I know it’s a bit late, but Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is as fantastic as 2016 was.
Being a tech nerd like yours truly, you would have been following the new products that were presented at this year’s CES. For those who are not tech geeks, CES is the world’s largest consumer electronics conference, held in Las Vegas every January. There’s everything from smart cars, to toys, to high tech luggage and walking canes, to smart home security. CES is in essence, the Mecca of consumer electronics.
Home security is always a big ticket item at CES every year, and this year’s conference certainly did not disappoint. Besides the usual new cameras and devices that companies like Honeywell and Nokia presented, smart home tech giant Alarm.com presented an impressive new upcoming feature to their smart home security systems – drones equipped with a camera system that will fly around you home to investigate unusual activity, such as a window or door being opened in the middle of the night. These drones will draw heavily on the other feature Alarm.com released at CES, their Insights Engine programming.
Insights Engine essentially learns from your routine, and eventually notes any unusual activity when it occurs. For example, say during the week your routine is set to leave at 8:30 for work, and return at 5. Weekends are usually at home with the family. You usually turn off and on your lights essentially at the same time every day. Then on a Monday your toddler happens to open the door at 8 in the morning and runs outside. Insight Engine would pick up this unusual activity and send you an alert, letting you know the door has been opened for more than a few minutes. This is essentially using the same concept as Alarm.com’s Wellness solution, which promotes independent living for the elderly through connected devices installed through out their home so that their carer’s and relatives can keep an eye on the home’s occupant.
As it always happens with a new year, predictions come out with what will be the new year’s greatest trends. But hey, who really knows what this year will bring? Besides what was highlighted at CES, here are my predictions of what we’ll see come out in the smart home tech world.
Most smart home systems today already have the right coding to give the user the ability create environments depending on daylight savings, or sunrise and sunset. For example, when the sun sets, the front porch light comes on, or when your car enters your garage and it’s after 6pm in winter, the hallway light comes on so you’re not entering your home in the dark.
This coding could literally go anywhere, but the next spot we reckon we’ll see this programming is in shades and blinds. Imagine that at high noon, when sun is pouring through your living room, the shades automatically come down to a certain length. Or if it’s getting darker, the shades come up so you don’t have to turn on the lights sooner than necessary. Such blinds can help save energy costs,and even save your light sensitive furniture from damage.
IOT and home automation tech has been in our front yards for some time now. A few years ago, drone and headphone company Parrot created a really nifty little device called Flower Power that advises the user when to water, fertilise, etc for their particular plants. But since then, nothing much has happened in the world of smart gardening.
That’s why we believe smart home tech companies will be looking outside the home for their next big trend. How convenient would it be that you had your spirnklers automated so that they wont turn on when the humidity in the air is over a certain percentage, or the soil is too wet? You would never have to worry about over watering again, or bother your neighbours to have them water your lawn!
Smart Small Appliances
2016 was the year of the Thermomix, which could download new recipes when hooked up to your home’s wifi. This is going to be the year we see small appliances in the kitchen or laundry get smart. It’s a matter of time before you’re able to turn on and program your slow cooker to whatever setting you need for dinner straight from you phone, and receive alerts when your food is done.
Keen to learn what’s available in smart home and smart security products in Australia? Let’s talk! My contact options are available in my author profile, or head to www.tisec.com.au.