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Get smart: Connected home devices on the rise


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The Internet of Things (IoT) and the associated smart home inventions such as voice-controlled assistants and smart fridges, security devices, heating, blinds, and lighting, are all trending upward.

Indeed, the number of smart home devices worldwide is predicted to grow from 42 million in 2017 to 244 million within five years, according to Forrester. In Australia, recent mainstream introductions of the ‘control centres’ of such connected home environments like Google Home and Amazon Echo will serve to make smart and connected homes more and more accessible and desirable to the everyday consumer.

IoT is not only changing the lives of people and how they inhabit their homes, but it is drastically changing the construction and design industries as well. IoT will grow to inhabit building information modelling, acting as a catalyst for smart buildings projects.

IoT will grow to inhabit building information modelling, acting as a catalyst for smart buildings projects. 

Pulling data from smart home devices to model out components, such as energy usage configurations, temperature movements, or even the movement of the house’s inhabitants, can become a gold mine of data for architects, clean energy providers, and other stakeholders in the construction ecosystem.

For example, senior-living and retirement housing is ripe for disruption in the smart home industry. With an added need for security monitoring systems, specialised requirements for heating and mobility, as well as medical alert systems controllable by voice, designers and architects in this space are looking at integrating smart devices in the preliminary stages of construction.

So, what smart home inventions top the list of the most convenient, most fun, or just plain zany? Here are some of our favourite picks:

1) Fingerprints replacing keys

Gates and doors can now be locked or unlocked with the touch of your fingertip. Concepts such as iris scanners and voice recognition locks also set to hit Australian shores in the near future.

Integrating home security with your smartphone will help make homes safer, as these technologies are controlled only by the people authorised to use them.

2) Smart dog cameras

Dog cameras will give dog-owners a glimpse into what their pooch gets up to during the day. A microphone allows you to talk to your dog, and a speaker can send you a notification when your dog is barking excessively. It even ejects treats for your dog at intervals throughout the day.

3) Smart smoke alarms

Smart smoke alarms can tell the difference between smoke and steam – so no more annoying beeping when you’re just trying to boil the kettle. It also sends a notification to your phone letting you know when the batteries need changing.

4) Connected sprinklers

Grass looking a little limp? Tell your connected sprinklers when to turn on and off. Pretty simple.

5) Smart sleep systems

Special acoustics gauge specifically designed ‘sound blankets,’ filling your bedroom with soothing ambient noise to drown out unwanted noises.

If you liked this article, here are a few eBooks that you may enjoy: 

Improving Data Exchange Using the Internet of Things

Construction's Up-and-Coming Technology You Don't Want to Miss

Security in the Cloud: Tips on How to Protect Your Data


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