Huh? What’s that all about?
My wife and I recently spent several weeks in another state dealing with some important family matters. On returning home, I could not believe the astonishing growth of the Smart Home industry. While preoccupied with other matters—time had passed me by!
Here’s the Smart Picture
Before we look for the answers to the above questions, let’s look at what some experts are now calling a “Smart Home Boom”.
1 The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) met in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 7, 2018. It is the world’s largest gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies—there were 170,000 in attendance. Jenny Xle, in an article entitled, “CSE 2018: Smart Home Tech Trends You Need to Know”, wrote about “her most memorable event” while at this year’s event: “Walking through the iHome booth in 2018, I was struck (and dizzied) by the sheer breadth of products the company now made. In addition to aromatherapy diffusers and vanity mirrors—both with built-in Bluetooth speakers—iHome’s bedside lineup also includes models offering wireless charging, models with an integrated charging perch for the Apple Watch, and, inevitably, models with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in. What? When did this all happen?”
Digital and Voice Assistants Rapidly Expand
2 Digital Assistant technology is currently functional in many smart home appliances. It is embeded in lamps, smoke alarms, robots, etc., but they are also finding new homes in light switches, light bulbs, light fixtures, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Echo Show and Lenovo Screen.
3 Voice Assistants, are presently or soon will be, found in new places in the smart home. They will be in the shower, in the bathroom and kitchen sinks, moving those handles from to “touch” and next to “voice”. As voice becomes more popular and practical you will no longer need to touch anything in the kitchen other than food items as you fix meals. Soon our Voice Assistants will be able to more accurately understand tone, inflection, and the identity of each family member by their speech patterns.
The “Internet of Things” Emerged In 2017
4 The internet has suddenly become more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, more products are being created with Wi-Fi and sensors embeded in them, the costs of tech research and development is on a doward spiral, and the smartphone is cruising like a guided missile into the universe.
Such engineered rocketry has produced what the industry has dubbed the the new kid on the block, the “IOT”—the “Internet of Things!” If you hate it or love it, know that it is here to stay!
Skip the commercial and watch “The Internet of Things”, by Forbes.
So What Is “The Internet of Things”?
The following paragraph is taken from a Forbes internet article:
“Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. As I mentioned, if it has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT. The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices… That’s a lot of connections (some even estimate this number to be much higher, over 100 billion). The IoT is a giant network of connected “things” (which also includes people).
The relationship will be between: people-people, people-things, and things-things.”