In the 90s, numerous movies featured smart homes. From virtual assistants to talking fridges, our society has been enamored by the idea of a smarter house for decades. But what was once an act of Hollywood magic is now standard practice in most households across the nation.
Statista estimates that there are over 52.2 million smart homes across the United States in 2021, a 10% increase from 2020. Given how important smart homes have become in terms of our health, safety and convenience (you’ve got COVID-19 to thank for that), this trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Making sure that you only pay for the devices that’ll really improve your life, rather than getting distracted by the glamour of a high-tech home, can be tricky. This is especially true when you’re looking to buy your very first home. But the payoff can be well worth it, especially when you can easily control your electricity usage and lock your doors straight from your phone. Take a deep dive into the world of smart home technology trends below.
Smart home technology trends
Technology never stops improving, and the smart home industry is no different. In the coming years, smart homes will become more integrated, allowing you to control your entire home straight from your device. You can also expect to see a more significant focus on some of the most popular smart home technology trends like artificial intelligence, home office automation and high-tech security.
1. Home integration
High-tech homes are no longer a novelty, meaning many home buyers are raising their standards when it comes to the technology they’re looking for while shopping for a home. One of the biggest trends in this industry is total home integration. Using the same products and services throughout (such as all Google or Amazon Alexa devices), smart homes can become more streamlined and easier to use.
Connecting technology also allows them to interact with one another, saving you valuable time and effort. For example, if a smart water monitor detects a leak in your home, it could communicate with your smart water shutoff system to turn off your water immediately. This can help prevent disastrous flood damage to your home.
But the importance of this trend extends well beyond home buyers. If you’re a landlord or plan to purchase a second home for short-term rentals, this streamlined connection can help you as well. Many renters have come to expect these devices in the homes they lease, and they’ll often be willing to pay top dollar to live in a connected home.
2. AI everywhere
What’s a tech-savvy home without artificial intelligence? AI devices, such as voice assistants, are staples of the home technology industry, and they make setting a timer or turning off your lights as easy as a simple voice command. For a while, smart speakers were the top AI devices in the game. But thanks to recent advances in the industry, artificial intelligence has begun to seep into other aspects of the home.
Fridges that track contents and create a grocery list for you each week. Mirrors that host workout videos and can critique your form. Ovens that you can turn on and off with your voice. Artificial intelligence has transformed the ordinary parts of your home in so many ways, letting you interact with your home like you never have before.
Moving forward, AI and IoT devices will become much more common in every room of the home. Homebuyers and sellers should expect to see a considerable uptick in smart kitchens and even smart bathrooms in the coming years, meaning those who take the time to upgrade their homes now will see a big payoff later on.
3. Home office automation
COVID-19 has changed our homes and our lives significantly. One of the most consequential changes seen in the past year is the need for a home office space as more workers transition to a remote lifestyle. This means that home offices with smart devices like noise-canceling windows and air filtration systems already built-in are likely to fly off the market. These rooms can also serve other purposes, including remote classrooms for kids and study areas for college students taking virtual classes.
4. Healthier homes
Our families’ health and well-being (both mentally and physically) have taken a front seat in the past year, and our homes have become an extension of this effort. Even home automation companies have gotten in on the action, offering a slew of devices aimed at increasing your health. While devices like vacuums and smart thermostats have been popular for quite some time, newer tech like humidity controls and contactless appliances have just recently been announced to target health-conscious homeowners.
5. High-tech security
Smart homes don’t come cheap. Whether you upgraded your rooms yourself or bought a home with a smart system already installed, you likely spent a lot of money getting your home to where it is now. And with high-value tech comes a higher risk of break-ins. To protect your home and your finances, make sure that you have a home security system.
Home protection systems typically include security cameras, an alarm system, a video doorbell and plenty of motion-sensor lights. With all of these devices installed, you can rest easy knowing that your home is prepared to fend off unwanted visitors. Should an alarm trigger, you can check on your home from anywhere to see what’s going on.
5. High-speed connections
Dead zones. They’re the dreaded areas of your home that you can’t get internet access in, even though you shell out upwards of $100 a month to your internet service provider. But in the homes of the future — thanks to mesh WiFi — dead zones will come back to life.
Mesh WiFi works by connecting your main router straight to the wall, with additional modules placed throughout your home. This ensures that all your new, integrated appliances will always have access to the internet. It also means you’ll never experience that dreaded drop out again just because you walked into a different room.
6. Total customization
In a world of seemingly endless choices, consumers have come to expect the same level of customization within their homes. While it can be easier to use the same brand of devices throughout each room, that may mean sacrificing some of what you want out of your technology.
Say you want to make your home more green, but the only smart home systems out there use up way too much energy. Or you want to focus on security, but you can’t connect your favorite outdoor cameras to the rest of the devices in your home. With total home customization, both of these issues could be quickly resolved to give you the control you want.
Buying a smart home
When buying a smart home, you need to consider many things before you begin to tour potential options. Not only do you need to have an idea of what tech is a must-have, but you also need to have a good idea of the average cost of these devices. That way, you don’t end up having to pay more than you need to for a smart home that may have a slight price hike.
Make sure to address the following points to put yourself in the best position to get the right house for the right price.
- Research the cost of buying these things outright
- Make sure you aren’t paying a premium just for having this tech already installed
- Ask for a warranty for all tech inside the home
- Does the warranty transfer with the owners?
- When are you on the hook for replacing or repairing?
- Decide on your highest priority devices before touring any homes
- Be prepared to factory reset all devices during move-in
- Decide what brand of devices you want to use throughout your next home
- Look for smart homes that prioritize your biggest concerns first
Smart home technology for seniors
Smart devices catered to seniors can drastically reduce dangers the elderly may face in the home. Whether you’re a senior with limited mobility or you always forget to turn off the stove, look for the following devices in your next home purchase to get the most bang for your buck (and keep you safe). If you're interested in more home modifications catered to your needs, check out our post on senior home remodeling.
- Motion-sensor faucets
- Remote control lighting
- Smart appliances
- Smart speakers
- Video doorbell
Smart home technology for remote workers
If you’re working remotely, you likely have a lot of valuable tech at home. So when shopping for a new place, you need to look for a home that will protect your valuable personal property. Homes with security systems, strong WiFi signals and cleaning tech will help you transition from work to home with ease.
- Alarm system
- Mesh WiFi
- Noise-reducing windows
- Security cameras
Smart home technology for parents
Parents should look for homes that will help make their lives easier and keep their families safe. Looking for devices like indoor cameras and smart locks will not only help parents keep an eye on their children, it’ll also help keep their homes safer from outside intruders. Other devices like robotic vacuum cleaners and smart thermostats make maintaining their home simple.
- Automatic locks
- Indoor cameras
- Robotic vacuum
- Smart thermostat
Technology has transformed every industry, including how your home is built and how it’s protected. To make sure your tech is properly insured and that you’re working with an insurance company that understands your smart home’s needs, give us a call. We even provide smart home kits with most policies to take your home to the next level.