Smart Technology: How Far We’ve Come


There was a time – a time in our lifetime, actually – when the technology that we take for granted today was a thing of wishful thinking. A time when we still used an actual key to start our cars and when we were forced to get up and flip a switch in order to turn our lights on and off. In honor of the holiday season, I thought I’d take a look back at how far we’ve come with advancements in smart technology to reflect on how thankful I am to be a part of it all.

Then: The Clapper

Now: Smart Plugs

Who can forget The Clapper?! Not only was this a true smart device that was actually so helpful for a lot of people, but it also gave us some majorly classic commercials. Clap on! Clap off! The Clapper! These days, we have smart plugs that allow us to turn lights on and off using just our voices. You can also use those smart plugs to track your energy usage, so you can save money. The Clapper will always be appreciated as the technology that led the way for these amazing smart plugs.

Then: Universal Remote

Now: Voice Controlled Scenes

First, we all had 50 remote controls that were the real reason behind many divorces. Then, the universal remote came to save us all. Except, sometimes it was hard to program. And it was definitely hard to teach children and parents how to use it. Ultimately, the universal remote led to just as many fights. Sigh, what will save us? Today, the tech-savvy person in your household can create voice-controlled scenes that will turn on all the right things for whatever you want to do – watch a movie, play a game, start some music – all with a simple command.

Then: Outsourcing Home Monitoring

Now: Streaming to your mobile device

Home security used to be an expensive luxury that required a team of trained professionals. Now, any ole Joe can set up a camera in a flash, save video to the Cloud, and live-stream to their mobile phones and tablets. You no longer need to pay a service to monitor your security footage, you can just do it all yourself.

Then: Real assistants

Now: Smart home assistants

While real assistants are definitely still in play to help run errands, smart home assistants are taking over for scheduling management, research, and general knowledge. Amazon and Google have jumped on the smart home assistant bandwagon and offer voice-controlled devices. While these devices can’t walk your dog or do your laundry, they can tell you what the weather is before you take your dog out and they can tell you when your laundry is done or when you need to service your washing machine.

Then: Fake Rocks

Now: Smart Keys

Ahhhh the fake rock key. R.I.P. These days, all you and your guests need is their smartphone. You can set up digital keys for your guests, and you can even track each time your smart locks are accessed – either for locking or unlocking.

What’s your favorite throwback technology?

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Julie is totally technology driven. She is an early adapter, getting the newest devices first and loves seeing how they work. She is the first one called when her friends need help setting up networks, new computer systems, printers and cool home automation devices. She loves being the token "dork" in her group of friends.