Home automation is everywhere, as it seems like almost everyone wants to get their hands on the best and newest gadget to install. Movies like the Matrix, Star Wars, and Back to the Future sparked our interest in smart home devices from the start. The talking robots, self-controlled cars, and home control networks are all now a reality. We are now capable of having control over our entire living area at the swipe or touch of a single button.
Today, we can get the most popular pieces of technology online on stores like Amazon or Best Buy and have it delivered to our doorstep in a matter of days. As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, let’s dive in to the biggest predictions that technology experts have for smart home devices within the coming year.
Safety and Security
The huge level of comfort that home automation brings also leads to some very real risks with user safety. Voice control is already the primary technology that is included in your phone, TV, Echo, and audio system. Voice is going to continue to be the main advancement that allows smart home technologies to thrive. Yet, in order to take audio commands, devices have to screen the thousands of other audio data sent back and forth within its environment. That surveillance has lead to several instances of data breach, similar to the problems that social media platforms face throughout the year. The Facebook scandal wasn’t too long ago and only speaks to the amount of private data that companies who manufacture popular platforms can steal any minute. By inviting smart home devices into our rooms, there’s no telling when they may be listening to when we’re talking to others or are just by ourselves. The Amazon Alexa was in the news earlier this year for saving audio data depicting sensitive evidence about a murder that occurred in the home it was installed in. Thousands of people were shocked by its ability to store information like that which the owner definitely didn’t mean to share. With smart home technology, if the system it runs on is hacked in any manner, location information and other important footage could be leaked and lead to a severe backlash. As this industry matures, treating these privacy issues as a top priority will be key in allowing it gain speed and traction.
Integration Is Infinite
For a new smart home product to become fully welcomed by customers, it needs to be both differentiated in a positive light and easy to integrate with devices that they own already. No one wants to drop a couple hundred dollars from their paycheck on a new gadget to find out that it’s not working with their existing system. Consumers also shouldn’t have to think about what to invest in first, like Amazon’s Echo line or products that support Apple’s Homekit. By the end of the year, we should expect to see greater cross-compatibility between brands if they are smart enough to realize it will only generate more customer loyalty.
Users also need to feel that they won’t risk screwing up the functions that direct their fifteen home appliances, home temperature, or music playlist when they’re not focusing on it. It’s crucial for companies to communicate the directions in an understandable manner and adapt their product to being completely friendly for a beginning user. One feature that is predicted to stay is the AI software embedded in smart home devices that remind users to turn off the appliances before they walk away. From deactivating morning alarms to switching the stove, there’s a variety of opportunities for smart home devices to create leeway.
How nice would it be if your fridge could start ordering food for you? How about your home pre-setting the temperature of your bedroom before you come back after work? Experts predict that sharing data of homeowners with retail and other grocery chain businesses will be the next big thing for smart home devices. This involves using an automatic AI system in each device that analyzing the daily patterns of the person who uses it. It works as a two way street as customers gain more help while businesses gain key information into what time of the day they use their products, what items they order on a frequent basis, and how much they request at a given time. With more and more smart home devices entering the market these days, there is a huge opportunity for these forward-thinking companies to provide better service to serve their customers. Their data in this case still has to be protected, but if the process is engineered well enough, the future of shopping and home devices can change for the better.
Find Your Tech
Before bringing a new smart house device into your area, remember to do your research about the product. Customer reviews don’t lie and often you can find little problems that may come up with the device after reading what they have to say. On the other hand, there’s a variety out there for you to integrate some AI into your home. As a proud Alexa owner, my time is vastly saved and I love how I can easily control different aspects of my home with it! Tech is definitely worth the pretty penny.