Have you been out in the grocery store or heading to work and then suddenly remember something you didn’t do in the house? Did you remember to set the security alarm? Did you turn off the lights? These doubts hit the best of us and the only way for the mind to rest is confirming first-hand. Or so we think.
With smart homes, you will have a sure way to have peace when these worries creep up. From a quick glance at your tablet or smartphone, you’ll know whether your kids are doing their homework or simply watching television. A look at the video baby monitor will assure you that your child is still in the crib. So what are smart homes?
A smart home is a residence that puts to use internet-connected devices to achieve remote monitoring and help manage systems and appliances. Any device in a residence that uses electricity can be connected to the home network and be integrated. You can then give it commands by remote control, voice, smartphone and tablet. The most common applications of smart home technology relates to home security, lighting,entertainment, and Home Theater.
The Evolution of Smart Home Technology over time
The evolution of smart home technology has been over a century, with the most noticeable developments in the last two decades. The inception of smart home technology of course started with the invention of home appliances. They didn’t start off as “smart” but they were an achievement all the same. The first known appliance was the engine-powered vacuum cleaner that was invented in 1901. The next two decades saw the invention of refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, toasters, irons and many more.
The mid 1960s saw the invention of the ECHO IV, which can be touted as the first smart device. This smart device could store and produce shopping lists, turn appliances on and off and control the temperature of the home. In 1967, the Kitchen Computer was invented and this device stored recipes.
It was not until 1975 that companies struck gold in the smart home products market.This was when X10 was developed by a Scotland company. X10 allowed compatible products to communicate with each other over electrical wires in a residence. In this system, all the appliances or receivers in the residence acted as receivers. Keypads and remote controls were the transmitters and they they were responsible for controlling the whole system.
1991 led to gerontechnology which is the hybrid between gerontology and technology. It purposed to make the senior citizens lead a better life. Research in the 90s was mostly focused in this sector.
The late 90s and early 2000s saw the birth of smart homes as they are. This is also the period where they grew in popularity and different technology surfaced. People developed an interest in smart homes as they became affordable, making them viable for the customers. This is also the period that gave rise to home networking, domestic technologies, and other gadgets.
Smart Home Technology in the Current Age
Statistics show that about 10% of homes in the USA have some kind of smart home technology. The most common kind are smart thermostats, speakers that have virtual assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa and smart lighting. The most common uses of smart home technology are to gain more control on the use of energy and for comfort.
Virtual assistants have also grown in popularity tremendously and this surge has allowed more households to take an interest in more smart home technology. Virtual assistants boast of voice platforms that make it possible for you to interact with your residence. Voice technology has helped take captive of people’s imagination and led to increased interest in trying out technology to help achieve change.
As people become more interested in smart home technology, startups are springing up-to help create an ecosystem of several devices that can talk to one another and create a platform that is able to identify patterns of behavior. When devices interact, it becomes easier to establish user preferences and identify anomalies in practices such as the barking of a dog or shattering glass during the day.
Most Common Trends in Smart Home Technology in 2020
With the future of smart home technology looking to be bright, there are some things that are expected. These include:
A common problem associated with coming up with a smart home is the wide range of competing standards and platforms. As such, there is the need for smart home devices’manufacturers to make their services and products in line with platforms provided by Google, Apple, Samsung and Amazon if they are to leverage their customer base.
Through standardization, it will be easy to come up with solutions and sell devices to most of the smart home customer base. Customers will also not be limited to some options just because their network provider does not integrate with other platforms.There is also the hassle of having a bunch of different apps just to set up or control various devices because they are from different manufacturers. This will be no more.
Homes becoming smart
The term “smart” has been misused in the place of a connected home. A connected home is where the lights can be controlled from the phone, video doorbells, and window blinds that are automated.
Smart homes, on the other hand, are able to learn and perform tasks without being‘asked’ to. This is made possible by machine learning, natural language processing,computer vision among other technologies. They help the devices in learning and making decisions. This will grow to become the norm.
Improved In-home healthcare
With improved in-home healthcare, there will be less stress on hospitals and doctors.This is because with smart technology, there will be preventive measures put in place.This is thanks to wearable that help achieve a healthier lifestyle by monitoring the quality of your sleep, activity levels, and nutrition.Other devices will provide interventionist services such as alerting carers when elderly-persons fall while at home, connecting with medical practitioners or even diagnosing illnesses.
Smart home technology has no doubt undergone vast changes and more is expected in the future. What is clear is that we can expect advanced smart homes that will see to it that homes understand our preferences and that will take up most of the chores. More people will also develop an interest and the market will grow.