Even just a decade ago, the idea of controlling your home’s features with a smartphone app or voice command seemed like science fiction. Now? It’s become a normal part of our society.
Technology is ubiquitous, and smart home features have seen steady popularity growth throughout 2018. Research predicts that the market will reach a value of more than $53 billion by 2022 — a date only three years away.
As you consider how you might want smart technology to change your own home, here are some of the biggest trends to look at.
Interaction with Sophisticated Voice Programs
By 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches, and nearly 30 percent will involve no screen at all. Gone are the days of sitting in front of a desktop computer to manually key in a query — we now live in the age of Siri, Alexa, and Google Home.
These voice command programs make it easy to complete small tasks like changing the music or turning on a favorite television show, but as they grow in complexity it will be possible to synchronize them with other smart features to control nearly every facet of your home, from temperature to lighting design and more.
The Alexas of the world have raised privacy concerns for some users who are worried the voice assistants may be eavesdropping on day-to-day conversations, but others are happy with the added convenience they bring to their lives.
Advanced Home Security
Smart home technology is making homes safer than ever by allowing owners to keep tabs on every entrance 24/7, no matter where they are. Smart doorbells and video monitoring setups have skyrocketed in popularity over the past year.
Some systems simply notify you whenever motion is detected, allowing you to watch a live stream of whatever’s going on. Others let you video chat with the person at the door to give instructions for package delivery or let your neighbor know you’re out of town.
There is also a growing role for artificial intelligence in these systems. Programs are being built with the ability to recognize familiar faces so that expected guests don’t cause an alert, or to automatically call the police if a threat is suspected.
Effortless Home Maintenance
It’s easy to lose track of the details of home ownership — watering plants, remembering to adjust the thermostat before going out of town, and other small tasks often fall by the wayside. Smart technology is paving the way for homeowners to forget about the minutiae without worrying about the consequences.
Seemingly simple products like self-watering planters make busy lives easier. Smart thermostats can automatically adjust a home’s temperature based on a variety of factors like the time of day, and some are even becoming sophisticated enough to learn and respond to specific residents’ individual preferences.
Even window blinds are becoming automated as smart technology producers seek to replace the frustrating manual cords with sleekly designed electronic systems. And as kitchen appliances are increasingly programmed with smart features, worrying about leaving the oven on after rushing out the door could be a thing of the past.
Interconnectivity of Smart Products
The biggest trend in the world of smart technology is the push to make it easy to integrate products with one another. Having a central hub to control all of your appliances makes adjustments simple and convenient, two things that consumers are demanding more of out of their everyday experiences.
Soon, you’ll be able to control nearly every detail of your home — whether your blinds are drawn, lights are on, oven is preheating, and more — with the touch of a button on your phone or a single sentence spoken to a voice command program.
As smart technology advances, concerns about privacy and the impact a system hack could have on a homeowner’s life are brought into the limelight for mass discussion. But despite those risks, many users find the benefits too attractive to resist — and the industry’s rapid growth shows no signs of stopping.