In the home automation world things usually change at a dizzying pace. You are bound to miss something if you are not paying attention. This kind of fast paced movement is also observed in computers where they get more powerful every few years. Let us look at the emerging trends in home automation in 2017:
Voice is king
Amazon Echo had its biggest sales at the end of 2016 and that was one sign of voice control popularity. Of course, people have been talking to voice assistants like Siri for a few years now, but they never really had a chance to control their own houses through voice control. Apart from that, you can only use Siri with Apple devices.
Devices like the Echo and Echo Dot speakers can integrate with other third party smart automation devices in your home. This allows you to adjust the temperature, order Pizza, as well as dim your lights by issuing voice commands. Automation device manufacturers are tripping over each other to create products that can integrate with Alexa. Companies like Google are carrying out research and collecting data to make their voice control assistants more intelligent and able to identify a user’s voice.
While there are manufacturers that produce products that cannot integrate with third party smart devices, others chose the opposite direction. Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue Lights, and Nest products are just some of the products that can be integrated with Amazon’s virtual personal assistant.
You can also use Alexa with security systems like ADT Pulse, which allows you to do things like remotely locking your doors, arm or disarm your security system, and turn on lights during break-ins. The IFTTT app allows you to connect different apps for various smart devices in your home so that they can work in unison. The point of integration is to allow you to control everything in your home from one central device instead of using different remote controls.
Habit Learning Devices
Even though you might like thinking of yourself as spontaneous in behavior there are aspects of you that are predictable. Ask yourself if you have a favorite time for going to bed, type of music, lighting intensity, or even temperature setting in your home. Well, several devices in the home automation market are learning your habits and using them to predict what your behavior will be at a certain time or context.
For instance, Nest thermostats use advanced sensors and algorithms to create a temperature schedule that suits you. From the time you install it in your home it learns what temperature changes you make at various times of the day. It adds these changes to your everyday schedule so that you don’t have to change temperature settings everyday. It changes it automatically. There are hubs that learn when you do certain things in your home and complete the same things automatically without your intervention.
The need to secure homes is drawing many people to check out what home automation has to offer. Smart locks are among the security products that are attracting a lot of attention. Kwikset introduced its new smart lock called Obsidian at CES 2017. It can be used as a standalone or connected product and allows users to lock and unlock their front doors with a touch screen exterior or through a smartphone. They also have the Kwikset Kevo 925 Bluetooth Electronic Lock that sends notifications to your phone. It is very easy to install and runs on four-AA batteries. Other smart locks have cameras and even keypads.