Monday, 14 october 2019 | Redacción CEU
What would happen if the Internet disappeared overnight? Surely, there would be chaos for a few days. Over the last decades, the "network of networks" has moved way beyond it to become an almost indispensable element in our everyday routine. Cellphones have been one of the devices that have most helped to create and strengthened this close link between users and the network. Thanks to our smartphones, we can go anywhere and connect at any time, as long as the battery works. However, when we look back and check how this technology has evolved, a question arises: what happens to other devices? For years, we hoped that, first, home automation and, then, the Internet of Things would end up simplifying many tasks and making our lives easier. But how much time is left for this to happen? When will we enjoy completely smart homes? If technology advances so fast, why do we not live in "connected houses"?
The latest study by Juniper Research -The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2018-2030- estimates that, in 2022, there will be 50 billion connected sensors and IoT devices in the world. This figure means an increase of 140% in four years. This is a very significant growth, in particular, if we consider that the estimated figure was 21 billion in 2018.
This firm thinks that the development and implementation of Edge Computing will be key to this meteoric expansion. Thanks to it, goals like reducing bandwidth requirements, achieving faster response times and improving security could be achieved. This analysis also points out that Blockchain and other similar technologies may play a determining role.
If this prediction comes true, this growth will serve as a boost for the whole industry, especially for the automotive world, but perhaps where we will most feel a change will be in our own homes.
As its name suggests, by means of the Internet of Things, any "thing" may be connected. For example, one of the most practical connected elements in a home is doorbells. Thanks to this type of smart devices, people can check who knocks on the door and even have a conversation with their visitors without moving from their seats. Some connected bells are able to detect when someone approaches to activate a camera. Others can recognize a family member or a frequent visitor through facial recognition.
This is a small sample of the range of possibilities that opens up with the development of this technology. Tech firms work and even already offer proposals of connected devices and sensors such as light bulbs, switches, thermostats, blinds, windows, locks, alarms, televisions, humidifiers, pet houses, etc.
Recently, on this blog, we mentioned the significant growth of smart speakers’ sales around the world. Behind the United States and Germany, Spain is the country where this technology is penetrating the fastest. This rise may be interpreted as one of the clear signs of a coming technological revolution in housing.
These virtual assistants can be used to set reminders, make calls, play music, manage purchases, search for information on a topic or make shopping lists. Although tech firms work on the development and improvement of these services, some of them are still very basic. In any case, one of the functions that most attracts the attention to these devices is the control of the connected elements in houses. Most smart devices have controls or mobile apps for their operation, but smart speakers can help centralize their management and, in addition, do so through our voice.
Then, why do we not live in smart homes if tech firms have already marketed these types of devices? These are some of the points that generate more conflict in the development and implementation of this technology in houses:
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