The 21st century has proven a major boon for consumer gadgetry of all types, and with at least 5 million new homes added to the list every year since 2015, there’s no sign the trend is slowing anytime soon. Amounting to 31% compound annual growth, it seems consumers are eager to embrace the smart home concept.
While holiday shoppers are eying various gifts and gadgets, the relatively new niche of smart home products is garnering a lot of attention, too.
With everything from virtualized personal assistants to smart home security, consumers have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks and months. According to a recent survey, most shoppers – approximately 33% of respondents – are interested in the hands-free benefits of modern smart devices. Another 10% find value in the ability to perform multiple tasks around the home simultaneously.
1. Virtual Personal Assistants
The Amazon Echo and its various iterations let you harness the power of your voice to control appliances, play media and communicate with friends.
All versions include a built-in speaker and streaming audio via Wi-Fi, but some advanced features are only available with top-of-the-line models. The handy device also lets you place an order directly with Amazon, thereby streamlining the process of online shopping into a hands-free experience.
2. Smart Home Lighting
Dubbed as a personal wireless lighting system, Philips Hue lets you control interior lighting from any room in the house — or even your backyard. Considering smart lighting is expected to see substantial growth within the next year, right alongside smart alarm systems and smart thermostats, some shoppers are hitting the stores early to avoid the last-minute rush.
According to recent surveys, energy management is a key factor in the push for smart technology within the average home. Revenue from smart appliances and gadgets that feature integrated energy management exceeded $600 million in the year 2015 within the United States alone – Japan, Germany, China and the United Kingdom also saw significant profits. These numbers are expected to climb even further as smart home tech becomes even more accessible in the near future.
Wireless, smart lights can sync with the music from your stereo, game console or Blu-ray player, which adds even more immersion to your personal home theater. Lights are also programmable to automatically adjust based on the time of day, which is great for sticking to a strict daily schedule.
3. Smart Alarm Systems
Many consumers are using smart home systems to safeguard their property against would-be thieves.
Different equipment exists, including cameras, audio monitoring systems and centralized recording hubs, that let the average consumer build a comprehensive and professional-level security system of their own.
Not only is this is a great way to minimize your costs, but also nobody will know the nuances of your security framework — not even a third-party installer.
4. Upgrades For Dumb Equipment
Etekcity’s Smart Wi-Fi Plug is an innovative solution that allows your older, “dumb” appliances to benefit from a basic level of smart connectivity. The devices can be plugged into any standard outlet to create a power connection that is controllable via Wi-Fi. Ideal for appliances with hard-to-reach switches and buttons, the Smart Wi-Fi Plug works with your smartphone or tablet for maximum compatibility. Tracking
5. Item Trackers
If you’re prone to losing your car keys, the Nonda iHere 3.0 is the solution you need. The tiny, handheld device attaches easily to your keychain and works with both Android and Apple operating systems. Next time you lose your keys, simply load the app and track the device’s signal within a radius stretching 75 feet. You’ll never have to worry about losing your keys again!
6. Smart Home Hubs
If your home already utilizes multiple smart appliances, you’ll enjoy Panasonic’s SmartThings Smart Home Hub. Featuring compatibility with a variety of smart home devices and products, including Amazon Echo, Philips Hue and many more, the hub lets you automate and control multiple devices from a centralized point. Various routines can be programmed according to the time of day or night, thereby giving you even more automation and the benefit of hands-free operation.
Shopping Smarter This Holiday Season
The prevalence of smart home appliances and devices is a boon to the highly connected consumer of today.
With prices dropping lower than ever before and new options to choose from on a daily basis, there’s no reason to ignore the smart gadget niche any longer. You can even use your smartphone to keep track of your spending and create your holiday shopping lists before heading to the stores.
Holiday shopping has never been easier, and today’s smart devices are, at least in part, responsible for the trend.
Image by Amazon