Home Automation Trends
What if all your devices could connect to the internet? Not just your phone and computers, but everything: lights, doorbells, windows, appliances — everything. Then what if you could communicate and control those devices from a central hub? While it may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, it’s the Internet of Things (IoT), and it’s a very real part of home automation technology. From voice-controlled appliances that can self-detect when they need repair to devices that generate their own electricity, home automation is here to stay. Let’s take a look at a few of the current and future trends in home automation.
Current Trends in Home Automation
1. Interconnected smart devices
The integration of multiple smart devices is a current trend, as it allows multiple, yet related systems to work in a coordinated manner. For example, when someone wakes up in the morning, one button can be pushed that turns on the television, adjusts the temperature, and gradually increases the brightness of the room lights.
2. Voice-controlled smart devices
Voice-controlled devices remains a prominent trend in home automation and is an area that is continually experiencing more innovation despite the fact that it has existed for some time now. A main focus of the continued automation for voice-controlled smart devices is to make such automation even easier than it already is.
3. Televisions as control centers for smart home automation
Televisions have re-surfaced in popularity for serving as a command center for smart home automation. These smart televisions are now being used more commonly as the select device from which to control other smart features throughout the home.
4. Technology-enabled cooking devices
Cooking devices that are powered by technology are a current trend, as they complete the cooking process from start to finish in an automated manner. For example, a smart cooking device can self-identify a food item via camera, determine how to cook it, actually cook it, and allow a user to watch it cook in the oven via smartphone.
5. Smart refrigerators
Smart refrigerators are a very popular trend in home automation. No longer are refrigerators just a place to store food. Now, they have built-in cameras that allow users to view the contents inside their fridge even when they are away from home, such as when they are at the grocery store and can’t remember what they’re out of. These smart refrigerators also have built-in touchscreens that can coordinate other smart features and devices throughout a home.
Future Trends in Home Automation
1. Appliances self-detecting need for repair
A future trend in home automation is for appliances and other smart products such as cars that can self-detect when they need repair. When these devices detect the need for repair, they can automatically notify either the owner or the professionals who service the products and thus achieve a more rapid response before failures occur and people are without access to necessary functions.
2. Devices that self-generate electricity to power the home
Currently, 10-15% of energy is lost between transmission from a power plant and the home. A future trend in home automation is for devices to be able to provide power to the home, such as heat, but self-generate electricity needed in order to provide that heat.
3. Voice-controlled, self-determined actions
A future trend in home automation is smart devices that are not constrained to their pre-determined functionalities. In the future, home automation will allow its occupants to speak to the smart devices and say commands like “I want to chill” and the device will then coordinate a variety of action responses that match that command such as to dim the lights and shut the curtains.
As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to on the “smart home” front. As technology progresses, so do the opportunities to sell and install these systems. While many of these systems are simple to install — some of which offer DIY installation — staying on the forefront of these new technologies will give you a leg up in the competition.