What does the future of the smart home look like in 2018 and beyond?

Imagine a world where everything in our lives is connected to the internet and to each other, from smartphones and tablets to our home’s lights and air conditioners. A world where all of these devices can be in constant communication and controlled by users remotely via voice command or a simple push of a button. With the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), the idea of the smart home has already become a reality.

As we’ve already seen, 2017 was a big year for the smart home and 2018 is expected to be even bigger. We’re currently on the brink of a smart home boom, with household penetration in South Africa at 3.6% in 2018 and predicted to hit 9.8% by 2022. Proving that smart homes are now moving into the mainstream, we caught a sneak peak into some of the exciting new smart products to hit the market at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month. So here’s what we expect to see from the smart home in 2018 and beyond.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here in a big way

There’s no question that 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 initially thought. With leading tech companies all revealing plans to add AI to a host of devices this year, from washing machines to cars to cooktops, we’ll soon be living in a world where even our smart products can anticipate and deliver on our needs.

AI was said to be the tipping point for the smart home, as devices would be able to work with one another to achieve a common goal. A great example is the idea of a smart kitchen and using AI to cook a meal. In the past, we’d have to open the refrigerator, look through the ingredients, work out what has potentially expired, then look up recipes and make sure to set the right oven temperature. Now with the smart kitchen, we can do all this seamlessly and effortlessly.

So thanks to AI, we expect to see a future where your smart home is able to monitor your behaviour, learn your habits and pre-empt your needs – without even having to ask.

2. Integration will be a breaking point

The growth of home integration was one of the biggest tech trends last year, which is only set to continue throughout 2018. No doubt that one of the main appeals of the smart home is the comfort and convenience it provides homeowners and it’s these types of smart home products that will thrive in 2018 and beyond.

For example, imagine you’re driving home from work on a hot summer day – which is not too hard to imagine here in South Africa! 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 office to tell your smart air conditioner to turn on. Smart homes filled with these connected products are loaded with possibilities to make our lives easier, which is an exciting concept.

3. Security and surveillance is in focus

Safety and security are continuing to be a big focus of the smart home as no matter what kind of household you live in, everyone craves comfort and peace of mind. With burglary still a prominent issue in South Africa, surveillance has become a priority to combat crime and give South African families a greater sense of safety in their own homes.

One of the most effective features of smart home technology is the home security it offers. Most experts agree that the most effective way to prevent criminals from gaining access to your property is through a layered security system and by skilfully incorporating security, and surveillance features in your smart home network you can tighten your security exponentially.

One of the key security advantages of smart home products is that you can monitor your home remotely, giving you more freedom and greater peace of mind. Using only an app on your phone, you can check on the status of the lights in your home, the alarm, cameras or motion sensors at any time and anywhere. You can also 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.

Do any of these predictions come as a surprise to you? For more information on how you can integrate smart products into your own home, contact MyPlace Africa today.