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Home tech trends we hope to see in 2017

Home technology is one of the fastest growing industry's currently. So what's in store for next year?

New Home Technology: Is it Worth It?

While smartphone and computer technology have improved massively in the last few years, the technology found in the average home has not. Most homes still feature thermostats, lighting, and other appliances that don’t connect to the Internet or have a touchscreen interface. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it may be time to upgrade the technology in your home. It has likely been a few years since you started hearing about smart homes, and perhaps you thought this technology was too expensive. While it was relatively expensive a few years ago, the prices have dropped markedly in the recent past. This has happened concurrently with the technology improving. It’s even easy to find homes with smart technology online, and a lot of online sites like Fizber, Zillow, and flat-fee MLS sites now offer the ability to filter with technology. 

Wifi-connected Thermostats

While thermostats with Internet connections have been around for a few years now, they have not become widespread yet. This is likely due to high costs and some inefficiencies in the technology. However, both of these issues have been addressed. New smart thermostats are compatible with the majority of HVAC systems, something that had previously been an issue. Also, the effectiveness of the units have been improved to the point where they can save users a significant amount of money on their electric bills. Previously, smart thermostats had been seen as simply a toy, and there was some truth to this notion. Now, however, they are useful to anyone looking to save money.

Robot Vacuum Cleaners That Actually Work

Robot vacuum cleaners may have been the first smart home technology to come into the public consciousness. They have been around for ten years or more. This is long enough for many people to try them out and go back to regular vacuum cleaners. It’s no secret that early robot vacuum cleaners weren’t very good. They became known for being trapped in a corner or against a table. However, modern robot vacuum cleaners are much better. They have very advanced sensor to help them avoid obstacles. You can even schedule a certain time for a cleaning if you can’t start the cleaning itself. Some robot vacuum cleaners can even be controlled remotely using the Internet.

Wireless Light Bulbs

That’s right, even light bulbs have Internet connectivity now. New light bulbs can be controlled from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Some smart light bulbs allow you to turn the lights on and off remotely, schedule lights on and lights out, and perhaps even change the color of the lighting. Wireless light bulbs are a fairly new form of smart home technology, and as such there are a few bugs that need to be worked out. Also, the technology is still quite expensive. A pack of three light bulbs and a Wifi sensor can go for up to $200.

Internet-connected Alarm Systems

Alarms that could connect to the Internet were one of the first smart home technologies to be proposed. However, it has taken quite a while for this tech to actually become viable. Also, many people already have expensive alarm systems and can’t see the benefit of having one that’s connected to the Internet. There are, however, several benefits. For example, a smart alarm can alert you of a break-in via your smartphone if you’re away. It can also record security footage in the cloud, so everything is saved forever.

One Technology You Might Not Have Expected: Smart Locks

Smart alarm systems seem like an obvious application of modern technology, but smart locks? Can that really have a meaningful benefit? The answer, rather surprisingly, is yes. Smart locks allow you to the ability to unlock the door from your phone, and receive texts if someone triggers the alarm. As with smart light bulbs, the technology is still relatively new and therefore somewhat pricey. A top of the line unit can run as much as $200. Some say it is worth it, however. The top of the line models use a wireless Internet system that is not Wifi, and actually is proprietary. This means it is nearly impossible for anyone to hack into the lock.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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