Smart Home Trends
“Homes will become more intelligent”, “everything can be controlled with one device”.
Generally, the term “Smart Home” defines the building automation in a private home, in which single devices (sensors and actuators) are networked to enable the interconnection and interoperability of multiple devices, services and apps, ranging from communications and entertainment to healthcare, security and home automation. Connected, real-time, smart and contextual experiences are provided for the household inhabitants, and individuals are enabled to control and monitor the home remotely as well as within it.
Trends Impacting The Smart Home
Voice-control “hands-free” Devices
According to 2017 Smart Home Marketplace Survey by Coldwell Banker, approximately 72% of smart home device users have expressed interest in using a voice-first interface to manage their home automation systems. Virtual assistants, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, offer hands-free control, greater convenience and a more intuitive user experience. Voice control is commonly used to monitor and manage connected devices, such as entertainment systems, smart lights and smart appliances.
Smart Home Appliances & Smart Devices
The rapid adoption of new technology and a governmental push toward energy efficiency has propelled the use of smart appliances. According to Euromonitor International’s new research, an estimated 178 smart home appliances will be sold globally in 2020, providing convenient and more energy-efficient home automation solutions.
- Coffee makers. Sync coffee makers with a Wi-Fi-enabled alarm clock to begin brewing as soon as the alarm sounds.
- Monitor the cooking process from any web-enabled device with built-in oven cameras.
- View images from internal fridge cameras to determine what items need to be restocked, or access digital media on its touchscreen display.
- Washing machines. Start or stop cycles remotely, or receive alerts when a cycle has ended.
- Door locks. Remotely lock or unlock doors.
- Schedule lights to turn on or off to conserve energy or make it appear as though someone is home while you are away.
- Surveillance cameras. View footage from any security camera in real-time.
- Adjust the room temperature from any location.
Juniper’s Consumer Robotics research estimated one in ten American households will have a housekeeping robot by 2020. Homeowners can program housekeeping robots to assist in completing daily tasks (e.g. floor mopping, wiping, toilet seat and urinal cleaning, garbage collection, door opening and more). Robot technology is expected to be enabled by high level of AI, sophisticated sensor processing, controlled & remotely monitored by programs or mobile app.
A Greater Role for Artificial Intelligence – Increased Efficiency, Control and Customization
AI technology will become much more efficient, and we will be able to control everything from appliances to radio volume to security from one central place. As a matter of fact, as AI develops, we eventually won’t need to manually control anything, as these devices will automatically adjust to our preferences
Encrypted Data Transmission
We have shared our digital footprint for convenience. With smart home technology, we are sharing our physical footprint. If these systems are compromised, the consequences could be much more severe than lost social security numbers. Addressing security and privacy will become a fundamental concern that will shape this industry. An important point regarding a useful and cost-effective solution is the appropriate adjustment of the security level for each respective application, as higher security means higher energy demands for the transmission and calculation of the algorithm of security mechanism.
Wireless Technology for Smart Home
According to industry analysts, Long Range (LoRa) technology is predicted to take one of the largest chunks of the rapidly expanding market for low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks in the Internet of Things. It will be closely followed by the Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) version of LTE, with Sigfox a distant third, according to the forecast (below) from IHS Markit.*
“We’re not seeing a fundamental shakeout in licensed or unlicensed networks; there’s tremendous growth across the board … but over the past year, the outlook has gotten brighter for LoRa and dimmer for Sigfox,” said Sam Lucero, a senior principal analyst for cellular IoT at IHS Markit.
Semtech is sampling next-generation LoRa chips that can lower battery consumption and cost while boosting reach and data rates. In 2017, Comcast and Verizon announced plans to deploy LoRa networks. For its part, Semtech announced that its annual revenue for LoRa chips doubled to $50 million and forecast that it will hit $100 million in 2018.
It was a good year for NB-IoT too, especially in China, where the government announced in June a policy with goals of reaching 600 million NB-IoT nodes by 2020. Its three carriers followed up with aggressive plans for deployments. Huawei is creating an NB-IoT ecosystem around its silicon, attracting non-traditional module makers including smartphone design firms shifting to IoT to cash in on the expected growth.