New and integrated technologies for homes have really taken off in the last few years as devices are being introduced into every room of the house. Smart trends are no longer reserved for high-end homes or saved for an upgrade years down the line—people are actually buying homes today with an eye on the existing smart home tech that’s already included as well as adding their own.
Not only do these devices help make life easier, they protect our homes, streamline day-to-day tasks and help to prevent anything unwelcome from happening.
We saw less accumulation of new smart devices throughout 2021 and more refining of the core uses for smart home tech and the networks that power it. Ali Park, Sales Director and Security Specialist at Imou, shares his insight into the smart home world and what he believes are the top tech trends to keep a lookout for in 2022.
Style and design
One of the biggest benefits of a smart home is being able to know what’s going on when you’re not actually there. Whether you’re checking in on your kids, pets, or general goings on, a home security camera is a great tool for keeping an eye on things from afar. Although capabilities vary from device to device, formally, security cameras have been known to have a fairly bulky design. Heading into the New Year we should expect cameras to have a much more slimline appearance, more discreet, that fit into the home naturally. It’s increasingly important for homeowners that these cameras look like something you actually want in your home, as depending on your needs, you may not want it to stand out too much.
Quality and resolution
Even though 1080p/2MP (Full HD) is generally the standard resolution for cameras, there are huge benefits to cameras with higher-resolution sensors. The more megapixels a camera sensor has, the more you can digitally zoom in and still be able to see things clearly. The real benefit of improving resolution is the quality of video you capture such as number plates, facial features, clothing details or unique markings (dents on vehicles or scars/tattoos on an intruder) improving the evidence you may need for prosecution.
Besides resolution, we should also consider the field of view. All security cameras have wide-angle lenses, but not all angles are created equal. Therefore, we should start to see cameras that offer a very wide field of view and also have the ability to mechanically pan and tilt the camera for better view too. After all, when your camera’s field of vision is broader, more of your home can be seen, more can be protected and more can be secured.
A smart camera can become the centrepiece of an automated home, but its potential to influence the connected home hasn’t yet been fully explored. A huge advantage of a smart video surveillance solution is the analytics component. Smart analytics offerings can have a significant impact on home automation. We are likely to start seeing more of Human Detection; Pet Detection; and Vehicle Detection to ensure that cameras are picking up and notifying the user, or other connected devices, relevant and necessary motion in order to trigger an action.
Other features such as intrusion detection, where a box around a particular object of interest or value & line crossing (a virtual line anywhere across the camera’s field of view) which will trigger notifications or actions based on the direction a subject passes over it.
Consumers are becoming much more aware of the statistics and analytics that drive their lives and this is no different when it comes to their homes. Modern home security solutions with more extensive smart analytics, can help with the reduction of false alarms, streamline notifications, make a connected home ‘smarter’ and offer better data retention.
The ever-expanding smart home ecosystem
Almost a quarter (23%) of Britons now own one or more smart home devices, according to YouGov’s 2018 survey. However, it’s clear Smart Home Technology is still a relatively disjointed concept for some consumers, they might buy a Smart Camera and then buy a Smart Speaker, but they don’t actually have their products connected to one another or working together to increase the capabilities. Often they are independent purchases bought for a sole purpose.
It’s likely over the next year, especially with people still adjusting to working from home due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, that consumers will invest more in a smart home ‘ecosystem’. Products purchased from the same brand, that work together to provide a far more coherent experience in their home. These smart home devices can include anything from; smart lighting, smart security, smart speakers, smart hoovers and/or smart thermostats.
Unlike some others, the home security market remains incredibly competitive entering into this new year. The smart home industry made significant improvements in 2021 that might not have grabbed headlines but certainly made progress. There’s a good chance that this means big things for 2022, so keep your eyes peeled!