It’s the smart age, isn’t it? From smart phones to smart cars, products and services are leveraging technology to provide convenience and efficiency with a touch of a button. Buildings or the homes we live in are also playing in that space. Worldwide, homeowners are increasingly building smart and in this part of the world, there’s evidence to show the uptake is increasing. Chances are, even without realizing, you have an element of smart technology in your home. To have a better picture, let us to a closer look at what smart homes are, and assess if Ghana is ready for this shift.
A smart home is a convenient home setup where appliances and devices can be automatically controlled remotely from any internet-connected place in the world using a mobile or any other networked device. A smart home has its devices interconnected through the internet, and the user can control functions such as security access to the home, temperature, lighting and home electrical appliances. An illustration by Lamudi below best captures what a smart home is:
“From the moment you wake up in the morning, the house reacts to your needs. The automated lights turn on slowly to wake you up at a scheduled time. From the comfort of your bed, you switch on your coffee machine so your morning cup is fresh and hot by the time you arrive downstairs for breakfast.
You enter the bathroom and stand in front of your intelligent mirror. The mirror’s reflective surface springs to life with all the information you need to kick-start your day, including the weather and the morning’s top news. The device also plays your favourite music so you are always guaranteed to start the day in a good mood. After getting ready, you go to the kitchen for breakfast where your smart refrigerator alerts you that you are nearly out of milk. With the tap of a finger on the fridge’s touch screen, you can restock your fridge and order all your groceries for the week through an online store.
The infiltration of technology to assist with these small daily tasks may just be the beginning. The fully-connected home is designed to boost energy efficiency, protect against intruders and even monitor your family’s health.”
-Effective Management of all of your home devices from one place
-Maximizing home security
-Remote control of home functions
-Increased energy efficiency
-Improved appliance functionality
-Provision of home management insights
The stats provide further indication -
Growing uptake of mobile subscription and internet connectivity. Ghana has close to 19 million unique mobile subscribers – equivalent to 67 percent of the population, well above the average of 44 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa. Access to the Internet via mobile has increased from 2 percent in 2005 to 45 percent of the population today. These numbers show that with growing uptake of internet connectivity services will also result in a correspondent increase in associated connectivity service like smart home devices.
Growing demand for secure homes and assisted living via automation. Devices such as Google Home Amazon’s Alexa are the latest voice-controlled devices making home automation more attractive than ever with respect to security, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (hvac), lighting controllers, entertainment, energy management and home health.
Growing population and middle class. A report by Oxford Business Group predicts that consumer spending is set to continue increasing through 2030. The population is growing by 2.2% each year. The long-term opportunities in the market are promising, thanks in large part to Ghana’s young and growing population. More than 50% of citizens are under the age of 25, providing a stream of tech-savvy and eager consumers to the potential retail market.
The smart revolution is permeating every facet of our lives, and while there may be some security concerns with so much intrusion in our lives, smart homes largely ensure convenience, efficiency in home management. Are you a disciple yet?
The writer is the Executive director of Yecham Property Consult
& Founder of Ghana Green Building Summit.
Linkedin: Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh