Smart home — Not a stranger anymore!
Smart home. What does it mean?
Smart homes have become a big topic in recent years, especially as a part of the Internet of Things (IoT), an even larger phenomenon. However, I am often confused about the term ‘smart home’. What does it mean exactly? Berg Insights, a market research firm, offers a definition. Smart home is a solution for monitoring, controlling and automating functions at home using an app or a web portal as an interface.
Another confusing point for me is the types of products that intelligent home business offers. Here too, Berg Insights differentiates between point solutions, such as smart speakers, and whole-home systems or traditional home automation systems. Another typological distinction is between software, such as KNX, and hardware, such as tablet wall mounts.
According to Berg Insights, there will be 147 million smart homes in Europe and North America by 2022, as opposed to the 42 million back in 2017. In Europe, which is considered less advanced in smart home technology, only around 10% of all homes were automated in 2017. Forecasts promise tripled sales in 5 years. That means that almost one-third of all houses in Europe are expected to have adopted smart home systems by 2022. The cited data promise the advent of a big change in our homes
What will the future be like?
We live in interesting times, where we are witnessing a rapid evolution in home living. In the US, Alabama Power company developed a neighbourhood of 62 smart homes to present what homes will look like in 2040. Reynold’s Landing is an experiment, where the residents share data on energy usage and meet researchers to share their experiences.
As a smart home user, I am able to control the heating and operate the window blinds via app on my tablet. The tablet is conveniently placed in a tablet wall mount in my kitchen. And yet, as a slow adopter, or rather a follower, I have not yet automated all home functions. However, things are evolving rapidly. I wonder if my children will remember how it felt to manually raise or lower the temperature in the radiator.
Voice assistant or tablet wall mount?
It is noteworthy that home automation is not only about more comfortable and more energy-efficient (30% on average) living. For many, it is also about the thrill of tactile and voice control. Technophile consumers are already using WiFi-connected fridges that enable checking what is inside, voice-controlled window blinds, and mattresses that follow sleep behaviour. A market analysis company, IDC, reckons that smart home gadgets will double in sales by 2023, as compared to 2019.
For me, a non-technophile, smart home is an element of interior design, apart from making my home smarter. I am sure that voice command device such as Alexa or Google Home lend an exciting hi-tech makeover to one’s house. For me, however, this role plays my smart home hub – a tablet in a tablet wall mount. In my place, where children conquered all spaces up to 1.2m high, having a home hub in a tablet wall mount seems most appropriate. The tablet wall mount enables constant charging and secure handling of my tablet.
Moreover, the wall frame is fingerprint and scratch resistant. Nowadays, high-end wall mounts are made from aluminium — they are available with a noble anode or elegant powder-coating finishing. There are producers, Displine, for example, who offer interesting colours for the mounts, such as anthracite or red. Thus, to satisfy my aesthetics cravings, I selected a tablet wall mount in champagne rouge to complement the kitchen and dining room lighting.
How smart will our homes be?
Thus, the smart home is nothing new in today’s reality. The adoption of the home automation product depends entirely on individual choices. Due to a wide range of smart home solutions, everyone can make their home smarter in a unique manner. The next ten years will be interesting for anyone who wants to follow the development of home automation. How smart will our homes become by then?