From remote door locks and smart lights to facial recognition cameras and virtual assistants, the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming our home lives. What’s notable is how these solutions are just as much about empowering us when we’re not home as when we’re home. Here are 5 IoT products for the home that consumers are investing in.
1) Intelligent personal assistant
Voice-enabled smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod are in fierce competition to be the central hub of your home—and their capabilities as personal assistants are evolving rapidly. What started as a responsive device that played your music, reported the weather and recorded your to-do lists can now, for example, distinguish your voice from others to customize your experience. So in the near future, when you tell the device in your living room to “call mom,” it will know to call your mom.
Want more out of your personal assistant? Select models come equipped with a built-in camera, enabling the device to take selfies and record 360-degree videos at your command. Others include a screen that allows you to watch videos, see music lyrics, browse photos, make video calls and more—all hands-free.
2) Smart lights
Customize your daily routines with light. Wake up gently with warm light, set your lights to turn on when you enter a room, sync them to music and movies, and adjust colors to fit your mood. Personal wireless lighting systems combine energy-efficient LED lights with IoT-enabled technology. This gives you complete control—from your device—over the lighting experience in your home. For added security, automate your lights to make it seem like you’re home when you’re not.
3) Everyday hardware automation
We’ve long been able to program hardware in our homes, such as thermostats, but now these devices are learning our preferences automatically. Home automation companies offer self-learning, sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors, cameras and other security systems. Appliances and devices adjust automatically based on your behavior, and you can make adjustments easily from the app.
4) Smart cameras
Want a deeper look at what’s happening in your home when you’re out? Advanced cloud algorithms give your camera smarter alerts and video history. Now that cameras can tell a person from a thing, be on the lookout for smart cameras with facial recognition. If the camera detects familiar faces, you receive no alert; however, you’ll get a snapshot of any unfamiliar visitors sent to your phone. Curious about something that occurred in your home last month? It’s recorded in the cloud.
5) Digital door locks and doorbell cams
Need to let a trusted friend, family member, housekeeper or repairperson into your home—but you’re stuck in traffic or a meeting? You no longer have to be home to grant entry. Digital keyless door locks and doorbell cams enable you to remotely lock and unlock your front door, create virtual keys for guests, and see and speak with visitors. Do it all from your smartphone or ask your personal assistant device to do it for you.
For more IoT talk, take a journey through the future of brick and mortar retail stores.