I think it’s fair to say that most people are glad to have 2020 behind them, particularly if they or their family were directly affected by the coronavirus. But the sudden changes to lives and lifestyles wrought by the pandemic did have some benefits for those fortunate enough to dodge any of 2020’s least pleasant ‘bullets’. For me, all that stay-at-home time was just the impetus I needed to try out the many different IoT and smart devices that there are out there right now.

In March 2020, I made the mental adjustment to throw caution to the wind and adopt many of the technological conveniences I had long forsworn. Membership to an “all-channels” online + brick and mortar store saw deliveries to my doorstep skyrocket.

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Moving to the Edge

Is Edge going to change everything or will it fit alongside everything we already have?

Finally adopting online banking

My smartphone saw me adding more than 20 apps while deleting numerous others. New to my phone were banking, investing, travel, and contactless payments, along with a number of everyday convenience apps. While these have been available for years, perhaps I have been a bit of a Luddite. Working for a technology company, it was time to directly experience the products we have developed over the years.

And my home saw a number of IoT devices added along with an overhaul of the networks delivering connectivity to those devices. A new router, multiple wireless access points, intelligent window shades, a smart doorbell, and Wi-Fi enabled in-ground sprinkler system controller were just a few of the new additions for 2020.

What changed my mind to make me suddenly adopt the new bells and whistles? Perhaps it was the increased time spent at home. At least one was driven by a desire for improved home energy efficiency. Perhaps age was a factor. Maybe it was the desire to be able to speak authoritatively on the topic with relatives who are even more deeply rooted in the past.

Or, potentially, it was the desire to look ahead to one day selling my home and knowing that new homes today frequently come with such amenities already built in. Whatever the motivation, I am glad, in retrospect, that I was able to adjust mentally to accept some of what today’s Internet of Things technologies have to offer.

An older generation iPad has been repurposed as the dining room table interface for the smart shades. Really, it’s a backup for the odd time none of us have a smartphone in a pocket at the dinner table.

Our old analog doorbell never worked right from the day we moved in. The new smart doorbell now has wirelessly connected chimes on every floor and every smartphone has a connected app that also rings to let us know whenever the latest Amazon shipment has been delivered. And I get a video recording of whoever was at the door.

The new sprinkler controller is able to look at the weather forecast for the next few days and adjust watering times by zone based on the outlook for precipitation. Hopefully, this means reduced water usage and greener plants without the need to manually adjust everything.

Generation games

Having grown somewhat comfortable with the changes in my home, I now hope to implement much of the same for my parents during 2021. Octogenarians remaining in the home where they raised their children and comfortable using an iPhone, they can benefit from having a smart doorbell and being able to see who is at the door without getting up from the HSL sofa in the living room.

It is both a matter of security and convenience. Letting the blinds adjust themselves according to the time of day, lighting, and outdoor temperature will mean not having to remember to open or close them. And installing an in-ground sprinkler system with remote control, after 50+ years of hosing by hand means there will be fewer opportunities for someone to trip over a coiled hosepipe, and make it less likely that the lawn will die of thirst during a hot Texas summer. It will also mean more time to enjoy the garden, rather than tending it.

Behind the scene, I will be putting in products from Legrand and those of our partners to improve the quality of life for parents on both sides of the family. Being able to remotely connect to those devices means I will have no problems helping resolve any issues whenever they inevitably arise, regardless of whether I’m next door or halfway round the world.

Why Legrand?

Legrand makes IoT devices and enables IoT connections that will perform well long into the future. Internet-enabled devices of all sorts rely on our products every day. Our copper, fiber, and wireless connectivity solutions enable IoT devices to communicate with the internet non-stop around the globe.

Our cabinets, UPS, intelligent power distribution units and overhead power distribution systems keep the hyperscale data centers (the cloud and more) running 24 hours a day. Beyond being IoT end points, our intelligent lighting, shading, and residential controls bring reliability, convenience and simplicity to the commercial real estate market as well as the home. If you haven’t seen us online or at the local home improvement store, perhaps 2021 is the time for you to get to know Legrand and see why we are a leader in so many product areas.