Convenience, simplicity and wow-factor design are all aspects that we keep in mind when looking for new gadgets for our homes, says technology commentator, Trevor Long.
“The early adopters are looking for something that will wow their visitors, but [that will] also add a new level of convenience to their lives.
“The curious want to hear how these smart-home technologies can make their lives easier or better – they are looking for ways to speed up mundane tasks or automate them, as well as a little something special to show off at the next dinner party.
“And the unaware are either oblivious to the advances in technology, or simply disinterested,” he says.
No matter where you’ve categorised yourself (although it’s safe to assume you’re either an early adopter or a curious George since you clicked on this article), these up-and-coming home technology trends can bring a whole new level of ‘wow’ to your home.
1. Inter-device operability
Products from different manufacturers and brands are beginning to work together harmoniously, says Trevor. While you once may have needed to get all devices from one brand, technologies like Google Home, for example, can now connect seamlessly to your Apple iPhone, Sony television and LIFX light bulbs.
“This is an important step forward to avoid ecosystem problems where people are locked into a single brand and unable to try new products on the market.
“This ‘open’ platform has to be the way forward if consumers are going to get value from their investment.”
2. Voice assistants
“Voice-controlled smart ‘assistants’ such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri are becoming the gateway to whole-of-home control,” explains Trevor.
At your vocal command, you can turn on the lights, record your favourite TV shows or pre-heat your oven – it’s all possible.
3. Television home hubs
While smart assistants began to establish themselves as the hub of the home last year, Trevor predicts in 2018 there will be a shift towards the TV being key.
“Brands like Samsung and LG are pushing for your TV to be the hub for your home in 2018,” he says.
“The TV is already considered a central point of the home in terms of family living, but now companies are seeing the remote and TV itself as the brain of your home’s functionality, too. Starting in 2018, TVs will have the ability to control smart home devices.”
He says newer TV models will allow vocal commands to switch lights on, lock doors, turn on appliances and more.
We’ve come to take it for granted now, but your WiFi network is crucial for making all of the above actually work.
“The only issue with emerging technologies is that a lot of them rely on a strong WiFi connection. And if that isn’t up to scratch, your smart home will fall dumb very quickly.
“New Mesh WiFi systems like Netgear’s Orbi and Google WiFi are a much-needed solution to a growing problem of network connectivity,” Trevor says.
Put simply, a better internet and advances in wireless technology make these things a reality that couldn’t have been before.