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What Is a Smart House?

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A smart house is a house that has highly advanced automatic systems for lighting, temperature control, multi-media, security, window and door operations, and many other functions.

A smart home appears "intelligent" because its computer systems can monitor so many aspects of daily living. For example, the refrigerator may be able to inventory its contents, suggest menus, recommend healthy alternatives, and order groceries. The smart home systems might even take care of cleaning the cat's litter box and watering the plants.

The idea of a smart home may sound like something out of Hollywood. A 1999 movie titled Smart House (compare prices) presents the comical antics of an American family that wins a "house of the future" with an android maid who causes havoc. Other films show a sci-fi vision of smart home technology that seems improbable.

However, smart home technology is real, and it's becoming increasingly sophisticated. Coded signals are sent through the home's wiring to switches and outlets that are programmed to operate appliances and electronic devices in every part of the house. Home automation can be especially useful for elderly and disabled persons who wish to live independently.

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