The Emergence Of The Smart Home

source: Business Week

source: Business Week

 

It’s 6:00am. Your alarm clock starts making the familiar beeping sound that signals it’s time for you to get up and start your day. But before your wake up call even sounded, your home was able to sense that you’d be getting up shortly. So it turned the thermostat up a bit and started brewing a fresh pot of coffee. As you clamber out of bed and over to the kitchen, you’re notified of how your schedule is looking for the day and anything that needs to be taken care of. Urgent emails and messages are read to you as you’re preparing for the day. No longer are mornings a battle with the snooze button, but instead, skillfully orchestrated perfection.

This idea of automated and technology-centered living may not be too far in the distant future. And no, I’m not talking about the Jetsons type scenario where we press one button for everything and jet passed each other in our hovercrafts. Oh no, this kind of living is much more seamless. The technology will be so ingrained into the home that you barely even notice it…and tech companies are jumping to be the best.

 

The company SmartThings was stated in a response to an unfortunate event. The founder, Alex Hawkinson, arrived with his family to their vacation home expecting to take some relaxing time off, but what he actually found was the interior of their home covered in ice. The pipes had burst while they were away and never even knew. The repairs were enormous. That was when the idea struck him, “how is it possible that someone hasn’t created something I could plug in, that would alert me when something went wrong?” And so it began. Now his business works to allow the objects in your home– doors, locks, light bulbs, even sprinkler systems—to talk to each other and prioritize their needs. All you need to get started with their system is a smart phone and a $200 starter kit.

 

One of the more well-known home technology companies that you be more familiar with is Nest Labs. Their first creation out on the market was the Nest Thermostat. They just recently released a smoke/CO2 detector called Nest Protect. Nest’s founder, Tony Fadell hails from Apple, and his aesthetic taste for Nest’s products make the relationship apparent. Much like Apple’s products, Nest products also have that sleek, modern and simple look to them. Fadell’s goal is to make products for the home that make life simpler and actually help you. As he states, “they should be able to automatically adapt to your wants and needs, so you don’t have to think about them if you don’t want to.”

 

In a recent issue of Time Magazine, they stated “the dwellings of the future will make you calmer, safer, richer and healthier.” Personally, I think they couldn’t be more spot on, and I’m more excited than ever to see what the future of smart home automation has in store.