The hot-commodity IoT and smart home gadgets appearing as gifts this holiday season are actually building to something bigger: inter-device communication shows the incredible potential of IoT as a component of home automation.
IBM's Hursley campus in the UK shows this concept in action with the network of IoT devices using a forecast to precisely control heating across the entire building to accommodate the how, when, and where people are using the facility. The fully-realized smart home won't happen all at once, many of the devices leading to it are appearing as gifts this holiday season.
Home assistants are among the easiest IoT gift-friendly priced options for people who have not yet made the jump to a smart home or office. Home assistants work both as "mission control" for an IoT network and as a stand-alone service. Amazon's Echo device family, powered by the virtual assistant Alexa, is available in several configurations offering a smaller form-factor or improved speaker.
Home assistants excel at both convenience and usability; there's no need to pull out your phone to check the weather: just ask Alexa. Echo can also automate other devices through voice control including a smart thermostat to adjust the temperature or smart lights to adjust brightness. Google and Apple are also getting in on this market.
Kitchen appliances are among some of the most practical gifts. The Perfect Bake Pro is an app-connected scale that runs through the recipe to help get perfect ingredient proportions. The Anova Culinary Precision Cooker uses Wi-Fi to allow temperature control even if the "chef" needs to step out and run some errands. More ambitious IoT appliances like the June Intelligent Oven, which can identify what food is in it and automatically cook it at the right temperature, are a bit outside of the "gift" price range but show the potential of what all IoT appliances are capable of.
Smart lights are a sensible IoT gift option for people who already have a home assistant. LIFX color-changing LED lights add optional accent or mood lighting to any room. Hue-changing lights can switch the living room from a normal white hue to a dark red to accompany the mood of a scary movie on demand. The Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit, is a modern take on "The Clapper" which controls the lights through voice-commands at home and apps when on-the-go.
Smart devices rely on programmed artificial intelligence to hold a conversation with a human user similarly to how a smart refrigerator can listen to a person run-off a grocery list, select items to purchase and place an order.
The IoT Software development experts at ELEKS can help your business turn its IoT ideas into reality. The development of innovative new ways to use IoT devices shows no signs of slowing down; contact us today to find out more.
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