Smart homes aren’t the future of real estate anymore, they’re today’s reality, Coldwell Banker declares. The smart home market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 13.61 percent, and will be worth $137.91 billion by 2023, Markets and Markets projects. One-third of real estate agents report that homes with smart features sell faster, Coldwell Banker adds, and smart home features can boost a home’s market value by 5 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.
As the popularity of smart homes grows, the technology is growing more sophisticated, with what seemed like science fiction a few years ago either already here or just around the corner. Here’s a look at three top trends that will define the future of smart home technology.
Voice control is the most popular smart home feature, a Coldwell Banker survey shows, and the most popular application of voice control is controlling smart home entertainment. Smart TVs stand at the center of the smart home revolution, with Gartner research showing that 76 percent of connected home apps will be accessible from connected TVs by the end of next year. Electronics manufacturers such as Samsung envision the future smart home to be centered around smart TVs, with mobile phones assuming the function of remote controls that can be used to control the entire home.
Smart TVs can be paired with smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, but for optimal sound, they also need to be connected to home theater speaker systems. Speaker manufacturers such as Crutchfield offer a range of home theater options. Sound bars are simplest to install. Speaker systems require more wiring but deliver better sound. Powered home theater systems include speakers as part of a full entertainment system that also comes with features such as disc players. The best sound performance is delivered by a component surround system configured in a setup such as 5.1 or 7.1. In the future, expect these speaker options to become increasingly integrated with smart speakers such as Echo.
In the future, you also won’t necessarily be watching your TV on a conventional screen. Cutting-edge technology is delivering the ability to view TV and access the Internet from any home surface. For instance, Sony’s Xperia Touch projector can display a working touchscreen on surfaces such as tabletops. In the future smart home, any wall, ceiling, floor, door, or window will be a potential TV.
After entertainment, smart lighting is the next most popular application of smart home technology, Coldwell Banker’s survey found. Smart temperature control also ranks highly among the most-desired smart home features. In general, energy management is a major driver of smart home technology adoption as home owners seek more cost-efficient and eco-friendly energy solutions.
One emerging trend is the integration of smart homes and solar power. For instance, Loxone uses smart home control to optimize how energy stored by solar panels is used throughout the home. Loxome channels stored solar energy towards running connected appliances, while automatically turning off devices in standby mode that normally use electricity even when not in use.
Smart home technology is also being integrated with electric cars. Tesla’s Powerwall is designed to serve as a battery for both your car and your home, storing excess solar energy you can use to recharge your car or power your home during an outage.
Security is tied with smart lighting as the second most popular smart home application. Today’s technology lets you pair cutting-edge security cameras with smart security systems that let you view surveillance footage right from your smart device. Some security cameras will soon be paired with Amazon Alexa so that you can control your security system with voice commands such as saying, “Turn cameras to privacy mode,” “Show me the front door camera” and similar instructions.
Smart security technology is also being paired with drones. Outdoor surveillance drones are already in wide deployment. Hawkeye Innovations is currently developing an indoor security drone, which combines a mobile surveillance camera with alarms and strobes to deter would-be thieves.