Smart home tech­nol­ogy can help re­move school year stress

South Florida Times - - TECHNOLOGY - StatePoint

Many par­ents have wor­ries around the back-toschool sea­son, es­pe­cially if kids will be alone for a por­tion of the af­ter­noon or in the morn­ing be­fore catch­ing the bus.

What if you could keep a bet­ter eye on things when you’re not phys­i­cally there? Here are some ways to use smart home tech­nol­ogy to sim­plify daily rou­tines and min­i­mize stress know­ing the kids are safe.

Start with a Hub

A hub is like the brain of your home tech and con­nects to your router, al­low­ing de­vices like locks, ther­mostats and light­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with one an­other. The hub can even send no­ti­fi­ca­tions to youry­our mo­bile­home re­, so you can mon­i­tor and con­trol

With hubs such as SmartThings, Wink or Nexia, set­ting up your de­vices and cus­tomiza­tions is sim­ple. How­ever, you may pre­fer a hub dis­guised as se­cu­rity pan­els, such as ADT Pulse or Vivint, or those that work with pop­u­lar voice speak­ers, such as Ama­zon Echo and Google Home.


Scenes are an easy way to sync smart de­vices to per­form a se­ries of ac­tions that make life more con­ve­nient. For ex­am­ple, you can wake your kids with a “good morn­ing” scene that turns lights on and plays mu­sic via an Echo or Google Home.

Wor­ried about en­ergy bills? Keep kids from crank­ing the air af­ter school with a smart ther­mo­stat, which lets you con­trol the tem­per­a­ture through­out the day.

Af­ter home­work and chores are com­plete, a voice con­trol as­sis­tant will keep kids en­ter­tained with mu­sic, and a movie scene can lower lights and turn on speak­ers. Fin­ish the day with a “good night scene,” that shuts off lights, low­ers the tem­per­a­ture, locks the doors and arms the se­cu­rity sys­tem.

Think Safety

Your smart home can keep a watch­ful eye on kids. Smart door locks like Sch­lage or Kwik­set elim­i­nate the need for kids to keep track of house keys and let you know if they for­get to lock the door when they leave. When they get home, you’ll re­ceive a no­ti­fi­ca­tion let­ting you know they’ve ar­rived safely.

Se­cu­rity-fo­cused so­lu­tions like the Piper NV cam­era and hub, or Abode’s DIY se­cu­rity so­lu­tion alert you when some­one en­ters and ex­its, and even pro­vide video clips to your phone. Smart sen­sors, such as those from Aeotec, can no­tify you when­ever a win­dow, door or even a cabi­net drawer is opened.

Dur­ing emer­gen­cies, kids can press Fibaro’s But­ton de­vice to ac­ti­vate an emer­gency scene that sig­nals an alarm and sends a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to your phone in­di­cat­ing they need help.

Fu­ture-Proof Your Tech Smart home tech doesn’t have to be ex­pen­sive; you can start small with a hub and a few de­vices and add more as your needs change. Just be sure all your de­vices can talk to one an­other now and in the fu­ture.

With Z-Wave tech­nol­ogy for ex­am­ple, de­vices from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers can com­mu­ni­cate, no mat­ter where you bought them, so con­sider look­ing for the Z-Wave logo when shop­ping for smart home tech­nol­ogy. For smart home ideas and cus­tomer sup­port, visit

Alle­vi­ate back-to-school stress with new tools that help you keep kids safe and stream­line your day.


SmartThings Hub

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