As technology innovations continue to hit the market at a blistering pace, the number of industries impacted has steadily grown. Although many home appliances used to be purely analog devices and lacked any sort of real connectivity, 2012 has seen that change. Indeed, we’ll look back at 2012 as one of the first years in which technology really hit our homes.
Mostly, though, we’ll view 2012 a the year of the smart product. Wheher it’s a dishwasher or a television, everything that we use in the home is getting a brain these days. Let’s take a look at some of the top home technology trends of 2012.
Smart thermostats have been one of the most innovative home technologies to catch on in 2012. This market’s growth has been fueled by the popularity of the Nest. Conceived and designed by the same man who helped design the iPod, the Nest is a thermostat that is actually attractive.
Beyond that, the Nest is also an economic wonder. By tracking the energy habits of homeowners, it reduces energy consumption while keeping users’ homes adequately heated. Although the $249 price tag may seem steep, it has the power to reduce the average U.S. energy bill – typically in the $1,000 range annually – by 30 percent. It pays for itself, and when one considers that thermostats control 10 percent of the United States’ energy consumption, the Nest has the power to make global changes.
The thermostat isn’t the only piece of technology that’s becoming connected. Several companies, namely LG and Samsung, debuted everyday appliances this year that have started to make homeowners’ lives more efficient. Samsung’s smart refrigerator was unveiled, with the ability to pull up recipes and help with preparation.
On the same note, smart dishwashers and washing machines have started to make their way into homes. These are appliances that reduce water consumption and noise while increasing the loads that they can handle. What’s more is that some models have the ability to perform diagnostics over a Wi-Fi connection – meaning repair bills stay low because they can essentially fix themselves when minor issues pop up.
The first waves of smart TVs actually started to make their way into homes prior to 2012, but this was the year that consumers started to adopt them in large numbers. It was also the year, perhaps not coincidentally, that the televisions became a little more streamlined in ther approaches. While fragmentation and poor UIs were a hallmark of earlier smart TVs, the new ones being put out have easy-to-use interfaces and are much more reliable. Samsung’s smart TV features a camera for gesture-based controls, and other models promse to make home entertainment a more intuitive experience. If 2012 showed us anything, it’s that the smart television is something consumers want.
What really stood out about home technology trends this year is that, aside from the continuing rise of tablets and smart TVs, there was not as much of a focus on home entertainment. Instead, the focus by manufacturers and consumers has been on taking mundane tasks such as washing the dishes or heating the home and making them easier, more efficient, and even fun. It appears as if 2012 might have been part of a larger trend – one that leads to entire smart homes.
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Mark Clinton is a writer for Home Security OK. The specialize in Oklahoma Alarm Systems and home automation.