energy provider is. You can install and set up everything we sell yourself (although if you’d rather a professional installed your thermostat, you can have a British Gas engineer come and do it for you). And if you ever have any questions, we’re easily contactable and ready to talk you through it.

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