Smart home dream has already become a reality for many average Americans. According to one survey, 28 percent of U.S. adults and 47 percent of millennials have smart home products in their home. Of those who already have home automation gadgets, 81 percent are likely to purchase a home with smart technology already installed.
Now, with public interest gaining momentum, smart home technology is poised to go far beyond smart sensors and individual gadgets. The future of the connected home is quickly becoming all about seamless integration, convenience, sustainability, and automation that can interact with personal health and living preferences to improve our lives.
Support and Security
From Alexa to Siri, the world is fairly familiar with the power of artificial assistants. The next step for these helpful personalities is artificial intelligence (AI). Several AI devices are already in development, including the ASUS Zenbo, a small robot designed to be “your smart little companion.” Zenbo can move freely around your home, make video calls, respond to requests, recognize faces, and control other smart devices.
AI won’t just impact you when you’re at home, either. On the road, autonomous cars are becoming a reality. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Tesla have either released or plan to release cars with self-driving features, and research suggests there will be 10 million self-driving cars on the road by 2020. Uber seems to be leading the pack, planning to launch their self-driving car as early as 2017. This rapid technological growth could very well result in cleaner transportation, reduced traffic, and safer roads.
These new types of artificial assistance aren’t run-of-the-mill technological advancement either. Many of them can actually transform the way we live. AI devices and software in the home may soon become the next generation of babysitters, playmates, and even security systems, potentially reducing home insurance and auto insurance costs for consumers.
Sustainability, Independence, and Personalization
Just as today’s artificial assistants paved the way for AI progress, devices like solar panels and automated lights have laid the groundwork for tomorrow’s home utility. While most grid-tied homes with solar panel systems can’t use stored energy to run electricity at night, devices like the Tesla Powerwall aim to change that. These automated solar-charged batteries can help power your home when the sun is down or the grid is out, reducing your carbon footprint and providing independence from utility companies.
Along with improving sustainability and reducing dependence on grid-based power, the smart home of the future will likely be capable of automatic customization based on the aesthetic preferences and health needs of home residents. When smart lighting and automatic blinds hit the market, consumers were amazed that they could integrate the tech without significant construction or alteration to their home’s structure.
These devices seem antiquated in comparison to future devices set to hit the market. Coelux, a lighting system that replicates the lighting conditions found in nature, is one such device. Not only is Coelux’s lighting more pleasing to the eye than traditional interior lighting, but it also allows users to transform a room’s atmosphere, bringing in warm, mood-lifting illumination with the touch of a button.
Devices Integrated into One Solution
One of the biggest goals of new smart home technology is to connect various individual devices to one central location for easy adjustment and control. As wearable devices expand, from fitness assistants to health monitors, more companies are developing tech that can control other home tech gadgets simultaneously.
These devices could hypothetically verify your identity via heartbeat, monitor your body temperature, and then adjust your home’s lighting and heating based on those indicators — all without you ever having to lift a finger. Plus, wearables get smaller and more compact every year, making smart home technology discrete and allowing it to simplify and improve daily life without the hassle of wires or monitors.
As smart home technology advances and becomes more accessible, we can expect to see a significant leap in security, sustainability, comfort, and overall quality of life. And while the advancements discussed here are just a drop in the bucket of what the home automation developments might hold, there’s no doubt that the connected home of the future is on track to be safer, sleeker, and smarter than ever before.