The smartphone is one of the most influential and widely used technology devices today. We've watched them grow in popularity since the early 2000s, and now everyone—and their kids—seem to have one. It's predicted that within this coming decade we'll see the rise of the smart home—a "connected home" that works together as one system. A smartphone can remotely control almost everything in the home, including thermostats, appliances, locks, lights, security cameras and systems, televisions, garage doors and even the blinds.
These fancy tech features used to be for the few who could afford the extra high-priced luxuries, but that's changing. Because of the increase in popularity, prices have dropped and a smart home is more affordable than ever. BusinessWire stated that in 2017, 433.1 million smart home devices shipped worldwide, up 27.6% from the previous year. An estimated 939.7 million devices will be shipped in 2022. By the end of 2019, at least 38% of American households will have entered the smart home market. That's big business, and this is a major up-and-coming industry. These home devices aren't just a novelty item; there are some legitimate benefits to automating home systems, including:
Improved Energy Efficiency: Our personal favorite feature, a smart thermostat learns the household's schedule and temperature preferences and can suggest the most efficient settings throughout the day. Motorized window coverings can adjust to the amount of direct sunlight coming through the window, helping with both heating and cooling. Lights can be turned on and off remotely or as people enter and exit a room. Water heaters and other appliances can be set to vacation mode, saving energy.
Increased Home Security: Incorporated security and surveillance features provide reassurance that a home is safe when people are away. Remotely controlled locks and viewing security cameras throughout the home will help with the "Did I remember to...?" moments and people can even receive notifications if an alert goes off.
Control Appliances: This feature lets people automatically start coffee in the morning, preheat the oven on the way home, or set oven temperatures and timers to prevent overcooking or undercooking dinner.
Habit Monitoring: The oven can report when someone's eaten too many frozen pizzas. A TV can let users know when it's time to turn off the boob tube and pick up a book or go outside.
Easy Device Management: Smart home apps give people the flexibility to add appliances and devices as people make new additions to a home.
Smart homes can bring big value. Beyond the obvious cool technology and modern conveniences, a smart home provides additional peace of mind through monitored security systems and makes home life more comfortable and energy efficient without even "thinking" about it.