Trends in connected homes in 2021 - Improved security and connectivity

October 20, 2021 | Bojan Bajic

This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.

Intro

It’s becoming more popular in 2021 to have a smart home with connected devices capable of communicating with each other. It’s expected that smart home spending will reach more than $141 billion by 2023, and the number of smart homes will surpass 300 million by 2023.

Some connected home trends are dominating the headlines in 2021, including more tech for the fitness-conscious, multifamily smart homes, and a higher level of security and privacy in connected homes. Read on to learn 7 main trends in connected homes for 2021.

Improved connectivity

Smart homes will have improved connectivity in 2021 and beyond. The connection between smart devices will be more centralized, allowing you to manage everything from one spot.

For example, you have wireless control devices -- and their corresponding apps -- that allow you to control the entirety of your home through a wireless source. Doing so saves energy and improves efficiency, allowing you to remotely control kitchen devices, smart AC, smart speakers and displays, lights and other applications.

Also expect mesh Wi-Fi to make its mark: it’s an innovative technology that is smarter than your average router, using AI to deliver stable speeds throughout your home. There are plenty of major companies using the technology to create a more connected home.

Since smart home devices are connected through various networks and devices, from Wi-Fi to Z-Wave to Bluetooth. In addition to mesh Wi-Fi, new products already come with added compatibility with smart home hubs.

In addition to having a more connected home, consumers are becoming more health-conscious, increasing the presence of health tech in 2021.

More health tech

With the pandemic continuing to rage on, this year there will be a greater focus on health devices in the home. Let’s briefly check a few interesting examples.

The first one is a wellness toilet that tells you plenty about waste and skin to improve your health. The device analyzes a wealth of information about a consumer’s health according to several external sensors that analyze skin and waste. Such sources offer valuable data that can identify health problems early on, before they become a bigger problem.

There are also smart doorbells with the ability to measure the temperature of a visitor to see if they have a fever. The goal of this device is to help with contact tracing, monitoring, and preventing outbreaks from happening.

Another example are smart toothbrushes that measure how well you clean your teeth. They have sensors that identify how much pressure you use when brushing, informing you of how good of a job you’re doing. They’re self-adjusting in case you brush too hard, to prevent gum irritation.

We are also seeing a growing trend of purifiers that get rid of filter replacements and instead use low-energy, environmentally friendly air purifiers to keep your home germ-free during this pandemic. Some companies are releasing purifiers that use plasma filter technology to eliminate harmful particles and protect the environment.

In addition to inspiring more health tech in 2021, the pandemic will increase the focus on multifamily smart homes.

Multifamily smart homes

There will be more multifamily locations with smart home or connected home devices at the moment of purchase or rental. Connected locks, voice commands for maintenance tickets and more, are expected to gain more popularity in 2021 and beyond.

Due to the pandemic, there is a greater influx of new tech and products geared at real estate and multifamily apartment communities. Apartment tours are contactless in some places, enabled by connected locks, while faster internet speeds with mesh Wi-Fi are becoming more popular due to the need to work or study at home.

Smart thermostats will also become more prevalent in multifamily locations. The ability to control your thermostat remotely can greatly influence the quality of life, control expenses, and keep track of energy usage.

With the higher number of multifamily smart homes available, there will also be more homes that can learn from the available device data and become even smarter.

Homes capable of learning

Expect more smart homes to develop the ability to learn from your habits and adapt to changing resident needs. Artificial intelligence will be able to predict when you’re hungry and recommend a snack or change the temperature according to your likes and dislikes.

Connected homes will monitor the sequence of consumer events using sensors and controls, using machine learning algorithms to identify the action a user is performing. The tech will utilize short-term memory networks, which is a recurrent neural network that can recognize sequences and retain the memory of a past state. It can then use this data to predict future consumer behavior and make adjustments accordingly.

Smart home hubs are capable of learning from their user preferences and are compatible with a variety of devices. These include smart switches, smart light bulbs, and music streaming services for your lighting and entertainment needs.

Connected homes are becoming smarter and more intuitive, and they’re also becoming more secure and private.

More secure homes

We can see a future where homes will be more secure with connected locks, improved privacy settings, and better protection of data.

Some companies are releasing smart locks that add an extra layer of security by adding biometrics to the mix. They can work through Wi-Fi and have fingerprint and facial recognition technology to ensure that the only person able to enter the home is the owner or someone authorized to do so.

There are also smart home cams available now. They have a flying camera drone that docks when it’s not being used with end-to-end encryption, and if the home is broken into, they fly around filming what’s happening in the house to ensure it captures everything that’s going on.

You can view the live feed of the device through associated apps. Additionally, you can train them for a specific path using various waypoints for the camera to fly to. The devices are hidden when docked, and only begin recording when they leave the dock and fly through the house. They hum, so you know they’re on the air and recording, plus they are equipped with “obstacle avoidance technology” so they don’t crash into anything.

Security is becoming a bigger issue for smart home device developers in optimizing the in-home experience. To improve this experience, smart lighting is also becoming more prevalent in the connected homes industry.

Smart lighting

Smart homes will have the capability of adjusting your lighting according to your needs in the near future. In the morning the light may be brighter, while at night you may have a study or work light that is adjusted to suit that setting.

Brands are developing bulbs that are connected with smart devices through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or other technology to offer a brighter or dimmer smart home experience. Smart bulbs can be controlled using your phone, tablet, or smartwatch, while you can also access them using voice commands.

Such devices allow you to choose your lighting preferences from any location, meaning you can turn on your lights before you even aren’t home. Certain smart home bulbs also have geofencing features, using GPS to accurately identify your location. In other words, these smart bulbs won’t need to be manually activated as they’ll turn on when you reach a particular point in your home.

These devices make it easy to customize them for different moods, and in some cases they can sync up to your favorite TV shows, identifying audio cues to create a uniquely designed light track. Smart bulbs will be more connected, linking up with smart security and heating systems. These devices can also monitor the temperature and weather to adjust your lighting accordingly.

Connected homes will benefit from the addition of smart lighting in 2021, a year that features less physical touch in an effort to prevent germ spread and improve user experience.

A more touchless experience

Last year brought us a realization of how much we interact with the world and the dangers of touching dirty surfaces.

From doorbells, faucets, and toilets that work by utilizing Proximity Sensing Technology to voice-controlled appliances and smart home hubs. The smart home industry will be focused on offering a touchless experience, products such as smart stoves, thermostats, vacuums, and door locks that don’t require physical interaction are all already available.

With the pandemic going on or not, expect an explosion of smart, touchless devices in 2021 as manufacturers focus on better integration of all home appliances in your everyday life.

Conclusion

The new year brings with it a more autonomous connected home experience that reduces the need for human interaction. You’re still able to adjust your settings accordingly, but devices will know your likes and dislikes better and be able to adjust accordingly.

There is also a greater emphasis on health at the time of COVID-19, while the new AI will be more tailored to suit your needs. Plus, a more touchless experience means that germs will not spread as easily in 2021.

It will be a year for companies' increased usage of advanced tech, to create a safer, more private, and more autonomous environment in the smart home space for tech-savvy consumers.

Bojan Bajic

About the Author: Bojan Bajic

Bojan is the Head of Marketing at Infinum, an award-winning agency that helps companies transform their business with digital products. He graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology and has his head wrapped around digital ever since. With experience in automotive, scientific publishing, FMCG and IT industries, he enjoys discovering new ways to reinvent products and services with technology.

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