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INSIGHTS

What to expect, besides more AI, from smart homes in 2022

What to expect, besides more AI, from smart homes in 2022
Here we present five major smart home technologies and solutions that could become popular in the coming months.
An overwhelming majority of analysts agree that the biggest trend we can expect in the 2022 smart home market is a greater emphasis on AI. AI is the cornerstone of the smart home market and will be required to propel the market past early adopters.
 
"For example, as energy prices increase, a new home sold with smart appliances, solar and smart electrical box will be in a better position to reduce carbon footprint and save on energy, while current DIY offerings remain gimmickier by comparison," explains Blake Kozak, Senior Principal Analyst for Smart Home at Omdia. "It's an exciting time for the smart home market as professional and DIY channels merge and interoperability is on the horizon."
 
This is inevitable, given the natural evolution of technology. But AI is not the only innovation we will see more in 2022. Here we present five major technologies and solutions that could become popular in the coming months.

Radar 

One technology that will become more popular in 2022 will be radar. Brands like Nest already offer radar technology through its latest Nest Home Hub for sleep tracking, and Sengled just introduced its latest smart light bulb that integrates radar sensing. Moreover, some Echo smart speakers can use ultrasound-based technology to detect occupancy.
 
"This is a pivotal trend for the smart home because radar/lidar/Wi-Fi sensing technologies have the potential to be much more precise than existing technologies and can cover more ground," Kozak pointed out. "This means fewer devices installed in the home that effectively do the same thing, like PIR motion sensors or door/window contacts."

More automation 

Moving forward, products will have to analyze complex events automatically, recognize insights and then contact users when those insights are available - what is often called 'set it and forget it.' According to Sergio Flores, Chief Product Officer at Canary, this means that advanced technologies such as person detection, event anomaly detection, and computer vision, in general, will increasingly become a common scene in home security.
 
"On the other side of the spectrum, there will be a significant number of customers who will now be working permanently from home as their offices have now gone completely remote," Flores added. "With the savings in time and money of not having to commute, they will purchase IoT products that can be used to automate their day and improve their home office experience. For example, smart light bulbs for better lighting, or outlets to automate simple activities such as starting the coffee roaster."

Edge-based solutions

Local processing (edge-based processing) will also gain more traction in 2022. More will be processed locally, from security cameras and voice to smart home automation, relying less on the cloud. This is important for privacy and cost. With less cloud-based processing, the cost is lower for brands, which could lead to lower prices in the coming years, but more importantly, it reduces latency and improves privacy for consumers.
 
"As Matter takes shape in 2022, more brands will theoretically be able to work with Apple's HomeKit, which is one of the more secure solutions available today," Kozak added. "Moreover, a Matter spec that includes security cameras would be a game-changer for the industry, effectively forcing brands to offer SKUs that work with Apple and its HomeKit Secure Video, where all analytics are processed locally."

Air-quality solutions

In 2022, there will be more emphasis on air quality. Air quality is a relatively small market today compared to security or smart speakers, but the implications shouldn't be ignored. With more consumers working from home, knowing the air quality in a home office could mean a more productive day.
 
"There could be more focus on Radon, but this sensor is rarely included with air quality monitors - instead, brands focus on things like PM2.5, VOCs, and CO2," Kozak said. "The introduction of low-cost air quality monitors should help get these devices in more homes. Resideo will be uniquely positioned to offer air quality as it already has CO monitoring products. With the latest acquisition of First Alert, the owner of the Safe and Sound product, the brand could offer a more cost-effective offering for professionals."

Takeaway

AI will continue to remain a major buzzword in the smart home as well as the physical security industries. However, some other technologies and solutions would become equally popular. Radar, solutions that monitor air quality, edge-based solutions, and more automated systems may all remain key components in meeting customer requirements this year.
 
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