When we think about technology, we think about our smartphones, televisions, and laptops. Our thoughts about technology don’t reach past these things because these devices are the most important pieces of technology. But, there are other smart technologies which are now being used for more important things. Nine out of 10 people around the world are breathing in polluted air. As each year passes and the global population increases, more resources are used and air pollution continues to rise. Every year approximately 7 million people die due to ambient and household air pollution.
In the west, many homes are switching to smart tech, installing smart faucets and solar windows to their homes to reduce consumption and improve air quality. But which country pays the price when it comes to air pollution? Sadly, when it comes to air pollution and health, nations that are socio-economically deprived and marginalized receive most of the burden. India is currently one of the most polluted countries in the world with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Egypt not far behind. But, could smart tech be the ticket to clean air for Indian homes? Before we answer this, we need to explain what smart home tech is and how it works.
What is smart home technology?
Twenty years ago, when we thought about smart homes, The Jetsons would pop into our heads. Self-opening doors and windows, talking fridges, and touch screen devices – these were things we saw in our dreams. Today, 2.5 billion people own smartphones. When it comes to smart technology, it’s already here, and it’s going strong. The term “smart homes” refers to homes which have appliances, heating, lighting, electronics, and camera systems that communicate with each other from any room in the house and even in remote locations around the world.
Smart homes provide owners with a heightened awareness of their dwelling, and allow them to observe their consumption. Of course, most homeowners have incorporated smart tech for monitoring usage and financial motives. If you’re able to understand how your home functions and reduce consumption, it’ll ultimately result in savings. But, as our environment worsens, smart tech is now being used to focus on improving health.
Improving air quality in Indian homes
Naturally, an important factor is the environmental causes of air pollution. The Indian government clearly needs to focus on reducing these causes if they want to reduce air pollution. Cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are severely struggling with the quality of their air. In October and November or 2019, Dehli suffered its highest pollution spike, with the government forced to ban outdoor construction and waste burning temporarily. We all know this isn’t enough effort; drastic changes must be made.
However, for the average citizen, this process of improving the environment is going to produce immediate results for air quality. This is where smart home technology can play a crucial role in improving the quality of air right away. At the end of the day, people need fresh and clean air to breathe. By changing the quality of air in their homes, they’ll be able to offset the pollution they breathe in when outside. Smart home tech can improve the standard of living directly in any home.
Until recently, people were not able to monitor their CO2 consumption, VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals) and dust. Most importantly, even if someone was able to track these factors, there was no way to respond to them. However, thanks to smart technology, there are now several ways people can monitor the quality of air. With air quality monitors they give real-time analysis of the condition of air in a house. This is the first step when improving air quality in the home. The next step is finding a solution. Through smart air purifiers, it allows the air to be cleaned. With Somfy motorized shades, these blinds will automatically close to reduce the temperature in the home, or can be programmed to open based on conditions outside. Smart tech takes over that role and protects those inside the home.
Though smart technology can and will help the population of India until the lives of those who are marginalized improve, the real causes of pollution will not go away. But change is slowly being made. India is working on a poverty strategy by increasing economic growth and investing in healthcare. By elevating the lives of marginalized communities, environmentally-friendly alternatives to burning fossil fuels, for example, will be used. However, philanthropists are also finding ways to incorporate smart tech to improve living conditions. Bill Gates is investing in developing 100 smart cities in India through his Smart Cities Mission project. These smart cities will focus on enhancing the quality of life by reducing traffic, saving energy, and improving safety.
With all levels of society working on cleaning the environment, real change can be made. As India works on increasing the socio-economic status of its citizens, air pollution will improve. Of course, fixing the issue of pollution head-on is ideal. However, in the meantime, smart home tech is one of the ways Indians can work on revamping the air quality inside their homes.