The Current Trends In Home Automation And The Future Of Smart Homes
The primary goal that all smart home technology aims to achieve is making lives more convenient and efficient for the people using it. With the world of technology making significant improvements on almost a weekly basis, the smart home market and the number of products available are expanding rapidly. So what can we expect in the years ahead and what were the top trends in smart homes in 2016? If you wanted to know the answer, look no further!
We will be looking at the top 10 trends in smart home technology; that emerged in 2016, and they look like they are here to stay.
1: Voice Control
With the introduction of the popular Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri, the world of technology has been focused on making more and more smart plugs, smartphones, and common household devices to be controlled with your voice. There already are music systems, lights, thermostats, or even home automation systems which can be controlled with the voice and with major brand names like Lutron, NEST, Sonos, working diligently to promote the use of voice control in smart homes, it is only a matter of time until you will be able to control almost all of the water taps in your home merely with your voice.
2: Miniaturized and Affordable Systems
Not so long ago most of the potential customers for smart home technology owned huge mansions and had a large amount of spare cash to spend on electronic products and systems. This is why it has been a major goal for all of the manufacturers to make sure that the smart home technology can be miniaturized and brought down within the budget restraints of most consumers. With the capacity to automate a small portion of your house for as low as £250 these days, it is only going to take a couple of years for smart homes to become common place.
3: Elegant Networking
With the advancement in wireless technology, the ugly router which used to be put inside a closet or else hidden somewhere else in your house is a now challenge of the past. Almost all of the major brands have diligently worked to make routers and access points that do not look out of place or stick out with your home. The added benefit is that you can set these routers almost anywhere within your house without having to worry about ruining the appearance of the entire room. When you put the access point and Wi-Fi Routers out in the open, there is certainly going to be a significant improvement regarding the overall performance of the router giving greater connectivity to your smart home devices.
4: The Revival Of Touch Panels
While iPads have been the preferred platform to manage and monitor the smart devices inside a house, the market is experiencing a major comeback from the traditional touch panels. The touch panels have increased in size featuring 12-inch coloured screens, and since they are manufactured to perform a single job only, they provide a much more reliable way of managing and monitoring your smart devices. You can now get the information regarding the status of your lights, A/V devices, thermostats, etc. and launch commands for all of these devices right from the touch panels.
5: Monitoring The Air Quality Inside Your House
A full range of air quality sensors are currently available in the market that will sense the quality of the air inside your home and inform you of any volatile organic compounds, the relative levels of carbon dioxide, and the humidity levels. In the years to come, such systems will be blended with state of the art technology that will work with your air handling systems and automatically remove harmful particles and gases to promote a more hygienic and healthy living environment. These systems will be integrated with the rest of your smart home creating the perfect living space.
6: Introduction To Motorized Shades
There has been a remarkable increase in the demand for motorised window treatments for smart homes. Regardless of whether you have a window that covers the entire wall, or the one that is curved, or perhaps a window that requires covering for privacy or security purposes, motorised shades could be a solution for you. The easy integration of such shades into a complete smart home control system is perhaps causing an ever-increasing demand for this technology.
7: The Switch To DIY
Currently, the world of smart home technology is filled with automation systems which can make your life incredibly easy and convenient. However, you probably need to hire a professional to install advanced home automation systems. But what if you wanted to add a small component to an already established system. Do you want to have to hire the professional again for such a minute job? This is why smart home technology manufacturers have been focusing on introducing automation systems which will require minimal help from the professionals for installation. There is an ever increasing demand for DIY home automation products an excellent example of this is the Philips Hue bulbs, a few years ago you would have to pay thousands of pounds to automate your lighting now you achieve this with a few hundred pounds with the costs reducing each year.
8: Highly Affordable Outdoor Entertainment
Outdoors TVs have become very popular in the last few years. It has always been am an item on the wish list, to be able to bring a few of the comforts that they have inside the house, outside of it too and a television, or an entertainment system is one such convenience. Outdoor televisions and entertainment systems have been on the market for a while, but due to their highly inflated price, a fraction of potential customers chose to spend the money on them. However, with manufacturers aiming at reducing the manufacturing costs and thus making it more affordable for the potential clients, the outdoor TVs and entertainment systems will become a common trend in the years to come.
9: A Multitude Of Display Options
Home theatre systems have always provided consumers with a broad range of options regarding screens, speakers, components, prices, appearance, and even performance. However, with a growing trend of smaller living spaces and modern designs, traditional video projectors which can take up an unnecessary amount of space are becoming obsolete. Manufacturers have started to focus on providing new and innovative waysthat customers to enjoy their videos. Ultra short throw projectors which can be built-in to cabinetry is one such example that takes up a fraction of the space as compared to the traditional video projector. Not only do such projectors go seemingly unnoticed but the virtually floating screens offer a much larger viewing surface to be integrated into almost any of the rooms in your house. Televisions are also getting thinner and thinner and have better resolutions and picture quality, this year at CES LG showed off their new OLED ultra thin TV. It will not be long until we see wallpaper style screens.
10: Manufacturer Integration
Manufacturers Integration with other smart home products can already be witnessed to some extent in smart homes, the ultimate aim of the technology is to create a home with the mixture of automated products which work together incomplete harmony. All of the brands and manufacturers have to work together to create a seamless home automation system for the industry itself to grow. For instance, it is imperative for the lights to be able to communicate with the security system which can cause a trigger in the motorised draperies and cause an activation of the audio and video monitoring systems, etc. Thanks to the rapid growth of the market as well as the research and development on Internet of Things (IoT), smart homes in a few years will have equipment which will be able to communicate seamlessly with each other and offer automation that requires the absolute minimum of human input.
The Future Of Smart Home Technologies:
With all of the information mentioned above, it won’t be wrong to conclude that the future of smart home technologies is brilliant indeed, to say the least. Smart home technology has already made its mark, and it is evident that it is here to stay. The smart home technology continues to move and improve over the years with the single aim of making life more convenient and efficient for the users. The ultimate objective of the smart home technology is to make it possible for all of the devices inside your house to communicate with each other in a fashion that makes the requirement of human input obsolete. Not only will it offer a higher convenience and efficiency, but the privacy and security levels will reach to a state unparalleled in the history of technology. What’s even more exciting is that the manufacturers are entirely focused on making the automation systems more and more affordable for an everyday consumer to increase market audience. It is only a matter of years before a complete home automation system will be within the budget restraints of most if not all consumers. To sum it all up, the world of smart home technology is working hard to accomplish two of its primary goals: Greater connectivity and automation of systems inside the home and reducing the cost of automation systems to cater to the requirements of the market. All in all, smart home technology has already made its impact on society, but what it has in store for us, will only be revealed over time.