Smart home technology is coming to every room in your house, including the bathroom, if the latest Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is any indicator. Voice-controlled connected bathroom mirrors were popular among this year’s smart home CES highlights. For instance, Kohler’s Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror uses a motion detector to turn on the lights when you walk into the room, and connects with Alexa so that you can get messages and news items or even shop while you’re getting ready to go out. Other smart bathroom items at this year’s CES included a smart toilet that can play your favorite songs while performing personalized cleansing functions and an automatic toothbrush that can clean your teeth 15 percent better than traditional brushes in just 10 seconds.
The extension of smart technology into the bathroom is just one example of how home automation is becoming a part of everyday life. Here’s a look at three trends that will shape the future of smart home technology.
Voice Control Will Be Built Into Smart Home Device Interfaces
The growth of smart home technology has been driven by voice control technology such as the Alexa-powered Echo Dot, which achieved best-seller status last holiday shopping season and helped Amazon set record sales. Currently, external devices such as Echo speakers are typically used to access smart home interfaces, but this year’s CES indicates that a growing number of smart home devices are being designed with voice control technology built right in, reports BI Intelligence. Kohler’s Verdera mirror, which comes with Alexa built into its hardware, exemplifies this trend. In the future, expect to see more devices with voice control AI integrated out of the box.
In the process of integrating voice control, smart home manufacturers are also designing their products to provide support for popular AI systems. For instance, GE has recently upgraded its C by GE smart bulb line to include support for Google Assistant.
Home Security Applications Will Become Smarter
Security is one of today’s most popular smart home technology applications, and as demand grows, home security devices are getting smarter and more sophisticated. Today’s best smart home security camera systems apply the latest innovations in digital technology. For instance, Lorex’s Nocturnal line of security cameras employs 4K Ultra HD technology, along with long-range color night vision that can help capture critical details such as suspect hair or car color even in low-light conditions.
Robots Will Become Household Assistants
Robotic automation of household tasks has always been a goal of smart home technology, and that dream is now starting to become a reality. Robots that perform chores such as vacuuming floors, cleaning windows and mowing lawns are already here. On the horizon are robots that fold laundry. This year’s CES saw the debut of FoldiMate, which folds twice as fast as a human for less than $1,000 per unit, making it the first affordable laundry-folding robot for consumers.
In addition to performing chores, home robots are increasingly serving as personal assistants. Personal assistants combine AI and voice control with the ability to perform helpful tasks around the home. For instance, the Pillo personal health robot can remind home care patients when to take pills, and can also dispense them, in addition to performing functions such as answering basic healthcare questions. Assistants such as this can be particularly helpful for senior citizens, helping with tasks such as cleaning, handicap assistance and personal transportation, while also serving as companions. The market for these and other personal home robot applications is growing at a massive CAGR of 37.8 percent, on track to reach a value of $34.1203 billion by 2022, P&S Market Research projects.
Built-in voice control, smarter security camera systems and robots that do chores and assist with personal tasks are three key trends that will shape the future of smart home technology. As these and other automation innovations become more widespread, smart homes will become more user friendly, more secure and more helpful for handling chores and personal tasks around the house.