WORDS: ANNE SCHAUFFER & EDITORIAL TEAM IMAGES: SUPPLIED & SHUTTERSTOCK
Technology and its influence in our homes continues to alter and better our daily lives.
Tech gurus say that a ramping up of artificial intelligence (AI) will probably trump most other tech issues in 2020. For many homes, AI has become an integral part of life, as you watch your toddler speak comfortably to Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. But for many, these are not that simple to grasp or, certainly, set up, so most homeowners use them only for basic tasks.
Watch out for 2020 innovation here, where these task masters will be doing a great deal more than selecting your favourite tune – they’ll be taking phone calls, controlling lights, opening curtains and updating shopping lists.
Thankfully, as technology advances, the main players have recognised that to become mainstream, they need to talk to each other. Amazon, Apple and Google are working together to make smart home products compatible with one other.
With big names in various giants globally paying attention now, the tech industry is expecting a breakthrough, and, wait for it, emotion recognition is on the radar. High-performing AI chips (neuromorphic or brain chips), mimic the structure of the brain and process top AI algorithms. Life is going to get even more interesting.
Internet of Things (IoT)
For those who’re not au fait with IoT, it’s essentially a network of interconnected things or devices embedded with various forms of technology, which enables them to collect and exchange data. So, for example, your cellphone talks to your security system or your heating, air-conditioning, lighting and so on. We’re able to operate so many gadgets and systems remotely, but that list will increase. More smart technology means less people are required, of course.
With the lightning speed of 5G on the horizon – the advent of the fourth industrial revolution – the number of connected devices and mainstream IoT applications is likely to rise substantially across multiple industries. Major changes are on the horizon.
Finding innovative ways to capture, store, use and reuse water has to be a key feature of 2020 in South Africa, but so, too, will be the advances in technology so we’re able to do all that efficiently. New-build homes will have built-in systems, and as we rely less on municipalities and more on ourselves (and entrepreneurs), many more homes will be retrofitted with simple and increasingly smart systems. Technology will also play a role in auto-limiting our use, so although timers aren’t new, they’re getting far smarter and easier to use – your shower will cut off after a few minutes…
What is there to say? We’re going to be doing it for ourselves, and the various technologies and applications are becoming more affordable, more streamlined, and smarter. Who would consider a new build without these assets?
Autonomous driving being perfected, hybrid or battery vehicles with chargers at home, or – hey – no vehicle at all? With the numerous “taxi” type services available, it’s predicted that in the not too distant future, new homes won’t need garages, because polluting cars – and stressful traffic – are not part of tomorrow. Use the space for parking for the Uber driver’s car when he draws up to your home?
It’s not only here to stay, it’s ramping up to better response times, and, say the gurus, drone delivery. New homes will be designed with drone landing hatches up on roofs, maybe even a refrigerated section…
Control the show
Neeo provides an elegant interface to control your entire home. Turn individual lights on or off, activate lighting scenes, even lock the doors – right from the comfort of your couch. Access any television from any room or queue up your favourite streaming music service to begin playing throughout the house.
Control4 premium automation solutions allows you to easily and intelligently control every aspect of your house – from lights, security, climate control, home theatre, music and more – even if you’re miles away.
Entertain guests in any season with great audio. Klipsch outdoor speakers are designed to deliver incredible acoustic clarity any time of year. Klipsch offers surface mount or rock speakers which can blend into their surroundings so to not detract from your home’s aesthetic beauty.