Millions already use them, will you?
Getting back home and finding your place at the perfect temperature. Having the garage door automatically open for your car. Reading in bed and being able to dim the lights with a few words. Waking up to the most-recent news and weather forecasts. Technology controlled homes are becoming as real as depicted in The Jetsons. This concept is called Smart Homes, and it was one of the hottest categories of tech at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The use of these wireless sensor networks has exploded in the last few years, seeing most of the technology giants betting towards it with products such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Samsung SmartThings. These products enable users to have total control over their homes by connecting different Internet of Things (IoT) devices to their home network. The list of IoT devices from which the user can pick is surprisingly broad, allowing the user to create tailor-made home set-ups.
These home networks are scalable – a very basic home network can be upgraded and improved to the point of having an extremely complex and automated one. Allowing users to create advanced customized technological solutions for their homes and only needing basic technological knowledge is one of the features that make this topic so interesting.
Looking forward, the idea of connecting Smart Homes and creating larger networks arises from the potential what currently exists and their capacity to collect data. This data could benefit and optimize consumers lives if used properly. Together with many other data gathered by governments, Smart Homes is the tip of the iceberg that is Smart Cities, which aim to create smarter energy infrastructures in the future.
Smart homes are an exciting prospect but it will be necessary to open up our lives to the companies behind them in order to take full advantage of this technology. Privacy and IoT devices are not always intertwined, particularly when these devices start to learn about our daily habits without us being aware of it. Making use of such devices means knowing and accepting that our habits, interests, and privacy data might be collected; which is something that may not sit well for many.