In its early abstractions, the Monsanto House of the Future had wall-spanning windows, a clean, space-age design and sleek white exterior. Few in the 1960s could predict the real “house of the future” would look the same as their own, with no significant differences to an outside observer.
But step inside, and that same person might be surprised to find homes have come quite a long way since the 20th century. It would appear as though advancements in technology don’t necessarily represent a significant change in aesthetics, but a change in the design of common household devices.
From video doorbells that allow you to speak with the resident to smart lighting systems users can schedule around their routines, even the clap-activated lamps of yesteryear pale in comparison to the products available to consumers today. And the pace of innovation only continues to accelerate.
The present reality of smart home devices
With the growing popularity of smart products and their common adoption in nearly half of US households, companies are finding new ways to capitalize on this current trend. The word smart has become synonymous with convenient, with many classic appliances receiving makeovers.
The AmazonBasics Microwave is an example of this shift the retailer’s latest contribution to their stable of smart home devices. Similar in processing power, the only distinct difference beyond a simplified interface is the appliance’s integration with Alexa, a voice-activated assistant which controls its operation.
The smart home devices market shows no immediate signs of slowing. The possible combinations of old products and new technologies will grow alongside advances in computer science and automation. Large brands like Google and Apple will no doubt claim a large stake in this emerging market.
But beyond the arguable utility of a voice-activated microwave, smart home devices provide consumers with a level of comfort and security they didn’t previously enjoy. Smart garage door openers are an example of this, allowing users to operate their garage door with their smartphone from 10 feet to 10 miles away.
As of now, security is the primary concern of consumers who are hesitant to adopt smart devices. With massive data breaches from once-trusted brands like Facebook, many worry a similar leak will share their personal information with malicious hackers. In response to this, companies have invested in security.
Forecasting the future of smart home devices
What does the future of the smart home device market look like. At its current rate of growth, the popularity of smart devices is not likely to diminish within the next decade — so what are some realistic predictions? If current trends hold steady, the US household of tomorrow will be a very different place.
A stronger focus on security will both improve and weaken it. Homeowners will have more at their disposal — smart cameras, smart locks and other means of threat detection — but these additions will come with data privacy risks as hackers innovate new methods of bypassing protective measures.
On a positive note, keeping a house stocked with groceries will no longer present a problem to those with mobility issues. Data from smart home technology will alert a local business when supplies run low, prompting them to send an employee with a bag of fresh fruit, vegetables and other consumables.
Without a doubt, smart home devices will change the way we live in surprising and unexpected ways. More than they already have. And though the actual “house of the future” isn’t as fun or fanciful as America’s initial blueprint, the reality is just as impressive.— I4U News