Cities have been growing around the globe in the past few years. A United Nations report has estimated that about 68% of the world’s total population will be living in urban centers by the year 2050. This will see an increase of about 70% in solid waste, according to the World Bank.
This might be difficult to handle considering that the world is already facing challenges handling waste management. An increase in solid waste might see increased illegal dumping which might lead to other challenges, especially in public health.
Fortunately, advancements in technology have seen some parts of the world adopting IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and APIs (Applications Programming Interfaces) in a bid to make waste management smarter.
How can IoT, APIs, and AI make waste management better?
1. e-Waste Kiosks
Among the different types of waste that you can find in a waste bin, you will also find electronic gadgets. This kind of waste is known as e-waste. The toxicological implications of e-waste, things such as laptops. MP3 players, tablets, and phones can hurt both human beings and the environment.
They, therefore, have to be recycled well to avoid these effects. Fortunately, technology can be used to build e-waste kiosks that use smart applications to evaluate and determine the condition of electronic devices.
Those that are in bad condition and already hurting their owners or the environment can then be disposed of correctly.
2. Sensors for Waste Levels
Sensors powered by APIs, IoT, and AI can be used to implement a smart waste management system that works well for cities. These sensors can be used to track how much waste a bin has accumulated and then share that information with collection service providers.
The collection service providers will not only use this information for collection when the bins are full but also for planning and prediction. For instance, they can time routes and predict when to collect a bin based on the time that a bin takes before getting full.
Research has indicated that these sensors can help reduce the cost of waste management by about 50%. This is because waste bins can be collected on time, eliminating other maintenance requirements that arise from overfilling of the bins.
3. Waste Receptacles
Using Artificial Intelligence, waste collection service providers can build waste bins that come with waste receptacles to sort through waste, recognize different types of waste, and separate them depending on the requirements of the waste collectors.
For instance, if you were to manually sort through a waste bin in a city, you will find different types of waste. Things such as plastics, glasses, nylon papers, or even food waste will be mixed in the bin.
If you were to separate them manually, this would take you a lot of time. Technology has changed this. Using AI receptacles, waste can be sorted into different categories. This plays a crucial role in the transition to smart waste management.
4. AI-Powered Recycling Robots
Looking at a waste bin, you are likely going to find a lot of waste that can be recycled. However, how long can it take a person to manually separate the waste that can be recycled from the one that cannot?
Through AI and APIs, companies can build robots that do this for them. For this to work, understanding what an API is very important. This is because the APIs communicate and share data in a bid to help the robots differentiate different types of waste.
With such robots, waste such as plastic can be reused. Different types of waste that can be reused can be sent to companies for recycling instead of landfills. Using these robots, human error can be eliminated and operational costs reduced.
5. Load Monitoring of Garbage Tracks
We have talked about sensors for waste levels in waste bins above. These bins are emptied into garbage tracks. So, it also makes sense for waste collection service providers to also put sensors into their garbage tracks.
By doing this, the waste collection service providers will be able to monitor the levels of waste on their garbage tracks. This way, they can collect data that can be used to predict when their tracks are likely going to fill up.
With such information, they can find ways to minimize or reduce the number of trips they have to make when collecting garbage. Over some time, they will be able to analyze the collected data to help in future planning and minimizing operational costs.
As technology advances, we are going to see more technologies making waste management better and smarter.
With the huge innovation and advancement in home technology, weather stations have become a popular purchase and are something that many homeowners are incorporating in their homes. There are numerous reasons why people are opting for these devices, and the huge array of options available, picking the right one is easier than ever as you can cut out a lot of the work by reading these reviews by Temperaturesensei.
Although there are many people who already have weather stations in their homes, there are still some who are uncertain about this technology and do not know whether they should incorporate it or not. In this post, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about home weather stations, including the benefits.
What is a Weather Station
A weather station is a relatively small gadget that has various tools that enable it to discern the surrounding weather. It is equipped with an array of temperature monitors and sensors, which give you information about the climate around you and the environment that you might be in. Not long ago, this was technology that was primarily utilized in meteorological departments to gather weather data.
However, innovation in technology has led to the creation of smaller versions while maintaining the same functionality. These gadgets are designed to give localized information regarding the weather conditions around the house or nearby areas. They have proven to be pretty accurate and very efficient in proving the readings you want.
Applications of a Weather Station
These devices have an array of uses that have made them quite popular. Professionally, weather stations are utilized to garner data and provide weather information of a certain area. However, home weather stations take a more practical approach and provide information that you would need.
For instance, a home weather station can give you information on the temperature so that you can dress accordingly. If you’re planning a BBQ party on the weekend, you can use the device to know whether the weather will be conducive that day. There are numerous applications of these gadgets and all can help you be better prepared for any kind of weather condition.
Benefits of Home Weather Station
With the numerous uses of these devices, there are many benefits associated with them. If you are on the fence about purchasing one, then it would help to know the advantages of home weather stations.
1. Accurate Readings
Chances are the meteorological department is located far from your house. In such a case, the weather predictions you get may not be the most precise. That’s because the weather in that region may not be the same as where you reside. This is where home weather stations become more advantageous. These gadgets provide the exact details regarding the temperature of where you live. That’s because the readings are centered around your residence.
2. Real-Time Data
This is probably the reason why most people are opting for the home weather station. The ability to get real-time information makes this device worth the purchase. In the past, people used to rely on weather reports on the news for predictions or reports from the meteorological departments. Well, you no longer have to depend on these sources and get your own precise data on the weather much faster, thus allowing to make plans in a more convenient manner.
3. Real-Time Alerts
The weather changes every time and it can take an unexpected turn that’s not ideal, especially in regions that are prone to hurricanes and storms. Owning a weather station can help you and your loved ones in such situations, stay safe when weather changes are detected. With real-time data and alerts, you will be informed about the weather all the time, thus helping you stay safer.
4. Share Data
Home weather stations can ideally run on multiple devices simultaneously, meaning every family member can be able to use them. This makes it easy to share information regarding weather conditions, thus helping everyone stay up to date and prepared. This is again extremely helpful in regions that experience harsh weather conditions and need to warn each other.
5. Ease of Use
Home weather stations are designed with ease of use and efficiency in mind. They are meant to provide precise weather information in a simple way. If you’re looking for a gadget that’s easy to read and does not bombard you with jargon, then a home weather station is the answer. It is a simple and efficient gadget that’s easy to use even for older people. It is also easy to install, which adds to the advantages.
6. Creates a Smarter Home
Smart homes are the in thing today. Installing a home weather station is certainly a great way to make your home more efficient. The devices were designed with the needs of people who need instant information about the weather in mind and they do a great job at satisfying those needs. If you are looking to create a smarter home that will be efficient for years to come, then this something that you should incorporate today.
7. Precise Forecasting
Knowing the current weather conditions around your residence is just not enough. There are times when you want to know about the weather forecast for the next several days. Well, these gadgets are designed to deliver just that. A weather station can help you prepare better for the weather in the next few days and help you plan your activities better.
8. Helps in Home Maintenance
Protecting your home from weather damage is imperative, particularly if you reside in places that experience drastic weather changes and harsh conditions. Heat, rain and snow can cause substantial damage to your home, causing you to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements. A simple weather station can help you better maintain your house throughout the seasons and even safeguard your house from weather damage.
Tips for Buying a Home Weather Station
To enjoy the benefits of a home weather station, you need to choose the right device. When it comes to picking one, there are two primary things to consider; the sensors and the price.
When purchasing a home weather station, do not lean towards the cheapest in order to save a little money. The more you spend on a device, the more reliable and accurate it will be. Cheaper models are less precise with data, and this defeats the purpose of owning one.
An ideal weather station should have a thermometer for temperature measurement, a barometer for atmospheric pressure, anemometer for wind speed and direction, humidity sensor for humidity levels and rain gauge for rainfall and precipitation.
With more and more brands and companies launching a variety of different smart lighting systems, speakers, sensors, it is easier than ever to convert your home into a smart home. If you have no prior experience in creating a smart home, it can be a confusing task to choose the right kind of devices. Moreover, you might not even know the solutions available to convert your home into a smart home. That is why it is vital to first understand how to transform your home into a smart home.
If you’re worried about the expenses, there are many ways in which you can create a smart home within your budget. It will allow you to control the various aspects of your home without having to spend a significant amount of money.
Moreover, the products available these days are becoming more and more affordable. As a result, it is easier to build a smart home. We will today list a step-by-step guide which will allow you to convert your home into a smart home.
1. Smart lighting
Lighting systems are the best way to control the appearance of your home. Moreover, when you opt for a smart lighting system, you can easily control the ambiance of the house with the help of a Wi-Fi connection. Most of them offer a mobile application through which, you can efficiently manage the entire lighting system. Every light on the lighting system connects to the central hub.
Therefore, controlling it is easier than ever. When you’re looking at the individual bulbs which you can buy and integrate with the Wi-Fi connection at home, you can opt for the ones from TP-Link and LIFX. These products are not only compatible with the Wi-Fi connection, but many of them work along with Bluetooth as well.
Some of the other well-known companies who sell such smart bulbs include Philips Hue, Sengled Element. These, however, can be controlled by Zigbee signals which in turn work along with the Wi-Fi signal. Ultimately, A router can control them. You can manage these with the help of the app on your smartphone. The app will work on any Android-based device. As a result, programming the light according to the theme selected in the app is not a problem at all.
In case, you want to automate your existing lighting system you can change the switches and replaced them with smart switches and cameras. You can use smartphone applications to control them. Some of the companies which sell the smart switches are TP-LINK, Ecobee, Leviton, etc. these switches are directly controllable through Wi-Fi. It will not require a central hub.
That is why; you can save a significant amount of money by going for the switches. If you want a centralized system, you can go with Noon Home’s system. It is comparatively expensive, but it allows you to have complete control over the lighting system. Thus, when it comes to smart lighting, there are a wide variety of options available.
2. Smart speakers
Smart speakers play a significant role in a smart-home. You can control the various functions of the house using the voice commands. As a result, they work as an assistant to control every aspect of your home. You can go with the Google home speaker or the Amazon Echo speaker. The choice is entirely up to you. If you want a single speaker to control the various options, you can go with Amazon Echo speaker.
On the other hand, if you’re going to create a series of such points in your home, you can go with the Google home series. Google series works on the fact that you can install multiple speakers throughout your home and one in each room to control every aspect of your home. That is why, if you want to create a network of smart devices, Google home is the perfect option for you.
Google home is controlled using Google assistant. Amazon Echo devices are controlled using Amazon Alexa. Even Lenovo sells quick display series which work using Google home.
Lenovo is not alone, which is integrating these devices along with its offerings. Various other device manufacturers are doing the same. That is why, when you want to incorporate the smart speakers in your home, it is easier to do so. You can create the entire ecosystem of smart devices and control TVs, lights, thermostats, and a variety of other functions of your home with the help of these speakers.
3. Smart thermostats
Climate control systems in our home consume the maximum amount of energy. Moreover, when the weather is at extremes, they make sure that the ambiance in your home is entirely comfortable. You can go a step further and save even more energy with the help of smart thermostats. These ensure that you can easily control the ambiance of your home. These thermostats have a predictive system which means that they can set the temperature of the house conveniently and on their own.
When you look at the basic working of these thermostats, they require you to set up sensors everywhere in your home. They control the temperature precisely in the part of the house where you are present. They also keep the rest of the home like the passageways at a comfortable temperature. However, precise control is in the area in which the individuals are present. HVAC companies recommend pairing your system with smart vents for optimal efficiency. Hence, there is a significant amount of energy saving.Thus, when you want to control the temperature of your home efficiently, smart thermostats are the perfect option.
4. Home Security Cameras
When converting your home into a smart one, it is also essential to make it more secure. The smart-homes are easy to secure as they rely on sensors and devices rather than individuals. It is even more affordable as compared to hiring security guards. The best tool which you have got to handle the security of your home in a smarter way is the smart camera. With the help of the smart CCTV camera, it is easier to monitor your home.
Moreover, when there is any unusual activity in your home, you can get alert easily. Also, the smart cameras which we are speaking about are not just helpful for detecting intrusions or burglary, but also can help you in monitoring your children and pets. They are multipurpose which means that you can use them for the application which you prefer.
Some of the options which you have when it comes to smart cameras are:
The advantage of smart cameras is that they incorporate lights and a variety of different motion sensors into the security system. They also integrate the doorbell so that you can easily monitor the entry and exit points of your home. You can communicate with the individuals at the entrance and exit points without having to open the door at all. You can do so remotely as well. As a result, you can control the access to your home remotely or from your smartphone without any problem. Video doorbells are very popular these days not only for security reasons but also for smart features.
The motion sensors ensure that you get an alert whenever there is unusual activity in the monitored area. As a result, you always get alerts about any intrusion or unfriendly individuals even before they enter your home. The smart cameras are easy to install and do not require any unique fixtures which ensures that you can make the security of your home smarter by merely installing these cameras and connecting them with the Wi-Fi system.
5. Smart audio systems
The multi-room audio systems ensure that you can get that you get entertainment in every room. There are options to choose from like:
These are self-contained speakers. You can keep them in every room and connect them with the Wi-Fi. They will help you to stream the music. Moreover, they can stream music from a variety of different services like Spotify. You can also select the tracks through your smartphone.
The difference between the speakers and something like Amazon Echo or Google home systems is that these speakers have a much better audio quality. They are not just for listening to commands, but actually up the entertainment quotient. Moreover, they can be integrated with TV and enhance your music watching experience. You can control them with the help of the tablet or the smartphone without any problem.
When speaking about something like Sonos, it works with the help of Amazon Alexa digital assistant. As a result, you can integrate it into your smartphone without any problem. Thus, when looking up the entertainment question and make your entertainment devices smarter, these are the speakers which you should choose.
6. Smart sensors
The sensors play the role of eyes and ears in any smart-home system. Without sensors, it will be challenging to control the functions of a smart-home. The smart sensors ensure that they detect motion inside and outside the home. Inside the house, they correct the climate control system to make the ambiance more habitable. Also, they can switch on and off the lights depending on whether a room is vacant or not. Hence, it becomes easier for you to automate the climate control system.
Additionally, some of the sensors are used for smoke detection as well. The smoke detection sensors alert the smartphone numbers which you input as well. You can authorize a contact to get an alert with the help of the smart sensors. As a result, whenever there is a problem at your home, the authorized contacts will get an instant alert as well. When those contacts get a warning, they can act accordingly and arrange for the emergency services to reach your home as well. The sensors are not just available for fire detection.
There are the sensors which monitor the air quality of your home as well. These sensors, especially monitor the carbon monoxide levels. Accordingly, it instructs the climate control system to filter the air or the air purifier to activate. The more the number of sensors the more precisely each smart device can operate.
Also, there are smart smoke alarms available. The Nest Protect is such a smoke alarm system. It has emergency lights as well to show you the way out. Moreover, it sends an alert to your contacts as well. When it comes to sensors, they can accomplish a wide variety of factors. It is wise to use such sensors in your home to make your home smarter and safer.
7. Smart irrigation system
Technology is available to automate every system of your home. That is why, if you’re worried about manually doing the lawn and garden irrigation, you don’t need to worry anymore. The smart irrigation systems can automatically detect the moisture in your lawn or your garden. As a result, they can use the irrigation devices to ensure that you can water the garden or backyard. They also take into account the type of plants which you have.
Moreover, if you do not want to automate them, you can control them through your app. You can install duplicators or sprinkle indicators. When you manage them with the help of the app, they will start and stop according to your commands. As a result, without having to control the irrigation devices manually, you can efficiently manage your garden or your lawn. When you do that, you can be sure that the plants or the garden will always be in proper condition.
The advantage of smartphone app control is that even when traveling, you can water your lawn as well as your garden without any problem. It will ensure that you don’t need to hire anyone else to take care of the lawn or garden irrigation.
So, when it comes to converting your home into a smart home, these are the seven steps which you need to follow. Each of the above steps deals with a different system. With the help of these seven smart home systems, it is easier than ever to automate various aspects of your home. According to VIP Realty, homes will also sell faster and for more money.
You can control them from your mobile application as well which will ensure that you can customize each element of your home remotely. In the process, you can also save a significant amount of resources and utilities. With smart systems becoming more and more affordable, now there is no reason why you should not convert your home into a smart home.
Domestic energy efficiency has advanced a long way over the last few decades. Despite our overall energy consumption increasing by just over a third since 1980, on average our homes consume around 10% less overall. How can this be the case when we have so many more electrical appliances? Back in 1980, not many homes had more than a single TV, and computers and mobile phones were essentially non-existent. Yet somehow they used more electricity!
The answer to this question comes down to one simple principle. Energy efficiency. Government regulations and technical advances led by the private sector have resulted in appliances that are simply more sustainable. Throw in a better public understanding of the importance of reducing carbon emissions, and also the use of money expert comparison sites to track the expense of powering a home, and it the picture becomes a little clearer.
Expect to see this trend become ever more prevalent in the near future, as sustainability has become a huge industry that continues to rapidly expand.
Here’s a selection of the most recent energy efficiency innovations that are already helping homeowners save money that we can expect to become common place over the coming years.
1. Smart Homes
At first glance, you may wonder what the point is in buying a new domestic appliance that is advertised as ‘internet connected/ready’. After all, who is going to need a web compatible refrigerator or air conditioning unit? It is increasingly common for newly released appliances to boast this feature because in the coming years, our homes are going to be much more connected than at present. Being able to monitor and control energy expenditure remotely via smartphone is a tech that is already with us – but these are still the early days.
The next big step forward is going to be the implementation of wireless sensors throughout the home. These will connect all the appliances in the home to a centralized control panel which will automatically instruct how they interact with the energy supply.
For instance, appliances not in use, but on ‘standby’ mode will be entirely disconnected from the power supply when nobody is at home. Heating and air conditioning use will be precisely measured according to the ambient temperature. Just these two examples – and there are many more in the pipeline – are set to shave a considerable amount of household energy consumption in the very near future.
2. Next Generation Home Insulation
The US Industrial Science & Technology Network takes the approach that heating and cooling costs can best be reduced by simply developing superior insulation. While still at the development stage, these are promised to be far more efficient at preventing heat from escaping.
As may be expected, they are also going to be environmentally sound and most likely comprised of recycled foam materials. Should these be proven to work, there is a very good chance they will become the industry norm for new build and redeveloped housing in the years to come.
3. Reflective Roofing Materials
While insulation is ideal for maintaining an ambient temperature what about those who live in warmer climes? Everyone knows how expensive it is to run air conditioning 24 hours a day, but there have been considerable recent advances in reflective rooftop materials. Currently, these work by using special pigments that are coated onto the roof in order to reflect sunlight and heat.
The next generation in development will use fluorescent pigments that look likely to be up to four times more efficient. So for those who reside in areas where effective air conditioning is essential around the year, these new materials may well be an absolute godsend.
4. Magnetocaloric Refrigerators
A fridge powered by magnets? Close, but not quite. Refrigeration technology has barely changed or advanced since they were first introduced. Modern fridges still rely on vapor compression, which unfortunately requires chemical coolants that are notoriously bad for the environment.
Next generation models are going to be able to make use of water-based coolants that make use of the magnetocaloric effect. In layperson’s terms, this is the use of magnets to alter the magnetic field which can provide an extremely energy efficient cooling effect. Expect this to become commonplace in the coming years, thanks to their potential in enormously reducing energy expenditure and carbon emissions.
5. Much More Efficient Heat Pumps
Considerable progress has been made by the US Building Technologies Office in developing heat pumps that essentially move heat throughout the home. There are three models in design that promise to considerably reduce expenditure on heating while also significantly reduce carbon emissions. Standard gas boilers/furnaces are notoriously expensive and inefficient.
A low-cost gas-based heating pump could massively increase efficiency and result in lowering heating costs by a staggering 45%.
Multiple function fuel based pumps designed for domestic use can still save an estimated 30% with the added bonus of also providing more efficient water heating.
Natural gas based heating pumps connected with air conditioners aim to use a very low emission boiler to cater for all domestic needs regardless of the season. Of all three options, this is the most complete package and the one most likely to become widespread in the coming years.
These styles of heat pumps are also going to be used to significantly reduce the energy used by clothes drying machines. General Electric has been already near completing their first gas pump compatible dryer. This is intended to reduce the energy consumption of perhaps the least efficient appliance in the home by up to 60%.
6. Even Better LED Lighting
Energy saving lighting may have become the accepted norm in many households, and the good news is that it is set to become even better. At present these are up to 85% more efficient than old fashioned incandescent bulbs, but the next generation – scheduled for a few years time – promise to double their efficiency. An improvement up to 230 lumens (from the current 115) is forecast.
8% of all electricity consumption in the USA are due to lighting homes and businesses. Having that figure will make for a huge national saving and reduction of energy costs across the board.
7. Advanced Window Insulation
While still in development this may not sound like a huge advance, but could well result in enormous net energy savings down the line. Using microprocessors and sensors to measure sunlight and radiant heat, these are going to automatically provide shading to assist with providing ideal natural lighting and also assist with heating. Expect these to be integrated with the general smart home system outlined above in due course.
So there we have seven of the most exciting and interesting energy efficiency innovations that we can expect to see in the home over the coming years. While some are already in production while others are just passing the prototype phase, the future is looking positive in terms of reducing emissions and better managing energy consumption.
Energy efficiency is here to stay and these developments will likely only be the tip of the iceberg compared to what we can look forward to over coming decades.
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