Smart Energy

The connected home will come into its own when it can enable similar experiences for mundane household objects, delivering additional value to end users: floor lamps that flash when severe weather warnings are issued; TVs that offer notifications from the kitchen; smoke detectors that can call emergency services; and so on.

According to a report by Gartner, an information technology research company, consumers will lead the way by increasingly investing in smart-home solutions, with the number of connected things used in smart homes to surpass 1 billion units in 2017, which is up from the 294.2 million units in 2015.

And on Tuesday this week, we noted that we’re at a pivotal point with Smart Homes as a report by Icontrol Networks, a connected home solutions provider, indicated that within the next 12 months more than 34% of consumers will be purchasing Smart Energy Solutions such as a thermostat or connected lighting.

Smart energy, referring to energy management, is comprised of smart meters, climate control, and lighting sectors. Energy management implies cost savings and reduced carbon emissions. From startups to large-sized home automation companies, cost savings and individual room control are two major features seen in new products. 70% of consumers report that they are excited about the potential cost savings from energy efficiency and monitoring.

Smart Energy Options

According to Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner, “homes will move from being interconnected to become information- and smart-enabled, with an integrated services environment that not only provides value to the home, but also creates individual-driven ambience. The home will become the personal space that provides assistance or personal concierge experiences to the individual.”

Connecting and networking the various aspects of the smart home will yield greater savings than many other activities in the home. Connecting appliances to lighting and to the thermostat will all results in the ability to harness the power of the Internet of Things(IoT).

Climotics

Climotics is automated climate control in home automation (i.e. your thermostat). Specifically, it addresses energy efficiency and control of HVAC within a home and allows you to not only have manage the airflow within the home, as a connected device, it also warns the lights to go off and closes the vents in the event of smoke or fire. It acts as the first firefighter in the home. In time, climotics will evolve to allow for room specific personalization, and more dynamic experiences such as cooling/heating the home to match the scene in a film.

Lighting

Lighting control systems involves aspects related to controlling electric lights. This includes master control for all the lights of the home, automating the lights to movement or to moods, and regulating the level of light during parts of the day. This category also typically includes control of exhaust and ceiling fans.

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting control involves controlling electric window shades and draperies. Recent advances include use of RF technology to avoid wiring to switches and integration with third party home automation systems for centralized control.

Appliances

The aspect of appliances in the smart home range from intelligent washers and dryers that know when to operate in order to save money, refrigerators that can remind you at grocery stores to buy milk, or the oven that can use the in-house lights to let you know the food is ready. Smart appliances are motivated to not only save you electricity but provide you the right reminders at the right time so you can focus not only on what’s going on in the kitchen, but also on your guests.

Of the various smart energy initiatives Smart LED lighting will record the highest growth of Internet of Things(IoT) consumer applications from six million units in 2015 to 570 million units by 2020. Light will move from being an illumination source to a networked communications carrier incorporating safety, health, pollution and personalized services.

Pulling the Home Together

The future that previously seemed over the horizon has now arrived. In 2015 a rapidly expanding array of devices and applications make homes intelligent beyond our wildest expectations. In the 2016 Swanepoel Trends Report, we take a look at the direction of how the Internet of Things(IoT) is impacting the home and how REALTORS® can expect to meaningfully engage with the consumer on the new technology. As Harris Poll indicates, while it may be clear on what the expected and perceived benefits are, 78% of Americans are indicating that they expect newly built homes to include smart home technology within the next five years.