Proptech for Each Season
It doesn’t feel like all that long ago when technology’s role in the home was predominantly for entertainment and information; however, as the proptech industry grows, so too does the range of everyday tasks that are becoming automated by high street products.
In 2014, Amazon Alexa launched virtual voice assistants to public prominence. Although IBM had experimented with voice recognition devices as far back as 1961, it would takeover 50 years for it to become an affordable, mass-produced, lifestyle-changing product. Alexa operates through Amazon Echo, a smart speaker, which cost £149.99 at launch and is now currently available in its third generation for just £49.99. The product became so popular in such as short span of time that it was forecast that 40% of UK homes would have an Amazon Echo by 2018, up from 9% in 2017. This dramatic rise is proof that smart technology is being embraced as something that is integral to the home, rather than simply something that is a luxury.
With Amazon Alexa capturing consumers’ imagination and tuning into a need to streamline daily routines, companies are pouring more resources into artificial intelligence and smart technology. Google, whose alternative to Amazon Echo,Home Mini, was the global top selling smart speaker in Q2 of 2018, was reported to have spent almost $3.9 billion in disclosed deals for artificial intelligence since 2006. With Amazon,Apple, Intel and Microsoft joining Google in the top five spenders, industry giants are all vying for the market and positions of prominence in our home.
While the likes of Amazon Alexa, Google Home Mini and Apple HomePod are all well-publicised, the likes of Nest, Philips and Eve are also exploring the possibilities of smart technology. With so many smart technology options available, spanning so many areas of the home, it can be difficult to keep up with the quick turnaround of the market and knowing which products will benefit you in the
Alexa, Home Mini and HomePod are all broad technologies that act as a hub for multiple systems, and are compatible will various products that subsequently go to market; however, there are many more focused products that can save you time, effort and money on everyday activities. Although shopping around will introduce you to a wealth of options, this article will focus on a different device for each season, to give you an insight into how, in just half a decade, smart technology has evolved far beyond smart speakers.
As the weather warms up and grass growth increases, your lawncare routine will need to be resumed, though Robomow can make this task as quick and easy as tapping your smart phone. The automatic lawnmower can be launched from its charging station using an app, from which point it will mow your lawn before returning to the charging station.
Staying with the lawncare theme, as summer arrives and your lawn becomes dry, the Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller attaches to your external tap and allows you to activate water sprinklers using your smart phone, before they automatically shut-off to prevent your garden from flooding. You can even set times for the sprinklers to turn on and monitor your water consumption.
As October sneaks up on you and the nights pull in, evenings enjoying the garden give way to cosy nights on the sofa. The Philips Hue Starter Kits allow you to tailor your lighting system using your smart phone, Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant to schedule times for cool and warm lighting, and even make those grey mornings easier to wake up to with a sunrise effect.
As property developers and homeowners are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, products such as Nest’s Learning Thermostat are signalling a shift towards responsible energy consumption, while shaving money off of energy bills. The product’s smart, discreet appearance is befitting of a product that programs itself after you use it for a week, having learned your preferences. You can then use an app to view reports on how much energy you have saved. The heating can also be controlled through your smart phone, Alexa or Home Mini,ideal for those cold December days.
These four products illustrate the public’s blossoming relationship with smart technology and the extent to which we trust it to carryout chores on our behalf. It is interesting to see how the technology will evolve in the coming years and the new ways in which it will influence our daily routines, and subsequently become incorporated in the design of new build properties.