Homes are getting “smarter.”
Once primarily only utilized by the wealthy, most homes now use some kind of Smart Home technology every day. Besides the usual alarm systems, life-safety sensors, professional monitoring, smart locks, cameras, video doorbells and lighting adjustments are all becoming automated.
From greater connectivity across all technology platforms and devices, to complete automation and the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence), consumers are finding more and more ways to utilize Smart Home devices and products than ever before. Beyond a novelty, research and anecdotal evidence point to increased security as the main driver for Smart-Home adoption, usually followed by “convenience” as the key reasons for consumers to add smart items to their home.
Voice control is quickly becoming the future.
Audible controls and access are now more responsive and simpler to use. They’re in millions of households for use as timers, weather reporters and music machines. As consumers realize how simple voice control can be for things like creating lists, they start imagining other things they can do with these wonders … like turning off the lights, answering the door from their office or adjusting the thermostat.
A greater demand for scheduled automation.
Amazon’s Alexa famously improved its speech-recognition over time, as it learned from mistakes made at the household level. Alexa can now offer a “wake up routine” which can turn on lights, heating/air conditioning, start the coffee and provide a quick news update, all with one command. And while we’re at it, we can monitor our indoor air quality and supplement its freshness with sounds and smells from the great outdoors.
Kitchens and baths are joining in on the fun. Manufacturers’ now offer self-cleaning toilets and refrigerators who can read their own contents and populate a shopping list on your phone app. Nearly four out of five homeowners feel that features which allow the ability to remotely start and stop their appliances, check the status, and/or adjust the appliance performance is most valuable to them. Through connected technologies, consumers can save energy, make cooking and cleaning more intuitive, provide mobile efficiencies, and make everyday tasks more seamless with their busy lifestyles.
Smart Technology has gone mainstream.
The biggest trend change in the past year is that Smart products are now more accessible and their average price point continues to drop. Yelp has seen a fourfold increase in searches for ‘Smart Home’ in the past 2 years. While the industry as a whole is seeing growth, Yelp says the trend is strongest amongst cities with the healthiest economies, and Austin, TX tops the list. Watch for more products and services as consumers continue to seek greater wellness and convenience, which will inevitably drive smarter innovation and create new household standards.