On the pulse: what’s on the horizon in 2017

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The adoption of smart home technologies is continuing to rise in Australia, with one in four houses now considered to be a ‘smart home’. As new technologies continue to emerge, what trends can we expect to see hitting the market in 2017?

Security

Studies show that one of the primary reasons consumers purchase smart home technology is to keep their families safe. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen significant growth in the demand for intelligent home security systems with devices such as the smart doorbell, alarms and other motion sensored cameras becoming commonplace in the market. However, as many smart home devices are connected to the internet, security and privacy are often perceived as primary obstacles. To overcome these obstacles, manufacturers are continuously exploring new software and technologies that ensures safety of these devices.

This year, we will see increased efforts in data encryption and authentication of physical security, as well as at home security systems with biometric intelligence to recognise faces, voices and thumbprints. Given the adoption of in-home security cameras and smart doorbells, we will also see a growing trend towards video and audio analytics, as well as a stronger push towards keeping devices safe from cyber threats.

Voice activation

An instrumental addition to the smart home market this year will be voice-activated control through what is known as a “Smart Speaker,” which will become increasingly popular in Australian homes. Voice activation gives home owners an unprecedented level of control over their homes, including turning on the lights, drawing the blinds, turning on music or activating heating and cooling –  completely hands free.

Thanks to automation, voice-activated smart homes are able to respond to commands in line with personalised, pre-determined settings. When products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home are paired with an integrated all-in-one solution like Push Controls, the options are truly endless, enabling voice control to take the notion of personalisation to the next level. Not only can people come home and say “Tell house I have arrived”, and it will respond with personalised settings, they can also create entire scenes and atmospheres using only their voice. Getting ready for movie night just got a whole lot easier.

As voice control continues to evolve it will become increasingly intuitive at being able to adapt to the environment and its surroundings, not only simplifying the lives of those who need an extra hand but those looking to live with that extra bit of independence. A great example is assisted living and the potential benefits voice control can bring people living with a disability.

With the continuous development of voice control, expect to be able to pre-set more and more commands, have the systems understand entire sentences, and respond to complicated demands.

Customisation and connectivity

Customising a home is no longer as simple as selecting floor tiles and paint schemes; it now extends to home technology too. For example, you can create rules to have the lights turn on when movement is sensored, have your doors unlock when a smoke alarm goes off and have cameras begin recording when motion is detected. Perhaps what’s most exciting is that these technologies could soon be able to visually identify a resident and respond accordingly based on their customised settings.

Integrators wanting to stay ahead of the game should always keep a close eye on developments in the market so they are aware of the latest trends and emerging technologies.

About Ben Green

Ben Green

Ben Green is the general manager of PUSH by Schneider Electric. Specialising in smart device automation and developing easy to use technology, Ben has founded two Australian tech start ups over the past 10 years. PUSH’s core focus is to enable end users the ability to control their home through a phone or tablet. Over the past five years PUSH has risen to become a market leader in smart home technology.

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