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In 2016, 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide, a 64 percent increase from 2015, according to IHS Markit. Today’s buyers are looking for home technology devices that meet their expectations for living in an increasingly digital world. The new “smart home” is in high demand among millennial homeowners and home designers must be aware of the latest in must-have gadgets and home automation, making sure homes are designed to accommodate these new smart home devices.
Here are a few high-tech gadgets that are in demand for the new smart home.
1. Hubs & Controllers
The Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s Home app are all heavy-hitters in the hubs and controllers category. These are voice-activated devices that will answer your questions and perform a host of tasks—anything from turning on your television to ordering your groceries. The new hub devices are a form of an automated personal assistant designed to make the day-to-day living and completing everyday tasks simpler for the average homeowner.
For those who still prefer to cling to a little of the old-fashioned—you can still access and control your home devices via a universal remote such as the Logitech Harmony Elite. This device controls not only TV and stereos but also any other connected devices (Bluetooth, Z-Wave, ZigBee, wifi) in your home.
2. Home Surveillance
Wireless surveillance cameras that are easy to install will give homeowners more flexibility when deciding where to install the device. The new devices are completely wireless and also waterproof. Other features to look for in the new home surveillance devices include rechargeable batteries, sound-triggered recording, and USB local video storage.
The Netgear Arlo Pro is an example of the newest in smart home surveillance devices.
3. Security Systems
There are several new entries into the home security system and door lock category. Smart locks are available which can be installed over an existing deadbolt and connects your door to home automation systems, allowing you to easily open/close your home doors through smart home automation. It works through voice system automation via Bluetooth. There are also more complex home security systems on the market such as the ADT Pulse and the Abode Home Security systems. These more comprehensive home security systems provide 24/7 home monitoring and complete customer support. These systems are easily integrated with your other existing smart home devices.
Home lighting has become so much more than just flicking a light switch… With the newest in smart home lighting, you have complete control over the lights in your home. You can dim or brighten, change the color of the lighting with smart light bulbs such as the Philips Hue line of bulbs.
Some smart bulbs also allow for scheduling and geofencing. Other smart bulb lighting options are available that do not require the use of a hub such as the Bluetooth-only bulb, TikTech Smart LED.
New home heating/cooling systems are controlled remotely with built-in wifi, which can be easily accessed through any of your digital devices including your laptop, tablet or smartphone. The new generation of heating/cooling devices includes built-in sensors, larger displays, furnace monitors and geofencing support. Some devices include multiple sensors that can effectively monitor and control the temperature of every room in your home remotely.
Some of the newest in smart home heating/cooling devices include the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat.
Everyone wants to stay healthy so why not have automated devices for your home that help? You can track almost anything health-related now through a device. You can track fat, muscle mass, water makeup, and bone composition. The QardioBase Smart Scale is a home health device that tracks all of these things and sends the numbers to your mobile device. Other great home health smart devices are the QardioArm and the Withings Smart Body Analyzer.
The QardioArm tracks blood pressure and heart rate and will record the measurements over time. Along the same line, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer is a wifi-connected scale that also calculates body composition including lean mass, BMI, and fat mass. Both apps include access to a free web interface and are compatible with iOS and Android devices.
7. Smart Kitchen Appliances
Not too many people cook while not at home. However…if you are interested, you no longer have to rely on the old-fashioned “crockpot.” There is now sous vide cooking (this cooking method immerses food sealed in plastic, using an immersion circulator, into a hot bath to cook it). A device such as the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker uses wifi connectivity and allows you to cook from anywhere. The app notifies you of the water temperature and cooking process throughout the whole cooking time.
Like to grill? Another device, Cinder Grill, is a precision grill that allows you to cook using heating plates rather than cooking in an immersion hot water bath. It can grill and sear up to 450 degrees.
8. Home-Cleaning Devices
What homeowner doesn’t want help with cleaning? The RoboVac may be revolutionizing the way we clean our homes. You can get the RoboVac11, which is a robot vacuum cleaner with the more basic functions; or you can elect for the iRobot Roomba 690, a more advanced RoboVac that includes a camera for navigation and Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay and home automation must be incorporated into smart home designs of the future. Contact us for more in the latest architecture/luxury home design technology and news.