By Rojan Sthapit

In recent years, with the advancement in technology, people’s dependency on technology has increased drastically. Also with the rise in popularity of artificial intelligence (AI), people are able to carry powerful small computers in their pocket every day. Nowadays, we can see technology all around us, even inside our own homes. With the availability of smart home technology, devices inside our houses are connected to each other through a network and can be easily controlled with our smart phones. Smart homes are homes equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by smart phone or computer.

According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be approximately 25 billion connected things in homes around the world. It is also estimated that the global smart home market will reach up to $43 billion. We can see the number of smart home appliances growing day by day, and the technology behind it advancing continuously. Appliances such as door bells, light bulbs, televisions, kitchen appliances and everything in between are able to connect to a central hub which gives users the ability to control easily.

The growth of the smart home market will contribute to making people’s lives more comfortable, convenient, safe, and secure. There is also a rising demand for energy saving and low-carbon emission- oriented solutions which smart home technology solves. Ideally, smart homes of the future will be powered by renewable energy like solar power and wind turbines. This has also increased its popularity among those concerned with using green energy to save our planet.

There are many large companies trying to enter and innovate in the smart home market such as Samsung, LG, and Google, just to name a few. With competition rising, the level of technology also keeps on rising. In next few years we all will be able to control our home electronics with our smart phones or tablets. Apart from the physical hardware of the device, the software that operate them is equally important. The software and the interface device provided will be a key factor in its adaptability and usability for users.

Further, technology relating to artificial personal assistants has also improved drastically in past few years. There is competition among companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft to dominate in the market of artificial personal assistants. Each of these companies have their own version of a personal assistant (i.e. Google has Google Assistant, Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, and Microsoft has Cortana). These personal assistants have improved the way we interact with smart home devices. We can control lights, room temperature, and entertainment system interacting with these A.I. just by talking to the device as we normally would with other people.

These devices also increase security by allowing the user to watch their home even when they are not physically present there. There are many devices that allows us to control them remotely with our smart phones and tablets. We can install smart door bells that allows us to see who is at the door from our smart phones and interact with them remotely. We can also control our washing machines, refrigerators, thermostats, and more remotely with our smart phones. There are even smart vacuums that are available that clean our rooms automatically with just a command from our smart phones.

The concept of connected devices or even smart homes is not new. There have been devices that are able to interact with each other through a network. But its availability to a wider market is just starting to emerge. Previously, the technology relating to smart homes used to be very expensive, reducing the market only to the wealthy and premium customers. But now the market is moving towards mass population making it more accessible to everyone.

The past few decades, the concept of smart homes seemed to be just theory seen in movies that cannot be turned into real life applications. But with constant innovation in technology, there is only little time left before we actually see homes once only imaginable in science fiction movies. The future where we can control every aspect of our house from a central hub is just a few years away from becoming a reality. So, as the technology keep improving and the competition among the companies to capture the market of smart home appliances keeps pushing the price of these appliances down, it will be more accessible to a wider market of people. Thus, sometime in the near future most of our homes will be connected with our devices. The smart home market is here to stay and will keep improving as technology keeps on advancing.