Smart home – what does the future really hold?

So it’s been a little over 2 months since we welcomed the Google Home into the family. I’d say in terms of a smart gadget, it’s well presented and boasts a lot of interesting features in comparison to our Echo. However, we currently have Alexa in our living room and the Google Home has been evicted (taken under my partner’s wing) to the office.

I’ve been postponing this review for a while as I thought with only 5 months to go until 2018, Google would have been on top of their development plan and may have introduced some cool new features – nope! Google Home is great for the ‘fluffy’ features. I like how it can have a continued interaction without you having to re-ask the initial question however, when it comes to third party integration the Echo has the lead. Echo can currently integrate with the likes of LIFX, IFTTT, Nest, Wink, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue and quite a few other smart home devices via its skills.

Interestingly, the DVLA are trialling a skill through Alexa which will enable customers to check their MOT and vehicle tax status using the devices. In terms of innovation I think this is an excellent step in the right direction and it is clear to see that the DVLA want to create a frictionless customer journey that will influence people to keep on top of their vehicle renewals.

To be honest, the market still kind of feels like early stages of smart home development. I’m eager to welcome the revolutionary tech device advances as we make our way into 2018 and beyond but feel a little disappointed that I’ve got nothing new to share with you all today in terms of Google. We must not forget that Amazon was first in this space with the Echo, which came out in 2014 but it’s clear that Google and Apple are now opting to compete in this rapidly growing space. I personally, like the way Google have created their home; the device seems personable and can easily adapt to the user or environment.

I know we aren’t yet at mass adoption stage but on a more positive note, having some sort of smart home feature is coming more common when I am approaching conversations about technology.

Thanks to Prime Day, I bought a brand new LIFX bulb (with infrared technology) for just £35! That’s a great price considering it can integrate with both our home and Alexa, it can be controlled from our phones and won’t need to be replaced for at least 20 years. My second new snazzy purchase came in the form of a smart plug (with energy monitoring). Who would have thought having the ability to control plugs from your phone would give you such a buzz? Very shocking to see that in the last 30 days I have had the fan on overnight for over 83 hours (those of you who know me, won’t be that shocked), I just like being able to interact with every day electricals via my phone and voice.

Thinking more about the future, I believe the opportunity is slightly unbelievable. I along with many others, currently live a very connected life. My smartwatch is forever reading my pulse, counting my steps, remembering my routines. My TV is checking trends, recommending shows, tracking my subscriptions. My phone uses biometrics such as facial recognition and fingerprints to distinguish my identity from my partners. My smart hubs are recognising my voice, storing my location, playing my favourite songs. For those of you who haven’t watched the likes of Black Mirror, I highly suggest you give a couple of episodes a go. Technology is ever evolving and I am thrilled to be able to work in an industry surrounded by development. I don’t know about you but the future in my eyes involves very intelligent devices integrating our virtual lives with our physical ones. Using If this then that we can currently program our lights to turn on when our mobile connects to the WIFI so what’s to say in the future we will be identified by our smart watch reading our heart rate.

Thanks for reading,

Lucy

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dvla-gives-a-shout-out-on-alexa

 

 

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