How can you harness the power of the smart-home trend?

By Paul Salley, marketing strategist

Home automation technology is currently one of the fastest-growing technology segments in the world. There is no question that integrating aspects of home automation into your daily life can add convenience and elegance to even the most mundane task, such as turning up the heat to locking your front door.

Most home automation triggers stem directly from setting preferences inside of an app on your smartphone. Even the most sophisticated home automation solutions depend on various inputs from the originating user’s smartphone. Some of these inputs and triggers include set profile preference, location queues, Bluetooth proximity, adaptive learning of user habits, adapting to external information (such as weather), and direct feedback from the user.

Smart home technology takes all of this information and learned behavior and uses it to activate technology related to the home. Currently, the most common applications of smart home technology include thermostats, security cameras, lighting solutions and home-entry systems, such as smart garage door openers and locks.

However, there are more sophisticated systems that can recognize preset entries from a smartphone to set into motion customized events. An example of more evolved smart-home technology includes a full smart bathroom. In this scenario, when one brings his or her phone into the smart bathroom in the morning, his or her shower will start at a preset temperature, favored music will play, and the lights will automatically set to a color and level selected in the user’s preferences.

Smart home technology is relatively young, and relies heavily on supporting technologies to execute properly, such as a smartphone. The future of smart home technology will gradually shift away from being able to recognize and cater to a phone’s needs and users’ preset inputs and instead recognize an individual’s needs on an immediate and adaptive basis.

Real life examples of this next generation smart home technology include the ability of your thermostat to read your temperature and heart level and adjust the temperature accordingly to best suit your needs at that moment, rather than to pull its temperature from a schedule or repetitive learning activities. Another example is being able to have smart home technology music systems provide you music to fit your mood based on face and body queues.

The future is bright for home automation, and smart homes and their technologies will continue to become more intelligent. Intelligent enough to read you as an individual, rather than read what your smartphone is saying? Only-time will tell.^

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter and is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyright 2016.

The Minnesota REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.


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