Engineering and the heart of the home

After the medical profession, engineers must be the next group who have most significantly contributed to the lifestyle and comfort we enjoy today. From massive projects such as roads and bridges to smaller everyday articles such as washing machines, toasters and hairdryers – engineers are the people who have innovated and driven solutions to the problems and difficulties we have faced over the millennia.

In fact, they have completely changed the world we live in – and no more so than in the home where gadgets and gizmos are on the beep all day long. It’s worth thinking about the hours of design, crafting and testing that has gone into your coffee machine, fridge, blender or electric mixer. That’s before we think about televisions, computers, lighting, air-conditioning, sensor beams, printers, cars, lawnmowers, microwaves, dishwashers, etc.

From tablets and laptops to smart televisions, the 21st century household is packed with ingenious devices.

Engineering spans the fields of computer, mechanical, software, aerospace and robotics engineering. Worldwide, the discipline is having amazing impact on many of today’s global problems including energy, environmental change, life-long health and wellbeing, and nanoscience. But where we see and experience real change is right within the home.

Changing lifestyles

Streaming movies: We used to go to the cinema, then we had video machines, then DVD’s – now we have smart televisions and streaming services. Broadband in the home allows us to download movies, stream music, browse the internet, make video calls and download large files quickly. Smart televisions are now in more than 50% of residential homes. For a fee, services such as Netflix offer instant access to television programs and movies, while platforms such as Spotify do the same for music.

Gamers: As a result of fast internet connections and the development of consoles, gamers can now play across the globe, with E-sports rising as a popular new home craze.

Smart meters: These are devices that provide consumers with real-time information on energy usage. By seeing how much energy is being used, consumers can manage their usage more effectively, thus saving money and reducing emissions.

The robotic craze is coming!

Virtual assistants: Whether it’s Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Google’s Home, virtual assistants are becoming common in many homes. These sleek items react to voice commands to undertake a range of tasks, from playing music and providing weather forecasts, to recipe advice.

Smart ovens: Today’s smart ovens can be controlled using verbal commands, can be turned on and off remotely, and are able to send users notifications when food has been cooked.

Robotic vacuums: These devices take the elbow grease out of cleaning as they move around homes sucking up dirt and dust autonomously.

Smart locks: Locks that don’t require keys to open them are becoming a convenient way of securing property. These locks can be controlled using an app or by entering a passcode.

Smart doorbells: This nifty invention offers safety-conscious households an extra layer of security. When the bell is rung or one of its motion sensors activated, the homeowner receives a notification on their cell phone that someone is attempting access to their property. Using their mobile device, they can see who that person is and if necessary, speak to them.

Engineering essentially turns great ideas behind projects into reality

My role as a software engineer was to design and build the augmented reality (AI) service ‘Ask Oli’, and integrate this into the official hospital app. This was a revolutionary app, which had the potential to improve young patients’ experiences in hospital. For me, the project became very varied. I not only detailed system architecture design, security and coding, but also built a rapport with clinicians and hospital staff to help gather requirements, showcasing the variety of work you can do as an engineer.”

~ David Meredith, Software Engineer

Get in Outsource Engineers to handle your project

Imagine you could take your pick from a dream stable of just about every kind of engineering resource available at a moment’s notice. OutEng offers just that. Comprising a network of trusted, experienced and highly skilled engineers, project managers and technical people, including ECSA registered engineers in almost every discipline, all our engineers are freelancers or contractors who are contracted in per job as their skill is required. Each operates as an independent Business Unit, therefore covering own overheads (working from home or over weekends or remotely).

OutEng is setting new trends and standards in an agile, trust-based business style that is taking the engineering environment by storm. Across a multitude of cost-effective engineering and project services, you can expect:

  • solid expertise and experience
  • a unique combination of design, project management and engineering capability
  • well-informed professionals who are up to date with the latest research.

To find out more, visit: www.outeng.co.za

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