Let your home serve you.
From the way we eat, drink, and shop to the way we live our private lives in our homes, automation is emerging as a dominant force across our social and personal lives. Business incorporate automation in order to extend hours of operation without adding more staff while home owners are now programming and accessing their thermostats, security systems, and entertainment options via remote and automated technologies. Futurists expect this trend to continue and expand.
Thomas Frey, a noted futurist, sees big changes for the business world, especially in the retail marketplace. Vending machines dispensing items such as underwear are already in use and the trend is clear. Technology will change the shopping experience and consumers will come to expect 24-hour access with virtually no sales person contact. Restaurants and bars are undergoing similar transitions; hours of operation will expand and people will be free to structure their lives in ways more amenable to evolving social structures.
At home, automation technology is driven by home owners desire to adjust and modify their living environments from the convenience of a smart phone. Simple tasks like adjusting the thermostat or programming entertainment can now be completed from a smart phone, with information being transferred from remote locations to the relevant devices in the home. The revolution is coming and it is programmable.
While home automation technology has existed for years, it has been confined to bulky systems built for luxury home dwellers. The rise of the smart phone changes this landscape, creating a large group of users who are comfortable with mobile technologies and want to use them to program all parts of their lives. Companies are filling this market with devices that can both receive and send information to home owners. Smart phones and tablets are increasingly prevalent and, according to a recent ABI Research study, the home automation industry is projected to grow to $14.1 billion in worldwide revenues by 2018.
The growth of the industry translates into a wider variety of products and services available to all home owners. Large retailers like Wal-Mart are already offering basic home-automation tools off the shelves. These entry-level products tend to focus on device integration, allowing products to work more seamlessly together. However, more sophisticated systems are certainly available, integrating text messages, security systems, entertainment systems, and temperature control with limited human intervention.
The growth of the industry also means more high-end products for the luxury users. IMAX style screens, digital backsplashes, and fingertip & voice control are emerging trends in this market. This increased reliance upon network technologies brings increased exposure to security threats; companies are working overtime to develop more secure devices, improve password protection, and to monitor digital intruders.
As society depends more and more upon mobile computing, there is an increased expectation to have automated solutions to our consumer and personal lives. This expectation translates to opportunity for companies posed to develop and deliver new and innovative products. Automation technology is an industry on the verge of an explosion in both revenues and influence.
The author of this article, Jeffrey Turner, has spent the past 18 years building and teaching automated systems. Read more about technology like this here: http://automationtraining.ca/