Why 2017 is the Year of Home Automation
These are the smart home products making waves in 2017
Amazon is set to launch in Australia in Q3, and Amazon Echo may finally see a localised release some time after that. Google Home, may also arrive on our shores before the year is out.*
Facial recognition is becoming common. Many computers now allow you to unlock them at a glance via applications such as Windows Hello. Apple is also rumoured to be developing a similar technology for the iPhone 8, which could launch as early as September.
Drones, smart thermostats, voice recognition, and other smart home products are all continuing to rise in popularity, making the future envisioned in science fiction seem a little closer with every passing day.
All in all, 2017 is set to become the biggest ever year for smart homes and home automation. Here are some of the key smart devices and technologies driving the smart home revolution.
*Official Australian release dates for Amazon, Amazon Echo and Google Home are yet to be announced.
The Internet of Things continues its rise
For those unaware, the Internet of Things refers to the connection of the Internet to everyday devices.
For example, your home's heating, blinds, lighting and more can now all be connected to the Internet. This allows for automated operation via programmable algorithms. It also means you control these devices via your smartphone, for remote operation online.
The Internet of Things is evolving. But it is not yet mainstream. There is a large amount of energy being focused right now and this will only increase as we progress in 2017.
The home automation industry understands that consumers are expecting smarter homes. Companies in our industry are starting to work together to help this trend continue.
We expect the Internet of Things and smart home products to only rise in popularity in 2017.
How home automation is helping the environment
At the time of writing, it is only January and climate change, the environment and coral bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef is already back in the news headlines.
Australians have never been more aware of their carbon footprint. And so, it's not surprising that we as a nation are increasingly looking for ways to reduce our energy usage and our impact on the environment.
Because of this, people are turning to home automation to save energy and to minimise energy wastage.
Similarly, products such as automatic blind and curtain control naturally help to retain a home's climate, reducing the need for electrical powered climate control, thereby reducing energy usage.
Smart home products are making technology simpler
If you're old enough to remember the 80s or 90s, you'll know how cumbersome home computers were.
A PC was a big grey box with a similarly large and clunky monitor. Booting up took an eternity. And the less said about dial-up Internet the better. It's a far cry from the miniature and ultra-powerful smartphones which we all now pack in our pockets.
When it comes to making technology simpler, Smart Homes are the next evolution of this process.
Multi-room speakers and wall mounted screens embed the technology directly into your home. This makes your entertainment an integrated part of your home. So wherever you are within your home you can easily access your favourite music or Netflix television program.
In 2017, and with smart home products, everything will be connected, more easily accessible, and simpler to use. Every day and in every way.
Home security and home automation
Home security can now be integrated seamlessly with your smartphone, tablet and computer.
You can access your CCTV cameras from your phone and get a live feed of exactly what is happening in and around your home. Something not quite right? Simply rewind and play back. The high definition cameras make examining smalls details in footage possible.
Gates and doors can be locked or unlocked with a swipe of your fingerprint. Iris scanners and voice recognition locks are on the horizon too, making security devices even stronger and more personal.
Video intercoms let you see who is calling without you having to set a foot outside.
Combined, these and other smart home products are creating safer and more secure homes. So Australians can defend themselves more easily from would-be intruders via home automation.
The good, bad and just plain weird
The Internet of Things is still largely in its infancy. Like all new technology, people and developers are still figuring out how to use it to best effect.
So, naturally, in 2017 we'll see new innovations and new ways of using smart home technologies. Some will be good, some may be bad while others will be just plain weird.
For example, in recent years we've seen a Japanese company produce 'smart nappies' which use a sensor to send you an electronic notification when your little has well... you know!
A New York based manufacturer has developed an 'unforgettable umbrella' which sends you a smartphone notification should you ever leave your umbrella behind. It's a neat idea, but is probably overkill in drought-prone Australia.
Then, there's possibly the world's first camera-equipped home oven, which allows you to watch your dinner cook via WiFi - the footage being streamed directly to your smartphone.
With smart products such as these already on the market, we can't wait to see what new ideas will turn up in 2017 when it comes to home automation and smart home products.
"2016 was a huge year for smart homes and home automation. 2017 is shaping up to be even larger."
About the Author
At Integrated Technologies Australia (ITA), we are your specialists in home automation and smart home products. Our expert team live and breathe all things smart technology.
Throughout Australia, we help home and business owners to transform their residences through the use of the latest integrated technologies and devices.