Gartner predicted in 2017 that Internet of Things use would top 8.4 billion connected devices by the year 2020. We’re almost there, and interestingly, it doesn’t feel like we’re living in a world where IoT rules our lives.
But it’s undeniable that the smart fridge, Alexa, Google Home, and connected cameras have earned a place in the mainstream.
Cambridge technology company Arm commissioned a survey from research firm, Northstar to uncover the trends and expectations global consumers have for technology in 2019.
The results revealed consumers were expecting more energy efficiency, increased device flexibility, and high-tech healthcare tools.
What’s interesting is that the study demonstrates a shift in thinking. Earlier smart home devices were more convenience or novelty, and kind of felt like a showcase for what we can expect in the future. Now, we’re seeing things that speak to the mundane, like smart leak detection.
Still, tech trends for 2019 are looking pretty diverse. We’ve compiled a list of trends featured at CES and elsewhere, you can expect to see more of soon.
Smart home trends for 2019
Smart screen command centers
We saw Amazon launch the Echo Show, Google its home hub, and there’s Facebook’s entry, the Portal. Smart screens had a strong showing in 2018, though much of the technology was limited to smaller displays.
This year, larger smart screens, TVs, rather, are entering the mix.
LG has been solidly building a smart home strategy over the past few years, as has Sony and others. With Alexa-enabled TVs filling up Amazon, it’s only a matter of time before our virtual assistants start upgrading to newer, bigger homes.
Smart mirrors bring voice search and a variety of applications into the bathroom. Sure, smart mirrors sound like a frivolous piece of technology, but their appeal is undeniable.
So, as you get ready for the day you can ask Alexa about the weather, play your favorite songs, or get your morning news update. Brands like Seura offer access to your calendar, email, and a long list of apps, allowing for voice-activated control and the option for touch navigation.
The smart mirror is the perfect high-tech upgrade for those considering a remodel anyway — though it certainly falls into that category of things you never thought you’d need.
Enhancements for dumb tech
Many home automation companies have started making smart-enabling devices that take your basic devices and well, make them smarter. Basically, you’ll now be able to buy a smart relay, which controls analog devices with tech like Bluetooth or Z-Wave.
Smart relays have been around for a while but digital assistants like Google Home and Alexa have made the technology more appealing. We’re bound to see more applications in the near future — think old technology like CD players, record players, and VCRs, equipped with the convenience of our day.
Energy efficiency expands
Energy efficient devices are going mainstream. From LED lights to low flow shower heads, we’ve long had a handful of methods aimed at reducing consumption. But, 2019 brings more to the home than energy efficient bulbs.
Take Mysa, for example, a smart home application that allows you to use your phone to control your heat. According to the company, the app can reduce your spend by up to 60% — and works with most electric baseboards.
And then there are the smart leak detectors and water valve controllers. Leak detectors alert homeowners when water is detected in places it doesn’t belong. This allows you to get ahead of a burst pipe or leaky appliance before the damage spreads.
A practical smart home application, a leak detection device can lead to major savings in damage.
In the end, it’s interesting to see that 2019’s smart home innovations include more than speakers and screens. It might not be the year where we finally adopt IoT solutions across the entire home, but between the smart mirrors and the leak detectors, it’s clear that day is just around the corner.