06 Sep 2015

In this technology-driven world, the future holds boundless possibilities for the home. With the rise of intuitive, web-connected gadgets from companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google, our homes will be able to do more for us than just give us a place to sleep at night.

In this technology-driven world, the future holds boundless possibilities for the home. With the rise of intuitive, web-connected gadgets from companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google, our homes will be able to do more for us than just give us a place to sleep at night. In fact, they’ll be connected to our devices, making our lives much more seamless and convenient.

So what will the home of the future be like? Here’s a look at what is in store for the future of smart homes:

Web connected and controlled via app

TVs, home appliances, and sound systems with WiFi connection will be able to be controlled from anywhere in your home via an app on your smartphone, tablet, or centralised touchscreen. All these smart devices will sync and be linked together so that they can communicate with one another. This will all help create a connected, responsive home designed to make life easier.

Here are some examples of what this technology might bring:

  • Geo-fencing technology means that your house will be able to sense your return via your smartphone. It will anticipate your arrival by switching on the air conditioning, opening the garage door, and even playing music
  • Your Samsung fridge will be able to ‘talk’ to your LG television. For example, if you left your fridge door open, it will send you a message while you’re watching TV to alert you
  • Touch interactive surfaces on the fridge, kitchen bench, and bathroom mirror will allow you to control smart devices all around the home, no matter where you are
  • An August smart lock door will only unlock after confirming your identity. It can be connected to Lifx lights, that flash when you open the door, and an Elertus sensor that sends a message to your smart TV informing other occupants of your return home
  • An Elertus sensor fitted to a wine cooler can notify you when someone has opened the cooler by sending a warning or notification to your smart TV
  • Qualcomm’s smart router alerts you when your child is on the Internet at night through a notification on your smart TV. You can then remotely turn off access to the Internet in that room alone
  • Jalousier’s smart blinds remotely control air conditioning units, allowing them to automatically adjust to changes in temperature.

An extension of home decorating

Smart technology can be integrated into the interior as an extension of home decoration. For example, when Ad Notam’s mirror TV is switched off, it looks just like a mirror on the wall. Ultralift Australia’s technology can also hide a TV screen behind a canvas artwork. Home-automation touchscreens and wireless zoned music are also integrated in all areas of the home. The idea is to not only have high end automation that blends into the surroundings, but one that enhances your lifestyle.

Wearable technology

Nymi wearable technology is worn on the wrist and authenticates your identity using your cardiac rhythm. This allows your home to adjust the lighting automatically, and play music based on your automated personal preferences and pre-configured profiles. Nymi can also communicate with beacon based technologies that use proximity instead of motion to locate your presence within the home.
In the future, we can expect to see wearables that can tap into your body temperature and have rooms adjust the temperature automatically to a setting that suits you. Wearables may also become the centralised access to all of your digital content.

Security and control issues

There are security concerns regarding the smart home being an attractive target for thieves, hackers, and malware. Automating the home with smart technology also gives more personal information to smart technology providers, but more control to homeowners by providing the following security benefits:

  • The ability to turn your security system on from the internet, if you are out of the house or in bed
  • Having a system that mimics your lights and curtains usage while you’re away so that it appears like you are still home
  • Having a security system that detects intruders with sensors and relays the information to you and the police via phone calls, emails, or SMS
  • The ability to see your security camera footage anywhere, anytime, using your smartphone.

While smart technology can allow people to know what’s happening in their homes while they’re away, users also want to feel secure and in control when using technology that collects personal data. Smart technology providers are therefore expected to implement privacy by design to ensure that people feel safe and in control when utilising smart home technology.

Smarter home technologies

Smart home technologies will only become smarter. With this goal in mind, manufacturers will ensure the reliability, security, and usability of their products by collaborating with one another and ensuring their technologies can communicate seamlessly together. Smart home apps will also run on both iOS and Android. Apple’s HomeKit, Samsung’s SmartThings and Google’s Nest are examples of smart technologies that can communicate with home devices and offer apps from other companies.

Authentication information like usernames and passwords is another issue that smart technology providers need to consider. When linking smart devices to personal accounts, multiple family members, and even guests, should be able to enter a single username and password but have different levels of access based on their needs.

WiFi, broadband Internet, and debugging systems should also be improved so that installation, maintenance, and correcting connection issues can be quick and easy.

Overall, smart homes will become smarter, more user-friendly, and personalised. Homeowners will also continue to drive newer and improved smart home technologies that can make their lives easier, safer, and more productive, as well as allow them to be in better control of their lives.