The future of the smart home in 2018 and beyond

2017 was a big year for the smart home and 2018 is expected to be even bigger. With the arrival of the Google Home and Amazon Echo to the Australian market through to the rapid adoption rate of other smart products, virtual assistants have now moved out of our mobile phones and into our homes and smart home technology has finally broken through to the mainstream.

With smart homes dominating the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, the smart home has now gone from gimmick to intrinsic. In fact, smart home penetration in Australia is now at 19.1% in 2018 and expected to hit 27.6% in 2022, proving how the possibilities of smart homes widely appeal to Australian homeowners. So based on some of the latest trends, here’s what we expect to see from the smart home in 2018 and beyond.

1. Artificial Intelligence will take the smart home to the next level

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the breakout star of this year’s Electronics Consumer Show and we learnt that the reality of an AI future is not as far away as we thought. Leading tech companies like LG, Samsung and Panasonic all revealed plans to add AI to a host of devices this year – from washing machines to cars to cooktops – to let them anticipate your needs.

In fact, AI was said to be “the tipping point for the smart home”, as devices would be able to work with another to achieve a goal, such as cooking a meal. LG’s marketing vice-president David VanderWaal discussed the idea of the smart kitchen using AI:

“In the past you’d have to open the refrigerator, look through your ingredients, work out what has potentially expired, then look up recipes and make sure to set the right oven temperature.
Now the smart kitchen is changing the game. It’s doing all that for you seamlessly and effortlessly.”

By using AI and a wireless internet connection, devices can also identify when users are coming home to turn lights on, and when they have gone on holiday to put refrigerators into low-power mode. In the future, through AI technology, your smart home might even be able to monitor your behaviour, learn your habits and pre-empt your needs – without even having to ask.

2. Integration will make or break smart home devices

The growth of integration into the house will be one of the biggest tech trends in Australia this year. One of the main appeals of the smart home is the convenience it provides homeowners.

Australians love convenience and it’s the smart home products that offer them this that will thrive in 2018 and beyond.

Technology is set to become much more efficient in 2018 and beyond with increased convenience, control and customisation a main priority for Australian homeowners. And thanks to smart home technology, we’ll be able to eventually to control everything from the one central place. So it’s the smart products that integrate with other smart home products that will continue to dominate the market.

Smart homes filled with these connected products are loaded with possibilities to make our lives easier, more convenient and more comfortable. For example, imagine you’re driving home from work on a hot summer day – which is not too hard to imagine here in sunny Aus! But rather than turn the air conditioner on when you get home and wait for your house to cool, you simply use your smartphone when you leave your officer to tell your smart air conditioner to turn on.

3. More internet-connected appliances than ever before

Australian homes are finally embracing the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT refers to the connection of the internet to everyday devices, which means you can control your devices from a smartphone or remotely.

In 1996, only 1% of Australian households regularly used a computer and only 26% of these had a modem capable of networking beyond the home. Now, on average, Australian households have 21 internet-connected devices with a predicted 29 by 2020. This explosive growth is mainly due to internet connectivity and will play a large part in the future of the smart home.

Australia is on the verge of an era in which just about every electronic device will be connected to each other and the internet. According to the Telsyte Australian IoT @ Home Market Study, 140 million smart home products will be connected by 2021. The IoT home market is set to skyrocket as internet connectivity is built into many existing products and services.

4. A stronger focus on surveillance

Safety and security are continuing to be a big focus of the smart home because no matter what kind of household, everyone craves comfort and peace of mind. So as surveillance becomes more necessary than ever before to combat crime, with home burglary figures hitting a 13-year high in WA alone last year, smart home products are now giving Australians families a greater sense of safety in their own homes.

Connected safety and security systems and devices with remote monitoring capabilities are expanding their share of the global smart home market. In fact, the BI Intelligence research company estimates that by 2019 home security systems will account for 38% of the connected home market. These products range from smoke alarms with carbon monoxide detectors to electronic locks and motion sensors that can be controlled via apps on consumers’ smartphones and Android devices.

This smartphone connectivity allows users not only to control and customise the operation of individual or connected devices, but also to receive real-time alerts and information from sensors in the home, like sudden temperature changes that can indicate a fire or a sound and movement that signal an intrusion.

This is a great example of how AI and video analytics capabilities have advanced significantly over the past 12 months and are increasingly being built into smart home products to detect normalities and make homes safer. As a result, we expect to see more smart security systems in 2018 and beyond as well as the integration of smart security features into existing devices.

What do you think of these predictions? For more information on how you can integrate smart products into your own home, get in touch with our Connected Home Specialists today.