Automation is everywhere, and it’s already at our doorstep. In fact, it’s moved past the doorstep and made itself comfortable within our own homes. We’re talking about smart homes, and while it was once thought of as a science-fiction concept, it’s now very much a reality. Of course, we’ve only entered the beginning stages of the smart home revolution. Some of the basic concepts of connected homes have been put into practice and seen a degree of success.
Many companies are trying their hand at creating products and services geared toward making the home fully connected. But this is just the start. The future looks even more promising, and while smart homes in general are only just starting to catch on with consumers, there’s no better time to look ahead to see what the smart homes of the future may become.
Smart homes are all about control. In other words, they give users a great sense of control over everything within the home, from the thermostat to the refrigerator. The ease of that control, however, still varies. What many smart home companies and creators are striving for is a central hub from which everything can be controlled. This already exists in some simple forms.
Most promising is simply using a device like a smartphone to control the home, but specific hubs have been created with the same concept in mind. Companies like Apple, Samsung, and Alphabet have all been pushing their control platforms like HomeKit, SmartThings, and Nest. This helps connect everything on one device, creating more convenience for the user.
Hubs like the ones previously mentioned aren’t exactly a new idea, but we’re already getting the second generation of these devices. They come with more capabilities and easier integration features, not to mention improved security. The latter point is especially important as fears over hackings and tamperings have grown the more connected we become. Few things are more disconcerting than the idea that a stranger could get access to your home. Smart home hubs of the future will have better security and easier ways to automated the devices in your home.
Smart homes have begun to implement some of the latest technologies into their functions. That includes things like artificial intelligence and machine learning. It’s almost like homes of the future will act like a modular data center, gathering lots of data on the occupants and always learning and improving over time. That means future smart homes will incorporate these technologies in a way that will enable them to determine who is at home based only on behavioral patterns. Smart homes will respond automatically, knowing that one occupant gets up in the morning at a certain time or when another one gets home from work. That also means that specific input from users won’t be needed as the smart home learns for itself what each user wants and needs.
The influence of future smart homes will even be felt outside the home. As homes are getting more connected, cars are becoming more connected as well, and the two will likely intersect at some point soon. So someone will be able to control what happens at their home while driving their car. Perhaps they want to turn up the thermostat while driving home. That can all be possible with the touch of a button. Drivers can also get alerts from their homes that can tell them if something is wrong or needs to be fixed.
One thing that the future will bring to the smart home is a greater degree of customization. This is already offered to some extent, but users will be able to exert more control over what their smart home does and how it behaves. From setting lighting levels to determining how much the lawn is watered, all the way to choosing how much energy is used, everything will be within the control of the user.
This is really only scratching the surface of all that smart homes will be able to do in the coming years. As companies get used to the concept and innovators stretch themselves even further, we’ll see amazing new ideas become a reality. What we see as groundbreaking today will simply be another part of the home tomorrow. It truly is an exciting time for discovery and experimentation.