When comparing reality to predictions, the smart home is much more about practicality, energy efficiency and ease of use than optimal comfort and time saving innovations.
The ability for interconnectivity amongst appliances and other elements of the home has far reaching capabilities, many of which are already being realized.
The smart appliances in our home can connect to the internet, but using their features can be tiresome without a hub to manipulate them all from one location, and Wink looks to change this. The system works with other manufacturers, letting you control their devices, and use whatever connectivity benefits they can provide.
Through a partnership with GE, more products are becoming connected to the smart home platform, many of which are readily available at retail locations across America.
Though also controllable from a phone, the Wink automation hub takes the convenient and familiar form of a light switch, but a touch screen roughly the size of a smart phone allows you to control all your wink supported appliances from a single location.
Some of the connected devices already out include smart lightbulbs that can adjust their color temperature, as well as be turned on and off, door locks, smoke alarms, as well as power bars where outlets can be individually controlled, therefore turning on and off appliances that aren’t smart.
All in all only pretty basic features are currently available, however you can start having some fun with your programable house through using if then statements that are available within the Wink app. These commands can be as simple as: if you unlock the front door, then turn on the lights, or if you lock the door, turn off all lights in the house.
However, to take it to a futuristic near-jetson level of living, more complex commands can be integrated like having your coffee maker turn on along with the heated floor tiles in your kitchen when you turn off you alarm.
There are a host of smart home hubs and systems on the market, but thus far Wink has been the most widely embraced, while also being the most affordable. Reviews point to a few kinks in their system within setting up an array of connected devices, but it seems like overall the bugs are getting worked out.
Another key arena companies are focusing on for the smart home is the kitchen, with Alno Kitchens standing out with their innovative touch screen backsplash. The 13-foot screen can control many home automation tasks while also being able capable of acting as a computer by running programs like Skype, Sonos music, home surveillance and TV.
The future of the smart home seeks to let you control more of your home from anywhere you have reception. This interconnectivity allows the homeowner to ensure they didn’t leave the coffee pot on or forgot to turn off any lights while also notifying them of what they may need from the store.
These are pretty simple advancements, but are we getting dull? What do we see as the home of the future? Behemoth companies including Amazon, Samsung, Apple, and Google are all fighting to take the lead, making their predictions for the next version of the smart home.
Miss part 1 of our 3 part smart home series? Read it here, and check back for part 3 where we’ll explore some of the companies that are leading the way, competing to predict the home of the future.