Published On: Tue, Sep 29th, 2015

How the Internet of Things Will Change your Household

Speedy network connections and rapid data transfers is expected to give rise to what is known as the “Internet of Things,” a future in which smart devices are able to communicate with one another to make our lives a whole lot more convenient. Devices like smart watches and Google Glass have already hit the market, giving us some idea of what’s to come. When 5G networking hits the mainstream around 2020, we’ll see a drastic change to our lifestyles, starting right within the home. Here are a just a few ways that interconnected appliances and systems, or the Internet of Things, could change your everyday household into a smart home.

Internet of Things

  1. Your appliances will be smarter.

How long have we been promised gadgets like a refrigerator that can alert us when a pint of milk has turned sour? As household appliances become increasingly able to communicate with one another and our smartphones, scenarios like this will be a reality. There’s already a number of smart appliances in development, including coffeemakers that can be turned on with an app and cups that can keep track of what you’re drinking. In addition to these smarter individual appliances, in a few years it’s likely that your entire home will be connected as a holistic system, so that you’ll have the ability to control your entertainment, security, HVAC, and lighting systems all from a single app on your phone. Apple’s HomeKit system is one of the first to provide this type of home automation capability, with more on the horizon.

  1. Your home will be more efficient.

In addition to having a home that’s chock full of smart devices, the development of the Internet of Things from providers like Nokia Networks will also allow you to track and control your household energy use more efficiently. One such device is the Nest Learning Thermostat, which programs itself based on your daily energy use habits. A home’s climate, electricity, and security can all be customized to your habits and controlled with a central app to save energy and money.

  1. Drones will change from novelty to ubiquity.

You’ve probably heard that Amazon plans to deliver your packages via drone, and many other companies will be following suit. Drones are turning into far more than just a novelty; as they grow increasingly sophisticated due to better network connections, they’ll become an integral part of daily life.

  1. The Internet of Things will improve home healthcare.

Do you already have a Fitbit or other smart fitness gadget? The world of home fitness and healthcare will become increasingly sophisticated with the Internet of Things. Sensors around the home will be able to keep tabs on elderly patients in particular. For example, Philips has already designed a smart pillbox that tracks whether or not a patient has taken his medication, sending messages to a nurse or family member. Sensors can also track skin temperature and colour, sending alerts to nurses if anything changes. This could help an aging baby boomer population retain autonomy within their own homes.

  1. Virtual reality will become mainstream.

Finally, get ready for virtual reality and 3D holographic images to become a regular part of your evening entertainment. There are a number of virtual reality devices in production, including the Morpheus VR from Sony and a prototype from Microsoft. Faster connections thanks to 5G networks will also enable 3D holographic phone calls to become the go-to way to stay in touch with friends and family.

Sound exciting? Some of these devices are already in production, while others are merely theoretical. In any case, the household will become far smarter over the next few years thanks to the Internet of Things.