In this day and age, the words connected and smart have taken on new connotations. Sure, they still retain their fundamental meanings. But when we talk about things like a connected car or a smart Crock-Pot® (yes, that’s a real thing), we’re talking about how they can sync with our technology and be accessible anytime, anywhere.

So, what does smart home technology look like?

Home automation

One quick search for “home automation” reveals a whole new shopping category — and many online stores have taken full advantage of it.

Home automation includes entertainment systems, energy management, lighting, and even home-security technologies.

What’s available in the high-tech home security aisle?

1. Bluetooth®-enabled dead bolts

We’ve all heard of electric home security systems. But what about Bluetooth-enabled doorknobs? With this technology, all you have to do is keep your smartphone (or a fob) in your pocket and then touch the lock or doorknob (depending on the manufacturer) to open your door.

You can also send electronic key codes to others from your smartphone and choose to use traditional keys as backup. Some versions of these dead bolts even act as surveillance and send your phone a picture of who’s at the door. Goji™ and Kevo are 2 companies currently exploring this technology.

2. Smart smoke detectors

These days, advanced smoke detectors can do much more than simply detect smoke (or carbon monoxide). Essentially, smart smoke detectors can talk to you.

So how does this work? It’s rather futuristic — these smart detectors (like those from Nest or Birdi) use sensors to test the air and then relay their results accordingly. Some even use colors to let you know if they’re functioning properly.

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After checking the air for soot concentrations as well as smoke and carbon-monoxide levels, some Wi-Fi enabled smart detectors can send voice and text messages to your phone about issues or emergencies in your home.

3. Connected security camera systems

Arguably the most obvious and useful component of a home security system is surveillance. Today, these extensive systems are designed to let you watch every inch of your home (inside or out) from almost any device.

Wi-Fi enabled wireless security cameras allow you to view your feed using laptops, smartphones, or tablets. Some even sync up with apps so you can watch both saved and live feeds. Other features include night vision, motion-activation that ensures the cameras only operate when necessary, and cameras that allow for 2-way communication. Companies like Insteon®, Arlo™, and Dropcam Pro are currently exploring these technologies.

It really is the future

From price to ease of use, there’s a lot to consider when automating your home. These products are meant to make our lives easier (and safer too), but it’s up to you to decide what works best for your particular needs. So make sure you do your homework.

There’s also plenty to consider when choosing the proper homeowners coverage to protect your home (and yourself). That’s why Esurance uses technology to help make sure you only pay for what’s right for you. Get a personalized quote online today. That’s insurance for the modern world.

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Smart technology | Smart home

about Rachael

After studying Literature and Writing in San Diego, Rachael said farewell to her sunny hometown and left for San Francisco to revel in the fog. When she’s not writing Tweets and blogs and all manner of copy for Esurance, Rachael spends her free time hiking, enjoying the sparse sunshine at Ocean Beach, and seeking out the best reading spots in the city.