The Frictionless Home: The Next Wave of Home Technology



The term “smart home” has penetrated almost every market space and has realtors and homebuyers and sellers alike thinking about what smart home tech means to them.

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Exploring not only how a connected home can add convenience and safety to your life, but how it might add value to your home in the future. But when we talk about a smart home, what do we really mean? And how are homeowners going to interact with this technology that’s going to enhance their lives and integrate seamlessly into their daily behaviors.

These are questions we are actively exploring when we develop new products for the connected home. While we always take into account the look and feel of our devices and how they will integrate into a home’s décor, we are constantly thinking about the interaction that homeowners will have with our devices and how easy (or not) it will be for them to fit into their daily lives. The concept of home control and connected living have been heavily invested in our reliance on smart phones and tablets. The smart home world is an app based one. While an app is incredibly useful for setting up your home, programming favorite scenes and monitoring things while you’re away, it’s not a great in-home tool for control.

The rise of voice control and AI interfaces like Amazon Echo’s Alexa and the newly introduced Google Home have us thinking more and more about natural, frictionless ways we can interact with the technology in our home. “Alexa, turn the temperature down 2 degrees” is much easier than finding your phone, unlocking the home screen, entering the app, and tapping twice to achieve the same end. But what if you could wave your hand in front of an entryway in the home, and do the same?

Gesture control is something we at FIBARO have been actively exploring for years, having seen how it has transformed the healthcare industry in their efforts to combat germ spread in places like hospitals. But it’s also something that’s going to take the concept of a “smart home” for homebuyers and give it even more appeal. Imagine being able to walk into your kitchen and quickly swiping right or left to activate a “welcome” scene that brings up your lights, pre-heats your oven and turns on your streaming music service as you get ready to prepare dinner. Imagine heading to bed, and swiping down on your nightstand to arm your home security system and turn the lights off on the first floor of your home. Simple gestures begin to cue powerful automations that make living a little bit simpler. These types of devices will transform what can sometimes feel like an overly technical and confusing system for a potential homebuyer to a kind of magic that lives within the home.

 

About the author: Rich Bira is the Managing Director, US, FIBARO