With over 40 years of history, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) is a great opportunity to get a sneak peak at the year’s up and coming technology. Which home automation products will stand out from the crowd?
With the pending release of Apple’s HomeKit and a whole range of exciting new smart home products, it looks like 2015 will be another important year for the automated home. Bosch will present the inaugural “Smart Home Marketplace,” and aims to show consumers how their homes might get smarter and more efficient next year.
With 25,000 square feet of exhibition space already sold, we can expect to see a whole host of innovative and exciting new products. Well known smart devices companies exhibiting at the Smart Home Marketplace include Control4, Honeywell, Lutron, Wink and the Zigbee Alliance.
Apple’s HomeKit set to steal the show
Apple love to dominate CES, and with it’s long awaited HomeKit inching ever closer to a 2015 release date, it looks like this year will be no different. From what we know so far, HomeKit is a set of tools that will allow developers to make smart devices and appliances that work easily with Apple products. Expect to see a host of companies scrambling to be a part of Apple’s view of the automated home, from iDevices’ iGrill Mini to Honeywell’s HomeKit compatible Lyric thermostat.
These developments from Apple are exciting, but not revolutionary. What’s newsworthy about them is the fact that Apple is working with third party developers so that these smart home solutions will work easily with iOS and Bluetooth, which means no more messing around with competing networking protocols.
Apple aren’t the only company using Bluetooth…
Commentators seem to agree that more and more smart home companies are experimenting with Bluetooth as their standard networking protocol. One example is a smart camera and security company called Peep. They’ve got a smart camera that snaps whoever’s knocking at the door and quickly sends an image to the homeowner’s phone via Bluetooth.
Low power Wi-Fi is shaping up to be an excellent alternative or supplement to Bluetooth. Though the technology is still a little way off where it needs to be for more widespread adoption, low power Wi-Fi that circumvents the need for a complex hub and boasts battery life that is measured in years, not hours, is going to be very appealing to some customers.
The Trend Towards a Voice-Controlled Home Gathers Momentum
Voice control seems to be the inevitable next step when it comes to the connect home. A lot of companies are building on the success we’ve seen in voice recognition software for phones and want to apply the same technologies to our home. For example, one of Apple’s most recent statements reveals that users will be able to control supporting devices through Siri – meaning voice activated climate and entertainment control in your own home. Other companies are certainly exploring voice control too, with Google Now’s voice recognition software set to integrate with their Nest Learning Thermostat.
Equally important to the future of smart homes is the continued development of ‘scenes.’ In this context, a scene refers to one command that will affect multiple devices and appliance in your house. For example, Apple suggests that you could say “Goodnight Siri” and have all your lights dimmed, your heating turned down and your doors locked. Scenes are vital for the making life more comfortable and more convenient for the homeowner.
Would you like to see some of the technology mentioned here in your own home? KAV London install and consult on home automation projects, including aerial systems, in and around the London area. We’re always up to date with the latest trends and if you’d like to find out more, you can contact us at 020 7736 1483.