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2016 Smart home trends

2016 Smart home trends

Jun 17 2016

Your clothes and car aren't the only items in your life that you can keep on trend. Components of your house can also match the times, and right now, smart homes are hot. This concept involves using technology to enhance the home experience. For example, folks may install applications that allow them to lock the front door through their phones or use robotic devices to clean the house, like self-propelled vacuums.

Housing market and tech experts expect this lifestyle to grow in popularity. Business Insider highlighted a 2015 report estimating that through 2020, connected-home devices shipments will rise at a compound annual rate of 67 percent. And by 2019, revenue for these products will hit $490 billion! So what can you do as a homeowner to keep your abode with the times? Check out these smart home trends:

Man using watch to control smart home.

Security upgrades
Your home is your safe haven, and many smart home concepts were designed with that thought in mind. That's why homeowners are currently taking advantage of security upgrades. For one, you can install cameras in your home so you remain aware of who - or what, in the case of community critters - has entered your property.

Security and home improvement companies are coming out with more budget-friendly options these days. For example, certain programs allow you to pay on a monthly basis so you can avoid a long-term contract. That means families who only want cameras while on vacation won't end up paying for services they don't need.

Automated door locks are another on-trend smart home security upgrade. These devices allow you to lock or unlock the door from your phone. Some models even let you send virtual keys to family members or friends - the perfect house-sitting solution when you're on vacation. These locks don't just enhance your home security; they're also super convenient. After all, how many times have you stood in the rain digging in your pockets or purse for your key? Maybe you've experienced the struggle of trying to unlock a door with arms full of groceries, too. With this upgrade, you won't have to deal with these homeowner hurdles!

More than anything, though, this feature gives you peace of mind. Now, as you sit at work or a restaurant, you won't be worrying about whether you secured your space. You can simply check on your smartphone.

Security camera on side of smart home.Security cameras allow families to feel safe in their homes.

Entertainment technology
Many homeowners enjoy entertaining guests. As a property owner, you have a space to invite friends, family and neighbors, whether it's to watch the big game or celebrate a birthday. With so many entertainment technology options, you can customize your space to fit your needs exactly.

For example, many homeowners have turned their TVs into smart hubs, which control anything from the stereos around the house to the thermostat and light fixtures. This is especially convenient in larger homes, as all the controls are consolidated in one spot. Having a TV as your smart hub also allows your family room to be the center point of your home - a place where everyone can gather and spend quality time together.

"Some families are installing TVs on their custom patios."

Outdoor items
According to HGTV, homeowners are starting to take traditional indoor tech to the backyard. For example, some families are installing TVs on their custom patios. This is especially great for those who live in warmer climates, so they can spend time enjoying their backyard oasis while catching up on their favorite shows.

Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to just a TV on the porch. There are so many ways to take the indoors outside and make your house flow nicely into your backyard. Do you enjoy spending days by the pool or playing yard games? Consider installing speakers outside! Everyone can jam to their favorite tunes while they swim and hang out. Additionally, utilizing outdoor lighting design means you can take a party well into the night, and guests can safely maneuver through your yard.

Convenient gadgets
What is a smart home without smart appliances? Equipment like dishwashers and laundry machines are taking a turn to tech in their unending upgrades. For example, certain refrigerators take away the need for calendars and shopping lists. Cameras inside the appliance allow homeowners to view the refrigerator's contents while at the grocery store, and touch screens on the door act as a quick way to take notes and share pictures.

A variety of capabilities isn't the only benefit of this equipment. Manufacturers are also designing products to fit seamlessly into the decor of your home. For example, HGTV highlighted Bluetooth speakers that come with wool covers in various colors. This way, they look like artwork on the wall as opposed to a piece of technology.

This same concept applies to other smart home features. For example, outdoor speakers can be disguised as rocks so they won't take away from the natural scene. Meanwhile, automated locks don't just provide upgraded security - they are also beautiful door handles, adding an aesthetic element to the front of your home. Otherwise, many pieces of smart home equipment have sleek designs that complement a modern space.

Upgrading your house to match smart home trends does more than just keep your abode up-to-date. It also ensures you're creating an environment that allows you to optimize your time and feel safe and comfortable.

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