Leanne Goott
Leanne Goott

Homing in on smart automation

by Leanne Goott. Smart automation is giving the idea of traditional home and hearth, a radical revamp. 

by Leanne Goott. The proliferation of smart automation systems is quickly changing the very meaning of home, and its conventional role in our lives. In this age of innovation, we’re moving beyond the traditional realm of the home being a breathing space of privacy, comfort, and safety; and toward an intuitively personalised, interconnected, and interoperable ecosystem boasting a future potential of multiservice utility.

Currently, the world is experiencing an acceleration of 4IR technologies and particularly that of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Smart Robotics. Recent home trends show that consumers are ready to adopt these technologies to realise their dream of home as a holistic haven of resourcefulness.

Smart home automation has the potential where everything in our lives – from our phones, tablets and computers; to our appliances, security systems, energy-saving devices, windows, and doors – all seamlessly interact. As homeowners, we become chief technical conductors of a symphony of lifestyle functionality, ensuring that all devices and systems perform in harmony.

The home of the future

What’s still more promising is what the future has in store for the smart home. Eventually, just about anything of service to a home will have the capacity of being interconnected and interoperable. And so, the possibilities become endless. One day we’ll even see a move beyond touch screen and voice commands to complete embeddedness in the Internet of Things – where the home’s AI envoy takes full charge as one’s personalised in-house speaker and keeper. Such a very smart assistant will also be fluent in one’s habits, preferences and needs, and be receptive to emotional and physical changes.

For instance, imagine a smart home capable of monitoring one’s health and fully assuming the role of caregiver. If perhaps you suffer from high blood pressure, your home’s robotic chef will ensure that all meals have a low sodium content; while your healthcare envoy keeps track of your BP readings, preps your daily meds, and administers them. And when your BP does experience a potentially life-threatening spike, an emergency call will immediately be made on your behalf. You literally wouldn’t need to lift a finger or voice a word. Consumers are, of course, increasingly drawn to this incredible potential the smart home of the future will offer, and they want a slice of the pie today already.

According to GlobalData analysis, the home automation market was worth R517 billion in 2020 and should expand to over R1000 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just under 16%. And, 65% of homebuyers are willing to pay substantially more if their new homes have smart tech systems in the US alone; while 91% of US real estate investors also believe that smart home tech can help sell a property; and 92% are investing in smart products to make living spaces more connected.

Home wasn’t built in a day

In its present condition, the smart home is still but a fragmented arrangement of various devices that may be connected yet lack in their holistic function. That said, with greater partnerships between the various smart automation sectors, we’re well on our way to creating a more extensive and flexible framework of operability. We just need to be patient.

The issues of privacy and security are creating a further headache in the smart home market. It’s also one of the main reasons potential buyers become reluctant to invest in a connected home. With different devices from multiple manufacturers operating in an ad-hoc manner, networks are exposed to a greater threat landscape where various security measures don’t always merge into an effective whole. The onus is now on policymakers and manufacturers within the automation industry to come up with solutions to data breaches and privacy. Again, this can be remedied and with greater industry partnerships striving toward the goal of cross-platform security integration.

Home is where the smart is

We’ve certainly come a long way from the days of bricks, beams, and burglar bars, as the future potential of smart automation shakes the foundations of what we consider home. In essence, the smartest of future homes will have a highly developed artificial brain assuming the role of live-in partner to homeowners and their families – the kind of partner that not only provides broad functionality and convenience; but aspires toward a near-human level of empathy, creativity, and wit to boot.


Main image credit: Pixabay.com. 


Leanne Goott is marketing manager of Mobile in Africa (MIA). Her more than 12 years of experience includes digital marketing strategy and execution, integrated marketing, team and relationship management, and event management. She believes the role of marketing in an age of greater connectivity and intensifying customer expectations, has never been more important.



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