When someone mentions the idea of a smart home, what images come to mind? Do you picture a house controlled by robots – or maybe a futuristic building that resembles a strange spaceship? There are lots of preconceived notions about what the modern smart home actually entails, but they’re almost all unrealistic. At best, consumers are perplexed.
“The consumers today are incredibly confused as to what’s the value that they’re getting,” says Blake Kozak, a principal analyst at HIS Markit. “A consumer could be spending upwards of $1,000 if they go to the retail market and they don’t understand what’s the value. Are they getting energy savings? Is it simply fun and they’re not going to want to use it in a couple weeks’ time?”
While confusion exists, things are changing as tech developers realize that customers want the comfort and coziness they’re accustomed to, with some added functionality and convenience.
Smart Home Tech Trends Worth Watching:
Practicality is a word that comes to mind when discussing today’s leading smart home technologies. While there are a few outlandish ideas that are nothing more than gimmicks, the vast majority provide tangible value. Having said that, let’s check out some of the latest trends to help you get a better picture of the sort of innovation that’s taking place.
1. Smart Lighting:
“Thanks to the influx of technologies, customized home lighting is really popular right now. If you’re footing the bill for utilities, this can be a great way to reduce expenses over the course of many months,” Green Residential explains. “Phillips Hue and Belkin WeMo are two of the leading home lighting systems, but the iLumi brand has also built a name for itself.”
The awesome thing about smart lighting solutions is that they make everything more convenient. Lying in bed and want to turn off the lights without getting up? Just pull up the app on your phone and press a button. Out of town and want to turn your porch lights on? It can be done remotely. Want to enjoy a romantic meal with your significant other? Lights can easily be dimmed and faded to provide just the right setting. If nothing else, smart lighting is incredibly convenient.
2. Integrated Security Solutions:
The thing about home security systems is they’ve traditionally been cumbersome and prone to issues. But today’s smart home security solutions are changing the game. Not only can you integrate your alarm system with other things like security cameras, lighting, and thermostats, but it can all be controlled from your home with the click of a button. This added level of functionality makes home security more appealing to those who’ve been sitting on the sidelines for years.
3. Intuitive Voice Control:
Having an app that controls your various home systems is great, but it’s not always the most convenient. Smartphone batteries die and apps sometimes crash, which can be really frustrating when you’re trying to do something important. And that’s why voice-controlled devices are becoming more and more popular.
There are a number of different voice controlled devices on the market, but the Amazon Echo and Google Home are by far the most popular and functional. They’re similar in nature, but there are a few differences worth checking out if you’re interested in buying one. However, no matter which one you choose, they both offer a high level of convenience and you (quite literally) don’t have to lift a finger.
Smart, Practical Homes
For those wondering, it is possible to have a smart home that still retains its character and charm. Smart doesn’t have to mean cold and clinical. As these trends show, the top technologies also happen to be the most practical.