With most of us spending more time there than ever, we’re all learning more about the true importance of home. And, more and more people are learning the added value, comfort and convenience smart home technologies can bring. With demand for smart home devices growing and technological development continuing apace, 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for smart home tech. Our experts offer their take on the latest news in home automation and smart home devices, picking out the five most exciting smart home technology trends taking today’s connected homes to the next level in 2021.
- Home Cinema: LED Large Format Home Screens
It’s always a thrill to see high-tech commercial technologies transition into the smart home market. This is something we’re anticipating to see a lot of with LED Large Format Home Screens. For years the go-to solutions for high quality home cinema have been ‘two piece’ set ups, which use a projector and a separate screen. You can achieve sensational picture quality with two-piece solutions, but the LED large format screens coming onto the market are, quite simply, taking home cinema to a new level entirely. LED format screens have typically been reserved for commercial advertising, but we’re seeing more and more models incorporating this technology on the high-end smart home market. Truly the perfect technology for people trying to bring the magic of cinema into their home, 2021 promises to be the year large format LED really takes off.
- The Comeback of Vinyl
People have been eschewing streaming services for the retro-simplicity of vinyl for a while now, but we’re only just starting to see some of the many possibilities of this trend meshing with high-end smart home technologies. To many might seem like they belong to different worlds, but you really can bring the old-school pleasure of vinyl to state of the art smart systems and high fidelity sound. We’re seeing this potential and developments in sound quality acknowledged by buyers and suppliers alike.
Vertere Acoustics are making record players boasting high fidelity sound worthy of the most refined smart sound systems on the market. People are starting to realise that you can keep the nostalgic allure of vinyl without sacrificing quality, connectivity or convenience- and we’re looking forward to seeing more of these possibilities open up. The music platform Roon is doing some of the most exciting work in this space, enabling users to manage music files of all kinds in one place. Roon brings the feel of flicking through a vinyl collection to the cutting-edge, hyper-connected home. You can even automate playlists which combine your music collection with on demand streaming services.
- Family Friendly Smart Home Control
The increased time spent at home, often with the whole family, has led to calls for optimised smart home control that isn’t just user friendly, but family friendly too. Today’s control systems can enable remote control of lights, blinds, security systems, heating, ventilation, audio and video devices from one simple system. The most competitive of these offer such control in increasingly user-friendly ways. Thinka, for example, can control entire smart home systems from an iPhone or a smart watch from the sofa, it can even be used with Siri for voice command. We’re expecting the uptake of family friendly control systems like Thinka to continue at an increasing pace.
- Next Level Networks
They might not be the most visible element of smart home technology, but the increased strength of wireless networks is what makes all other exciting smart tech capabilities possible. As we move into 2021, we’re relying on our home networks more than ever. Not only do we need them heated and lit for more of the day, we’re seeing homes double up as workplaces and learning spaces- not to mention the demand for high quality entertainment in our much-needed downtime! All of this puts home networks under strain, making the network-strengthening wireless mesh technology an increasingly valuable tool. This technology allows us to upgrade and considerably increase wireless power with no need for additional cabling. Ruckus wireless solutions can generate enough power to support even the most high-end vast smart technology systems. But there are more and more options like the AmpliFi mesh system which can readily accommodate ordinary smart homes and budgets, enabling users to access smart technologies consistently, quickly, and reliably.
On top of the increased time spent at home, the general trend of smart systems bringing unparalleled convenience into all areas of home life is quickening still: with smart light, smart locks and security systems and even smart bathrooms becoming integral to the modern home. As our dependence on smart home devices and technologies grows, so too does the need for reliability, and for rapid resolution when problems do arise. Developments in remote technology over the last year have driven both the efficacy and affordability of remote smart home management. We’re now using artificial intelligence-empowered 3D scans, which enable rapid, contact free fixes of most major faults with our clients’ smart systems. It’s also increasingly well known that expert management of heating and lighting can optimise efficiency of energy use in the home, adding a further impetus for the growth of this trend among environmentally conscious consumers into 2021.