For most of us, seldom does a day go by when one form of technology or another is a part of our routine in at least some small way. It makes sense then, that technology is creeping into how we design and even utilize our homes every day. Automated technology is on the rise. Here are a few things that will be increasing in popularity or making their debut in the coming years:
Google Acquires “Nest”
Among the top home automation innovators is Nest, a company known best for their line of “next-generation” thermostats, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. It should come as no surprise then, that Google (which often leads the way in regard to innovation) announced plans to acquire Nest for $3.2 billion. Google has plans to integrate its smart technology to enhance home energy management and implement attractive and functional wireless devices.
Lucky for Google, Nest already has plenty of innovative ideas for them to build on. The thermostat offered by Nest is designed to maximize comfort for homeowners while minimizing energy use. The Auto-Away feature adjusts the thermostat automatically every time you leave your home. Nest reports that this could add up to a 20% reduction in heating and cooling bills. Not only that, but you can remotely adjust the temperature of your thermostat while you are on the go. Crank up the heat when you are on your way home and your family will be comfortable the minute they walk in the door.
The smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarms are sophisticated enough to tell you the location of the hazard, as well as give you the opportunity to stop the alarm before it sounds, if you made a simple mistake, like burning your toast.
At the Consumer Electronics Show, the sky is the limit. This year, one exhibitioner featured a voice activated washing machine. Mobile devices like tablets and phones are likely to become more intertwined with household systems as the years go by. Costs for technology like this have been out of the reach of most of us in previous years. However, they are becoming more and more affordable and costs should continue to decrease during 2014.