Control & Automation

Forbes Tech Council Makes 7 Smart-Home Predictions for the Future

CIOs, CTOs and tech executives from the Forbes Technology Council make predictions for the next innovation in smart-home technology.

Forbes Tech Council Makes 7 Smart-Home Predictions for the Future
The smart-home possibilities are limitless.

Chelsea Cafiero · March 21, 2017

Just before the clock struck 2017, CE Pro caught up with dealers and manufacturers across the industry to ask their predictions for smart-home technology in the year ahead. But what about the unforeseeable future?

In a recent Forbes article, a few CIOs, CTOs and tech executives from the Forbes Technology Council laid out their own predictions for the next innovation in smart-home technology.

Here's a hint: they're not talking about immersive sound and virtual reality. They're talking about AI for physical health, preemptive repair and interactive GPS technology.

1. AIs Will Watch Health

"Advances in AI will fuel smart home technology. Information will be sent to the cloud and analyzed by neural networks to determine the smartest settings," says Gideon Kimbrell, InList. "Machine learning will become even better at predicting the desires of the occupant, beyond changing temperature. In the future, things like Life Alert will be obsolete, as the whole home will sense the well-being of its occupants and save their lives, if necessary."

2. Macro Actions Will Be Called By Voice

"Controlled by a voice-activated assistant, at home or remotely, we will have access to any task we want to achieve through sensors and control devices," says Steve Wilkes, Striim. "This won't be limited to out-of-the-box functionality, but will enable you to define your own actions and flows. Say 'I want to chill' could dim the lights, close the blinds, pour you a drink, and play your favorite music."

3. Pictures Frames Can Change Depending on Who's Near

"Digital photo frames have existed for years, but have barely evolved," says Jeff Jahn, DynamiX. "I see the next innovation coming in a relatively inexpensive replacement for the traditional frame. Coupled with a phone, nearby frames could update based on who is in the room. Leveraging displays that mimic traditional paper without back lighting would allow for long life without hard wiring."

4. Appliances Will Predict the Need for Repairs

"I think your home will send reminders to your service personnel about problems within the home, or maintenance issues like your vehicle letting you know if any services need to be done," says Chalmers Brown, Due. "This could be with air conditioning and heating, or with appliances. This will help homeowners do a better job of staying on top of maintenance that could reduce their repair bills."

5. Homes That Micro-Generate Electricity

"The most interesting idea I've seen that has yet to be widely commercialized is micro-generation of electricity," says Kurt Dykema, Twisthink. "There's a 10-15 percent energy loss between the power plant and your home, so if a cost-effective device could be designed that would not only heat your home, but also generate the electricity you need at the same time, it might make financial sense and help save the planet at the same time."

6. GPS Lets Devices Know When the Owner Nears Home

"I think GPS technology will allow smart home applications to prepare your home for you as you near its location," says Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic. "Imagine the temperature adjusting to your ideal level, and your preferred scents, sounds, and lights greeting you as you arrive. This will save time and money as customers reduce waste such as heat and air conditioning when they are away from their homes."

7. Not All Devices Will Demand Internet Access

"Consumers are continuing to demand more and better security to ensure their data remains private," says Neill Feather, SiteLock. "As smart home technology evolves, security protections can and should be incorporated from the start of product design. Designers must also ask whether enabling internet connectivity makes sense to the product’s function, or if more centralized and secure networks will suffice instead."



  About the Author

Chelsea Cafiero is Senior Web Editor of CE Pro. She also manages the corresponding websites of sister publications Commercial Integrator, Security Sales & Integration, Campus Safety and Electronic House. Chelsea has previously covered politics, local news and consumer electronics. She joined the CE Pro family in 2012. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Chelsea at [email protected]

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  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Automation · Networking & Cables · News · AI · Voice Control · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by Julie Jacobson on March 22, 2017

Give ‘em a break. I mean, it’s not like they’re CE Pro.

Posted by antoniohardeman on March 22, 2017

I have to agree with @jmcdermott1678 here.  Where have some of these people been. 

2.  Number 2 is already here.  I am using Amazon Alexa to do macro actions across a number of subsystems within my home.  I have one scene that activates when I tell Alexa to turn on Good Night.  When that happens the a/v system turns off, the living room lights are turned off, the garage door is closed, the back door is locked, the master bedroom and bath lights are turned on, and the home control system goes into Night mode 5 minutes later, which activates all of the motion sensors.  I have several other Alexa enabled macros including a Vacation scene. 

4.  Some appliances already do this.  My Trane thermostat is connected to my home control system.  My system will send me a text, notification on my phone or tablet or an email when there is something wrong with the HVAC.

6. I love number 6.  GPS scenes make my life much easier.  I use them everyday and I think that consumers will find this as useful as they’re finding voice control.  Every time I enter the geofence I’ve established near my home, my a/v system and lights turn on and the garage door opens.  Depending on the day of the week the temperature for the thermostat will be set to where we like it.  When I leave the geofence the garage door will close.  I haven’t incorporated my window blinds but I need to.

The future is now.

Posted by jmcdermott1678 on March 21, 2017

Did these guys just look at what technologies are being discussed, already exist, or are most controversial and then discussed them? smile
Geo-fencing for smart homes and smart home devices is already here.  “Macro actions called by voice”... you mean josh.ai or in some ways even basic voice integration integration? “Not all devices demand internet access” seems to stem from people thinking their Echo is spying on them, whether it is true or not.  These aren’t revelations.  I do like some of these, but they’re a bit narrow.  Someone needs to find these guys and go educate them and sell them some of these things!

Posted by jmcdermott1678 on March 21, 2017

Did these guys just look at what technologies are being discussed, already exist, or are most controversial and then discussed them? smile
Geo-fencing for smart homes and smart home devices is already here.  “Macro actions called by voice”... you mean josh.ai or in some ways even basic voice integration integration? “Not all devices demand internet access” seems to stem from people thinking their Echo is spying on them, whether it is true or not.  These aren’t revelations.  I do like some of these, but they’re a bit narrow.  Someone needs to find these guys and go educate them and sell them some of these things!

Posted by antoniohardeman on March 22, 2017

I have to agree with @jmcdermott1678 here.  Where have some of these people been. 

2.  Number 2 is already here.  I am using Amazon Alexa to do macro actions across a number of subsystems within my home.  I have one scene that activates when I tell Alexa to turn on Good Night.  When that happens the a/v system turns off, the living room lights are turned off, the garage door is closed, the back door is locked, the master bedroom and bath lights are turned on, and the home control system goes into Night mode 5 minutes later, which activates all of the motion sensors.  I have several other Alexa enabled macros including a Vacation scene. 

4.  Some appliances already do this.  My Trane thermostat is connected to my home control system.  My system will send me a text, notification on my phone or tablet or an email when there is something wrong with the HVAC.

6. I love number 6.  GPS scenes make my life much easier.  I use them everyday and I think that consumers will find this as useful as they’re finding voice control.  Every time I enter the geofence I’ve established near my home, my a/v system and lights turn on and the garage door opens.  Depending on the day of the week the temperature for the thermostat will be set to where we like it.  When I leave the geofence the garage door will close.  I haven’t incorporated my window blinds but I need to.

The future is now.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on March 22, 2017

Give ‘em a break. I mean, it’s not like they’re CE Pro.