Put aside your smartphone and your tablet for a moment. Look away from your laptop and turn off that music you’re streaming over the cloud. It’s time to discuss the area of technology that promises to produce the most gadgets in the next several years: home automation.
This may seem like something of a surprise, especially considering the amount of publicity received by the newest iPhone and the latest tablets. But think about it – while so much of our lives are highly virtual and digital, the physical places that we live are decidedly less so. We probably have at least one computer in our homes, but it is unlikely that this machine is hooked up to the telephone or the thermostat. It’s unlikely, in fact, that anything is connected; computers, appliances, lighting systems, and security controls are instead individually monitored and operated. Technology can connect our computer to others located all around the world, but it cannot connect that same device to any of the control systems in our homes.
That is, unless you have home automation, a service whereby components of household management are connected via the cloud and controlled through central consoles. Home automation allows for residents to control all lights and appliances with a single control, it provides for remote monitoring of your alarm even if you’re thousands of miles away, and it contains technology that can actively manage energy use so as to maximize efficiency. If you’ve seen Disney’s Smart Home or read Vivint reviews you probably have a good idea of the concept.
So why might home automation represent the next gadget frontier?
There are a few basic reasons:
-It’s a wide open field.
We’ve seen time and time again how Apple’s market presence and brand power continue to dominate the mobile phone, laptop, and tablet industries. Getting into these fields is very difficult for a small company and competition is fierce. Home automation, on the other hand, is comparatively wide open and welcoming of innovation. We can expect that startups and entrepreneurs will increasingly focus their attention accordingly in the near future.
-It reflects marketing trends.
To some degree or another all the major tech companies make money off of advertising – and, over the past year, advertising has begun to take on a decidedly local focus. People are now given local ads when they consult their tablet on the street or ask Siri for a suggestion. The ability to target consumers locally is a highly lucrative one, and companies are looking for ways to bring that capability into the home. Home automation is the best way to do this, and Vivint reviews have shown that users are not opposed to ads discretely places as part of their consoles and other devices. Now the industry simply needs the gadgets on which such ads can be displayed.
-It’s already putting out exciting new products.
Finally, one could argue that home automation isn’t the next gadget frontier, but rather that this frontier has already arrived. In just the past couple years there has been a tremendous (albeit unheralded) increase in home automation products. Comcast has introduced new consoles. Nest Labs has introduced a smart thermostat. And Vivint has unveiled tech-savvy solar panels that integrate with the house.
These are the main reasons that we can perhaps expect home automation to be the next gadget frontier. While some people believe that the field is too virtual and streamlined to require numerous gadgets, we once thought the same thing about most other technologies that are popular today. It is almost inevitable that home automation grows in popularity. And, when this happens, developers will flock to get on board as a result.