Out of 7.6 billion people in the world, 2.32 billion already have a smartphone, according to statista.com. Feature phones will soon be disrupted and will eventually be eliminated from the world for good. While many people have smartphones, not everyone lives in a smart home. As a matter of fact, most people are unaware of its utility.
In a smart home, household appliances are augmented with small computers connected to the internet. This helps residents to carry out small but essential tasks through their smartphones without even being in the house.
Only power users and geeks currently use this technology but wider usage should come soon. More people will endorse this technology and it is all because of the device in their hands – the smartphone.
Smartphone Tech Titans Venturing into It
At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, major tech companies and appliance makers showcased their connected devices. The aim for such innovation is to make the lives of consumers easier and to provide them with the smart solutions of a facilitated living environment.
Consumers are not yet convinced about smart home technology but The Consumer Technology Association acknowledges attempts by various companies. According to them, the sale of wearables as well as smart home devices will quadruple selling 38 million and 9 million units respectively. This will bring a 20% increase in revenue compared to last year.
NextMarket Insights analyst Michael Wolf said, “Most people are scared or don’t understand smart homes because it’s been presented to them as: ‘Here’s a hub and a bunch of sensors, why don’t you try to turn on your lights.'” He further added, “Once consumers realize there are these technologies that are just so much better than the old technology, they’ll probably adopt them.”
Because of various worries about the technology, only a few recognized names will make it big in this industry. As per Wolf, “Companies have recognized that the battle has been won, and it’s coming down to a few primary platforms and ecosystems, like [Alphabet’s] Nest and [Samsung’s] SmartThings.” These companies already have name recognition in the smartphone industry already.
Controlling Homes Remotely
As smart devices are connected to the internet, it is a mixed blessing because along with bringing a lot of ease, they pose potential threats as well. A single mistake in the code can cost the security of your house with hackers ready to find a hole in the system. This may allow them to compromise the security of your house and affect heating and lights.
People must pay attention to security and quality when installing devices in their house. Even quality devices may be open to compromise later. On the positive front, this technology and controlling it through a smartphone can be a blessing. There is no need for a separate remote control because heating and lights are controlled through the smartphone.
One of the best things, aficionados say, is control things without being present in your house. For instance, on leaving the office at 5:30 pm, you can turn on the house air conditioning through your smartphone. By the time you arrive home, the perfect environment allows you to relax as soon as you step in.
Smart Homes – Extensions of Smartphones
Apple released HomeKit in iOS 8 way back which went unappreciated by most people. HomeKit is a framework that allows developers to build applications that communicate with home smart devices. This API allowed them to integrate Internet of Things with the second most-used OS in the world. Early adopters were able to access home devices with ease through Siri.
Samsung is also pushing hard, releasing a handful of smart devices equipped with sensors, controlled through smartphone apps. With the passage of time, more manufacturers will do the same.
Smart home technology accessed through smartphones will become one feature that affects purchasing decisions. They are choosing to automate their homes through iOS or Android. Android news says the API for smart home technology will soon become ubiquitous.
The Bottom Line
Not long ago, the idea of communicating and carrying out tasks through a small device was a fantasy. Most people think that a truly smart home for them is only possible in the distant future. They think it seems possible in movies but is way beyond our reach.
Gartner reveals that in about two years, there will be around 20.4 billion connected devices in the world. The visual of the future IoT is compelling, as a single touch or a command will control heating, lights, and other important functions of your house.
There are concerns, however, which still worry people. One is reaching such a level of tech expertise that people don’t get tangled in the complexity of using different apps for distinct purposes. A major worry is the privacy and security of the home and the possibility of compromise.
Even though there is no guarantee of perfect security, smart homes will soon become as common as smartphones. Manufacturers will eventually only build smart devices and consumers will endorse ease of use over security and privacy.