As little as five years ago, the idea of a smart home sounded futuristic and unattainable, something you’d only see in sci-fi movies or among the ultra-wealthy. Now, thanks to break-through advancements in technology, smart home devices are more accessible than ever and gaining popularity. As more people adopt the technology in the coming years, the number of smart devices is expected to rise. According to Verified Market Research, the Global Smart Home Market is projected to reach over $200 Billion by 2027.
Every room in your house can be equipped with home automation gadgets designed to make your life easier, more convenient, and safer with the push of a button. These items are all part of a new, growing category of intelligent products; the Internet of Things (IoT). You don’t need to be a tech guru to make the upgrade, any house can be transformed into a smart home with the purchase of a few key devices.
As with most things in life, when starting to add smart devices into your home, safety should come first. For many years, protecting your home has meant installing cameras. Not only do the cameras impede on personal privacy, but there have also been reports of security camera hacks, meaning they may not provide the sense of security you seek.
Origin Wireless, through their Hex Home smart security systems, offers a highly effective alternative to cameras. The small, unobtrusive devices use WiFi Sensing technology that accurately detects movement, covering more square footage than their counterparts with far fewer blind spots. The system can be set up in a matter of minutes and controlled through a user-friendly app. This technology can also be used to monitor elderly loved ones and to check on kids, maintenance workers, or housekeepers without raising an alarm.
Many major tech companies have released their version of a smart speaker. The Amazon Echo is powered by Alexa, a “voice assistant”, Google Home speakers come equipped with Google Assistant, and Apple HomePod speakers are fueled by an AI virtual assistant named Siri.
These Bluetooth-enabled speakers use AI technology to play music, make calls, answer questions, and perform select tasks on command. Many smart home devices being released offer the option to connect with your smart speakers, allowing you to control more of your home-life using your voice.
Smart thermostats are truly the future of home heating and cooling. Easy to install and controlled through an app, the devices allow you to set temperature schedules and monitor your energy usage. Certain models on the market will learn your temperature preferences and automatically set a schedule for you. Newly released versions also come equipped with voice control, making it even easier to cool things down or heat things up from anywhere in the house.
Lights and Outlets
Installing smart light bulbs is one of the simplest ways to immediately upgrade your home. One of the most popular options is the Philips Wiz Connected system. The bulbs connect to WiFi, allowing you to use your phone to program the lights to fit your mood - dim them, brighten them, change their colors; the options are vast and the power is yours. For those unwilling to swap out all your lightbulbs but who are still interested in controlling your lighting via a mobile device, smart lighting switches allow you to make your existing lighting “smart” by replacing your lighting switch.
In addition, by installing smart outlets, you can remotely manage all plugged-in small appliances including lamps, TVs, and coffee makers. Smart outlets are available for indoor and outdoor use, are controlled through a mobile app, and are compatible with Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant voice commands. Now Alexa can make you coffee when you’re not ready to get out of bed.
If you ever watched The Jetsons and fantasized about having a robot to clean up after you, your wish has been granted. In addition to the well-known Roomba, smart cleaning devices are becoming more ubiquitous. Ecovacs sells a smart robotic vacuum called Deebot that is voice-activated and controllable through their app, so you can make your house sparkle no matter where you are.
Appliance manufacturers have also entered the smart home market, releasing washing machines and dryers that connect to Alexa and Google devices and can be managed through an app. Even trash cans have been technologically improved through sensors that automatically open the can for you, and suctions at the bottom for hard-to-pick-up crumbs.
Welcome to a Smarter Home
The ease, convenience, and peace of mind that these products offer have the potential to make a positive impact on all users globally. Advancements in smart home devices are unlikely to slow anytime soon, with many new houses being built with smart home features already in them. The first step to a smarter home? Embrace the futuristic technology that is now at our fingertips and find the smart devices that will make the greatest difference to the way you live.
To learn more about the applications of WiFi Sensing for Home and Health, be sure to check back in for our next blog!