Home automation and ‘smart’ appliances are a major emerging trend for homeowners, encompassing everything from smart energy meters to lighting and heating and security systems and appliances.
While only emerging now, within a decade home automation is likely to be a major feature of most homes, so keeping tabs on the major trends driving development may well be worth your time.
The current major trends driving development in the realm of home automation include the interoperability standards of devices, a ‘battle’ between local and cloud storage, and an upswing in insurance companies taking advantage of smart systems.
Smart Device Interoperability
Smart devices only allow systems to automate when they work together easily, but like most things in life, they don’t necessarily. If you work with home automation companies like, you won’t have to concern yourself, but some companies create proprietary systems that will only ‘talk’ to others using the same standard, while others take an open-source or common architecture approach, allowing their devices to be used with others.
In most cases, open architectures tend to grab more market share, as seen with Android smartphones beating out both Microsoft and Apple in smartphone adoption, but it isn’t a done deal with smart devices yet. However, with open-source automation standards like IFTTT being relatively popular, it seems likely that proprietary standards won’t survive.
Cloud vs Local Storage
It’s not so much a struggle for dominance, but there are two different ways of approaching a problem. Some devices and manufacturers are exclusively using cloud storage solutions to store data from smart devices, while others are opting for local storage.
Both of these have advantages and disadvantages, and there is no clear winner. Cloud storage does not require additional hardware and is very inexpensive. However, local storage can offer improved security and does not need to rely on web connectivity to record – an internet outage wouldn’t prevent a local storage solution from recording CCTV footage.
Insurance companies have been quick to realise that ‘smart’ security systems can benefit them as well as the homeowners. Some insurers are now requesting, or even demanding, the data from smart security systems so that they can ensure the system is in use properly and that other connected systems like smoke detectors are functioning properly.