The meaning of comfort is changing, whether you live alone or with other people. The new essence of home is a connected home in which all your day to day devices can be controlled via the wonderful thing known as the internet. Major technology companies like Phillips and Google have already entered the race but the question is whether this investment offers a viable concept for sustainable sales for the years to come or will it dwindle into nothing.
Why are we not inclined towards Smart Appliances
The past year has shown less than optimistic sales of various products like the smart thermometer by Nest. Most people would agree that these products are massively expensive (Economist) and perhaps still not necessary but can the future change this perspective and create a market for them which none of us can escape from?
It is possible however that the majority of consumers are looking at immediate advantages rather than benefits which can be spanned over a period of time which is why currently only 6% of Americans even own something which is remotely a smart device or appliance. Once you make an investment you can see downsizing in bills in just under two years.
In my humble opinion, the major issue which stands in the way of the viability of comfort home appliances is the lack of entertainment they provide so their cost is sometime difficult to justify which may not be the case with the virtual reality console for example. Most people, myself included, will not think twice about paying for a Netflix subscription or one to Reader’s Digest but when we speak about a smart security alarm like Canary which is the most top notch out there, many of us hesitate. Rest assured; Canary can send video footage of trespassers attempting to enter your home, allowing the authorities to reach your home within minutes which can allow you to sleep safe at night and also leave home with no worries. We are then forced to look at the financial aspect of things. Many of these smart products such as the Philips Hue which is a wireless lighting system which allows all lighting options in your home to be controlled by an app on your phone are a drain on the pocket (if you consider an all-house installation) and in return you get mainly just the comfort of being able to switch all the lights on and off at once. There is also the option of dimming and controlling various rooms even when you aren’t at home but enough to justify the price? Polls have shown that 72% of people interviewed didn’t think so.
Yet the industry is ever growing!
Despite these less than promising statistics, technology giants are still pooling money into these smart ventures as if they can convert consumers with time. Not to mention if the smart toaster costing hundreds of dollars doesn’t float your boat, there are much cheaper options for smart comfort devices out there such as the Egg Minder Smart Tray which costs $10 and keeps an eye on your eggs and how long they can last before they need to be thrown away. The D-Link Wireless Surveillance Camera which costs $47 is a long way off from the price of the Canary system and can be hooked up with a bigger network to expand its range.
On the other hand we cannot ignore that as these device pick up popularity they will slowly get cheaper as the VCR and the DVD players did because they were also fairly expensive when they first hit the market and took us by storm. Now that standard microwaves and such appliances are being replaced on a minute level by their smarter counterparts, we can hope that a pricing change is underway for the near future.
There is one tick in the box which these home comfort devices are definitely performing in which is upping the level of the lifestyle which you enjoy and convenience is a huge part of the package. The Rachio Smart Wifi Sprinkler Controller for example saves water and waters your plants according to a schedule and even forecasts rain and the Nest thermostat keeps the temperature in your home at an optimal level according to what you enjoy. In the case of the latter at least there is a level of comfort which few would object to and not to mention you don’t have to move an inch from where you are. The device is self learning and great for young children who are more vulnerable to the cold or warm weather and the fact that you can control the device when you have left them home with a babysitter is even more impressive.
Opt for a healthier life style
The last and most important aspect which is worth keeping in mind is how these smart devices are going to contribute to your general well-being. There isn’t a lot related to health out there on the market right now but there is much to suggest that that will change in the next year or so as more companies enter the lineup. The race has already started as smart sensors have come out which can detect pollen in the air so that allergy-prone people can be warned of a possible issue in their immediate environment. Even smart lighting can be adjusted to help control anxiety and stress early in the morning and as the day progresses.
With our lives becoming more fast-paced with every passing day, perhaps these smart devices can help make everything easier as they can learn the patterns of our behavior and adjust themselves accordingly. If you can afford to incorporate a few you are particularly passionate about such as the Phillips wireless lighting system or the Homey device which essentially acts as a remote control for virtually most operations in the house synced via the internet, these appliances have the capacity to change your life for the better.