What's next for smart home features?

February 24, 2017

Any real estate professional knows how much "smart" home features have gone from nice-to-have to must-have in the past few years, as the Internet of Things brings more connectivity throughout the home. Some of these devices may seem relatively simple - the ability to turn off lights or lock doors from a smartphone is now somewhat common - but as time goes on, these products become more advanced.

One area where these advances are starting to take hold is the bedroom, where "smart" beds may soon become popular, according to a report from from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by the National Association of Realtors. Some smart beds may come with built-in heating units, adjust to reduce snoring or match a sleeping body's ergonomic needs, and even gently rouse users in the morning, all automatically.

Other features of varying complexity
Meanwhile, the ways in which consumers have come to expect smart devices to provide them with simplicity are highlighted by a few other types of smart device. For instance, there may soon be overhead smart stations that wirelessly charge connected devices like phones, tablets and laptops when their batteries start to run low. Further, new smart refrigerators are being set up to not only provide an active view of what's in them to people in the kitchen, but to send photos directly to an owner's smartphone while they're on the go, so they know exactly what to pick up.

Finally, the era of big-screen TVs might soon come to an end, as tech companies develop "screenless TVs" that put images on any surface in much the same way old-school projectors do, but doesn't need to be connected to any other devices to stream movies and shows.

Hubs are coming
Meanwhile, many homes already have centralized computers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, but the battle for that kind of device is just starting to heat up, according to Mansion Global. Instead of simply being a standard home hub, many will bring new features to the fore, such as devices that focus on keeping home security - both physical and virtual - as tight as possible, or those that allow devices to be turned on without pressing any buttons.

Meanwhile, Apple has also released its own Home app, built into iOS and therefore available on people's iPads and iPhones already. While this service hasn't been as heavily advertised as other entries in the field, the fact is that already having the device around the house might prove convenient for some users who are unsure of how effective it would be to buy multiple Echo or Google Home hubs and strategically place them throughout their houses.

The more agents can do to familiarize themselves with the cutting-edge technology in the latest smart home devices, the better off they might be when it comes to facilitating real estate sales. That may be especially true for those operating in affluent areas where high-tech gadgetry might be a little more common.