Do you ever marvel at the technological advancement that has taken place over the last 20 years? And although most tech innovations are gimmicky at first, the end goal of most of them is to become mainstream and common in every household. Here’s an overview of ‘must have’ and ‘must want’ home tech in 2018.
Voice assistants have matured and got past the notion of being a gimmick. As voice processing becomes more sophisticated, more devices are connected, and once humans get past the initial awkwardness, use of voice assistance and voice activation is becoming more useful and second nature. There still some way to go before we can just talk to ‘our house’ in every room, but that technology doesn’t seem so far away now.
If you would ask a trend watcher in the 60s what lies ahead for the future, undoubtedly you would have gotten robots as an answer. And robots are here, sort of. Less humanoid than predicted, but more utilitarian, we have robot vacuums whizzing around the house and similar devices on our lawns. We can put robot vacuums still in the ‘must want’ category as it is complementary, not a replacement to regular vacuuming.
That same trend watcher in the 60s would also tell you that we would all be carrying portable devices that we would use to communicate, by using audio and visual signals, such as video and holograms. Although we are not there yet with holograms, Facetiming is a thing now. The idea of transporting a live video stream to a device across the world is now also finding its way to in-home devices, such as home security cameras and doorbells. You can be at work and get a notification that a motion detector has triggered and turned on the camera for you to investigate. Or someone rings the doorbell and you can tell that person that you are not in, in real-time!
Talking about video doorbells, you could also connect to your smart lock and let that person in. There is a whole heap of smart technology that we can dot around the house. How about smart thermostats that can control the temperature in your home? Or smart plugs, a potentially ‘must have’ product that gives you full control of which appliances are switched on? Or smart light bulbs that control lighting and mood in the house? There are even smart control devices for garage doors because let's face it, what is cooler than the garage door automatically opening as soon as you drive up?
Most smart technology sits in the ‘must want’ category, but a real ‘must have’ is less connected, more utilitarian. Thinking of our health, purchasing an air purifier might be a good investment. Or with global warming and hotter days, a window or wall air conditioner seems to be necessary for most of us. And who still has a traditional stereo stack? Connected speaker systems that run of apps are sleeker and easier to install around the house. Because face it, life is better with a soundtrack to it.