Happy 2016: Year of the Smart Home?

Happy New Year!  We’ve now entered a new era in the “Internet of Things”, where smart home products and “wearbles” (like the Apple Watch) are widely available through all the major retail channels with brands from companies like Nest, Wink, and Philips Hue.  Companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, Logitech, LG, and others are dedicating the resources needed to make our smart home a reality.  From “smart” coffee machines to learning thermostats, locks, and home appliances, a host of devices and home components continues to become more accessible due to improved technology and dropping prices.  Here are some trends that have been building for the past two years, and are continuing to grow and integrate with others in 2016.

How smart are homes getting?…World’s First 3d-Printed Apartment Building Constructed in China

According to Logitech’s Mark Spates, Head of Smart Home Platform,
2020, not 2016, Is The Year of the Smart Home*…

The vast majority of consumers polled indicated the era of the smart home is close at hand.  About one third (34%) expect to have at least three smart home products in their home by 2020; almost one-in-five expect this to happen by the end of 2015, and a full 62% expect this to take place over the next decade.  Of course, there are the naysayers — 35% don’t believe the smart home will ever be a reality.  As an industry, we must be thoughtful of the mental timeline consumers are forming around their smart home future.  We have to look beyond standards and protocols to expedite the creation and shipping of products that bring value to consumer lives immediately.  We are officially working against the consumer mental clock.

*In November 2015, Logitech Harmony and Logitech’s Consumer Insights group surveyed 675 broadband households in the United States in an online survey to measure their smart home holiday purchase attitudes and intentions.

Music, Living Room and Kitchen Are Key Drivers for Future Homes*

Home entertainment control is an entry point guiding consumer interest in smart home technology for the holiday season and into the coming year.  Logitech’s survey revealed the top five product categories that people want to give or get this holiday season.  Home entertainment tops the list:

  • Home audio system: 47%
  • Home video/theater system: 47%
  • Home or kitchen appliances: 44%
  • Home security system: 40%
  • Door locks: 39%
Best of 2015: Smart Home Products

Find out more about what a smart home is and what devices are available. Reviewers from c|net have researched and tested solutions that work for most families and homes. They’ve also provided pricing and retail information informing consumers about best brands and places to purchases them. The smart home product category is growing rapidly, continues to advance everyday; just look at what they’ve done with refrigerators.

According to a Forbes survey  conducted in October 2014, when asked which “connected kitchen” appliance would most interest them, the device which got the biggest response was a refrigerator that would allow a user to monitor food inventory with a smart phone.  Not that that the smart refrigerator was a runaway.  Other devices in the smart kitchen also appealed to consumers, including connected coffee pots and smart ranges.  According to companies like GE, with the use of technology like RFID and new sensor technologies, a smart refrigerator that does much of what has been talked about is within reach in the next five years.  Companies like LG see this day coming even sooner, and would probably suggest some would find its smart fridge that can help you remotely monitor food inventory using internal cameras pretty useful.

smart kitchen


 What Next?: 2015 – 2019

Delivering the vision of the smart home, the focus will need to shift industry thinking and move us from the hobbyist and early adopter to mass market adoption.  What does this mean for the future of the smart home?  It means…

  • More products and more inter-connectivity: As new ideas are developed, the smart “space” will grow, and for products to succeed, they will need to “play nicely” with others, with simple integration and applications.
  • Ambient Experiences: The interaction model must move from action (touch, voice) and automation (pre-set rules for my home) to ambient (your home learns to adjust/automate on its own).  Sensors, timers, and apps will coordinate schedules and learn your preferences (like the smart thermostat) for different occasions (such as times of the day and year.
  • Market Data Amasses: Since Google’s purchase of Nest, a renewed concern about safeguarding consumer usage and personal data has surged.  More information about consumer preferences, price tolerance, and the potential for hacking into someone’s refrigerator to send malicious emails is on the increase.  New devices will have to address this not only in the coming years, but with existing technologies that are using outdated protocols.

Click on the links below to learn more about the trends for 2016 and how they will grow, change, and develop for future uses in home security, home renovations/improvements, and the applications that provide control over your home environment.

Roberts Real Estate does not guarantee or promote any product or service listed in links or articles/blogs.  Content provided is for personal use and interest only.

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