Over the past few years, smart home technology has advanced considerably so it’s exciting to see how it will develop in the next 12 months. An article in cepro.com has highlighted some of the top smart home trends for 2018.
Not surprisingly one of the top trends is still security and is often cited as being the major reason for smart home adoption. Home security systems tend to be more in demand compared to other smart home devices and it’s easy for consumers to understand how a security system will help them and what it does. Home security extends well beyond the usual monitored home alarms, including items such as cameras, video doorbells, smart locks, and lighting.
Voice assistants are identified as the second top trend and offer an affordable way for homeowners to adopt home automation. An increasing number of people are recognizing their use for playing music, giving weather reports, acting as timers and helping to build shopping lists. Once they have confidence in a voice assistant, they’re more likely to acquire other connected devices that can be controlled by the voice assistant, such as home thermostats or lighting.
Machine learning or artificial intelligence is set to be the next big trend. The article points out that it began with the Nest thermostat that was capable of learning user’s behaviors and preferences, automatically regulating temperature without the need for human intervention. Amazon Alexa has improved speech recognition through learning from data acquired from millions of users. Now new security devices monitor subsonic or ultrasonic sounds, establishing which sounds are normal and those that require investigation. For example, this could be a water leak or even termite activity, or quite possibly computer hackers. The latest cybersecurity solutions will be able to recognize unusual activity, alerting the user and acting to avoid further security breaches.
Over the past few years much has been made of the Cloud but now there is a move back towards placing processing power and intelligence into the end devices or at least towards home hubs. This is a move that could help improve network security and privacy.
Another new trend explored by the article is the subject of living well or living healthily, using devices that can monitor sleep or improve sleep quality. There is increasing interest in how lighting can affect sleep and natural circadian rhythms.