Smart home technology has been cemented into the mainstream, and everyone’s talking about where it will go next. We expect these five trends to dominate the conversation in 2017.
Alexa is no longer a lone voice in the digital assistant market. Amazon’s rival Google unleashed Google Home on the US in November and Apple is set to enter the fray. As competition intensifies between the tech giants, hands-free, voice-controlled smart home hubs are set to make a lot more noise in 2017.
However, the arrival of Olly may silence all other digital assistants. Emotech’s AI robot is due to arrive in the shape of a (rather creepy) blinking eye which develops its own unique personality. Only the market can decide if this is the stuff of dreams or nightmares.
Samsung thawed the market last year with the launch of its Family Hub Refrigerator, and now LG and Microsoft are hot on its heels. Fridges which track consumption and expiration dates and manage restocks are wooing consumers who would otherwise forget that one vital ingredient they were supposed to buy for dinner.
Wi-Fi enabled smart fridges, complete with touchscreen interface, could mean that the kitchen will become the hub of the home, as well as the heart, by the end of 2017.
The Internet of Things has been promising to stitch smart home technology into a connected experience for years, but it has remained a little lose at the seams. That’s set to change as tech giants such as Apple, Google and Amazon, which thrive on streamlining user experiences, battle it out for market share. A fragmented market of individual apps and appliances could soon be swallowed whole.
Robot lawnmowers were fun, but now brands such as Samsung are tiptoeing into the market everything should be coming up roses for smart gardens in 2017. Soil sensors, Wi-Fi enabled sprinklers and intelligent lighting will all make the market, and the garden, grow in 2017.
Daylight harvesting will shine even brighter in 2017. The system which uses daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed commanded the world’s attention in 2016 as a way of reducing energy consumption. The concept is expected to evolve in 2017 with motorised shades integrated into a smart home automation system.