By Susan Finch
Digitized manufacturing is emerging as a leader in home design trends. It's becoming easier to customize homes with a variety of textures and colors thanks to sustainable materials like glass and new manufacturing technologies. In fact, 3-D manufacturing, or the third industrial revolution, is changing how homes are being built.
As the path to sustainable housing and technology widens, the home market is also embracing automated technologies and wellness initiatives. From automation security to energy management, the home design of the future is both practical and efficient. Here’s a look at four trends dominating the market:
Geofencing is becoming a popular method to help protect and monitor your home. The technology creates a virtual perimeter around your home that connects to your smartphone. For example, if your kids come home from school, their smartphones will set off a trigger and send you an alert to your phone so you know they made it safely. You also could use a geofence to monitor if they leave the house. If your kids venture into a prohibited area or out of a safety zone, you could receive another alert on your smartphone.
Another way to monitor your home’s activity is with the Kevo Smart Lock and a wearable device, like the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. Simply touch the lock with your device and your door will open. In addition, you can set up your Kevo Smart Lock to send an alert to your Gear S2 about who is coming and going out of your home.
Healthy Living Environment
There also is an increased demand for healthy building materials and furnishings due to more awareness on how your home can make you sick. The Orlando Sentinel reported on a smart home model in Lake Nona that focuses on healthy living and wellness. The home features cork floors, air filtration and water purification systems, vitamin C shower, variable lighting to optimize your circadian rhythm and pedestal desks.
Indoor gardening also has come into sharper focus in recent years. Elle Decor, with the help of futurist Barrie Barton, claims that by 2025 homes will be filled with vegetable planters and indoor gardens.
Energy Efficiency and Docking Stations
Energy efficiency and electrical docking stations are some other trends that are on the rise. But it's not just for your smartphone — docking stations for cars are also building momentum.
For energy management solutions, Belkin's WeMo Insight Switch connects all of your electronics and appliances to your Wi-Fi network. Plug in your gadgets and appliances into the smart switch and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Then you can monitor your usage from your Apple or Android devices, create schedules to turn appliances on and off and adjust your lighting while you're on vacation.
Connected Smart Homes
Smart home technology is all the rage, but the devices often operate independently of each other. For example, a smart refrigerator may tell you that you're out of milk, but it doesn't necessarily talk to your oven and dishwasher to get everything ready to go for dinner. A rising trend that attempts to solve this problem is a connected and automated home that lets all of your devices talk to each other and run themselves.
ZigBee is working toward global standards-based wireless solutions to help connect your smarthome technology and the Internet of Things. While Bluetooth technology doesn’t work with every device, ZigBee is designed to offer a lower-cost alternative to a personal wireless network. While ZigBee won't interfere with your wireless signal and devices, it can help your smart technology connect and talk to each other.
Susan Finch is a freelance writer with a passion for travel and helping small businesses find their online voice through content marketing, blogging and beyond. She is an eclectic writer with more than 10 years of experience contributing to guidebooks, magazines, iPhone apps, online publications and more. She can be found at BySusanFinch.com.