What can make an ordinary home to a smart home? Without buying smart solution in the form of smart devices, you can’t transform your home into a smart one. Here are the five major smart devices that will help consumers with everyday chores in the near future:
Smart devices are increasingly assisting consumers in various activities including preparing a meal, selecting a movie, booking a cab or playing their favorite song. People can interact with voice-activated smart-home systems such as Amazon Echo and Google Home to get chores done.
Juniper Research expects greater integration between voice assistants and connected appliances. These appliances will then be able to function as central hubs for tomorrow’s smart homes, it adds. Such integration will drive shipments of connected appliances to increase by 80 percent per annum on an average until 2023.
Connectivity has made it easier for consumers to set up smart home security systems. They can now control the security of their homes remotely using a smart device, monitoring real-time feeds from indoor and outdoor security cameras, window sensors, door locks, motion detectors, water sensors and garage door openers, thus connecting the entire home through the Wi-Fi network.
Home security systems nowadays are supporting Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and in some cases Apple Siri, which gives consumers the ability to unlock doors, change thermostat settings, open the garage, and arm or disarm the system with a spoken command to a connected device like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home speaker.
In order to ease consumer connectivity, a variety of buttons with one-click operation are available in the marketplace.
AT&T LTE-M Button, for instance, operates on the AT&T nationwide LTE-M cellular network. There is no requirement to attach the button to Wifi or Bluetooth. The button is connected to the network right out of the box. The new category of applications will require no more than the push of a button.
Amazon Web Services also provides its AWS IoT 1-Click service that enables connected devices to trigger AWS Lambda functions to execute actions such as notifying technical support, tracking assets, and replenishing goods or services.
Here in India, the Lumturo Connect Button uses an IoT button, QR code scanning & NFC (near-field communication) connectivity, without requiring the user to download an app. This connected button puts manufacturers in touch with their customers at the time of installation, breakdown of equipment, or periodic maintenance.
This future-oriented approach simplifies service call logging, while being cost-effective and providing real-time information to customers.
Increased pollution levels in our cities is having an adverse effect on consumer health, leading to the greater adoption of IoT connected devices that map the air quality in order to minimise the impact of pollution and ensure clean air.
Advances in sensors, IoT platforms and mobile communications technologies have led to the emergence of portable, low cost, mobile-enabled sensors that can measure and report air quality almost instantaneously. The system can also be programmed to trigger an alarm when the air quality falls below a certain level, immediately alerting home occupants of the presence of excessive amounts of harmful gases.
To cope with the menace, a number of Indian startups have developed low-cost pollution sensors and IoT devices to measure air pollution on a hyperlocal level and at a wider scale. Intel has also developed with Bosch an IoT-powered pollution monitor, called the Air Quality Micro Climate Monitoring System (MCMS), which provides intelligent air data and enables real-time analysis of ambient air pollution.
In a large country like ours, digital technology can be used to address healthcare challenges by surmounting distances and inaccessibility to certain areas. Connected healthcare provides real-time communication between the patient and the healthcare provider.
The number of connected devices is expected to be over 50 billion by 2020 out of which 30 percent are expected to be in healthcare, wrote Srinivas Prasad, CEO of Philips Innovation Campus, in an online article. Through connected medical devices, patient data can be captured and monitored.
Connected technology also allows fitness enthusiasts to track daily activities using fitness bands. These smart bands can help in tracking steps, calories burned, and distance traveled, while certain fitness trackers even monitor sleep patterns and suggest remedies.
In India, the fitness band market has several players, including Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro, TomTom Spark 3, Huawei Band 2 Pro, Amazfit Bip, Garmin Vivosmart 3 and Fitbit Charge 2. Almost all of them can do a fairly good job in tracking basic activities.
Things are definitely looking up in the Indian smart home segment, with awareness and acceptance levels rising. Analysts predict that in the near future, smart home technologies will become a default purchase for most home buyers.
A challenge ahead for manufacturers will be to ensure that the large volume of connected devices in the field are serviced properly and on schedule. Vendors will also have to automate the process in line with customer expectations of smart home concepts.