The thing that makes all these objects entitled to have the word "smart" in them is functionality, which typically involves internet connectivity, apps or a touch screen. However, don't confuse a smart device with a smart home. Just because they have similar names doesn't mean they hold the same meaning. For example, a smart device can be controlled by your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Smart homes, however, can automatically adjust the lights, temperature and blinds according to your preferences, or trigger some action event such as turning on the TV. A smart home assumes there are smart devices inside of it, which are connected and networked together to interact with each other through a router or other hub.
Now that you know what a smart home is, let's talk about its relevance today and where it's going in the next year. Here are some reasons why the DIY home automation market is growing:
It's getting cheaper
Remember "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" or MTV's "Cribs"? People around the world tuned into these shows in the past to witness the luxuries and amenities that celebrities and the wealthy enjoyed in their homes. Oftentimes, this came in the form of clever gadgets that would automate certain parts of life. These were typically custom-made items that, back then, cost a fortune. These days, we see even more amazing options than those in average homes, and the reason is that manufacturing efficiency improves while tech costs drop. We can actually afford these products now, with many gadgets costing less than $100 — and they're better than ever!
It's getting easier
So you can afford this technology, but what about the other factors? The infrastructure needed to pull off a smart home is a perfect storm right now, similar to how the consumer Internet market took off due to companies investing in access. The only things you need to effectively turn your home into a smart home (other than the connected gadgets) are smartphones and routers connected to the Internet. Nearly everyone has these, or can easily obtain them. It's easy for anyone to put the pieces together and hit the ground running.
It's getting cooler
Yes, the cool factor is probably the strongest driving force behind this trend. How cool is it that you can take a light bulb, and turn it into any color, anytime you want? You can impress your friends, and that's only a small example of the available options.
More innovations on the horizon
As DIY home automation becomes more common, a number of companies join the fray with innovative product ideas. This trend already changed the game in the housing industry where upgrades, such as a new roof, raise the value of the home. Now, these types of changes are coupled with smart device upgrades to attract a higher home prices. Since this is making the smart home movement a safe bet for product makers, you can trust they'll release some hybrid products of existing gadgets, such as a smart light that doubles as speakers or a Wi-Fi extender. The possibilities seem limitless.
We're excited to see where things go next, and you can be sure we'll be talking more about this and other great home tech, so keep an eye on Vivint for more ideas on doing it yourself and creating an efficient smart home!