There’s no denying that smart home technology is on a rapid rise all around the world. We’re getting used to connecting everyday devices in our home to the internet, as well as to each other, in order to make our home more convenient and a bit safer. We’re seeing this in a lot of industries, from HVAC and lighting to home security systems.
If you take a look at the progress of this trend, in 2016 the value of the smart home device market was around $55 billion. By 2025, it’s expected to get to $174 billion, which is more than triple. To put this into perspective, everything we see today is just the tip of the iceberg.
The technology that stands behind home automation and smart home technology advances rapidly, and we can expect new and innovative ideas to come up. With that in mind, as we enter a new decade, let’s take a look at five trends that will mark the year 2020 in the world of home automation.
We’ll Have Robots in Our Homes
This is actually a trend that kicked off with robotic lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners. However, thanks to all the advancements in the world of smart home, we’ll be seeing a lot more of them, and they’ll become smarter. They’ll also be more capable, and able to help with a lot more tasks than today.
There are a lot of examples, but they’ll be able to cook and clean, as well as provide healthcare and companionship, which means that in some regards, they’ll be like a second person in the home. With domestic robots, you can expect a future where they carry out day-to-day tasks. This, in turn, allows us to spend more time on things other than maintenance and chores. They’ll also be an excellent pair of extra eyes for the elderly and disabled, able to call for help if they sense someone needs it.
Machine Learning Makes Smart Homes Really Smart
When it comes to home technology, the term “smart” gets misused quite a bit. We’re seeing automated window blinds, video doorbells, and programmable lights all making our lives safer and more convenient. However, just because a device is connected to the internet, that doesn’t make it smart. A “connected home” would probably be a term that’s a lot better.
But this will all change, thanks to the fact that a lot more devices start to use machine learning, a technology that’s actually capable of learning, thinking and making decisions. There are some devices that do this already, such as Nest thermostats that use machine learning to adapt their behavior to a house’s inhabitants. This year, we can expect to see a lot more devices being AI-driven, and it’s safe to assume that facial recognition will be a major feature.
Standardization Will Increase Further
There’s no doubt that putting a smart home together comes with a major challenge – fitting all the devices together and making them work. This is all set to change, especially with the Zigbee Alliance teaming up with giants such as Amazon, Google, and Apple to all standardize the protocols being used for communication between these devices. This will make sure that a lot of the guesswork of combining such devices will be taken away from the users, and they’ll have a much easier time trying to fit things together when they’re making their smart home system.
Faster Networks Equal Smarter Homes
Lately, we’re seeing a lot of improvement in the wireless network. There’s a global rollout of 5G that’s already begun, and Wi-Fi is set to become even better and faster with Wi-Fi 6. This means that all the devices that are connected to the internet will do so by using faster and more powerful networks. This allows for better data access and processing, especially in the cloud.
This is especially true with 5G, which promises to revolutionize how the Internet of Things services are being delivered. It will allow devices to work wirelessly while consuming the minimum amount of energy possible and will let a lot more devices to be connected at the same time, something that’s going to be an essential factor.
We’ll Get Smarter In-home Healthcare
Last but not least, we have smarter healthcare in our homes. This will potentially reduce quite a bit of the stress that’s currently put on doctors and hospitals, something that is caused by a growing elderly population and an increased life expectancy.
Just look at devices like the current Apple Watch, that can carry out an ECG and monitor any heartbeat irregularities. This is a technology that’s only going to become more popular and more widespread, and will significantly improve healthcare as a result.