What will smart homes mean for you?

The definition of what makes a home is about to change. We are on the verge of a major shift in the way we live and how we interact with our environment. In fact, changes are happening already and the meaning of home is gradually broadening to encompass new things

Homes are places of work, entertainment centres and safe havens, as well as somewhere people feel most relaxed and where they raise their families. These changes to the DNA of the home are being shaped by individuals, but they are being made real by better technology.

Your home is the centre of your life, where you wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night. Cherished photos capturing life’s precious moments adorn the rooms. People do the majority of their eating, resting and playing between the trusted walls.

It’s important, therefore, that changes in the way our homes work complement their essential function as a place to live.

In coming years, smart systems will play an increasingly important role in underpinning how homes function. They will make where we live more efficient, more enjoyable and more secure. In simple terms, they will create the home of the future.

Samsung is at the forefront of this change, creating solutions that help people overcome the simple challenges of everyday life. Challenges like household chores, energy consumption or making sure the kids get to bed on time.

It will also mean small but gratifying leaps in convenience, such as not having to pause the television when you nip out to make a cup of tea, because content from the lounge is being streamed on the kitchen TV in real time.

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Today, you can control washing machine cycles remotely through your smartphone, tell the intelligent vacuum cleaner to start its shift or set up proximity triggers which tell the heating to turn on when you get within a certain distance of your house.

Samsung is weaving smart technology into its product range – from entertainment systems to white goods and, of course, smartphones – and as a result is creating a comprehensive suite of devices that offers limitless possibilities for the home.

Last year, Samsung acquired SmartThings, a leading platform in the consumer internet of things. The deal allows Samsung to integrate its products with smart technology and achieve a leading position in the connected homes market.

MAGNIFICENT ECOSYSTEM

Homes are already loaded with technology, but the combination of connectivity, mobility and data creates a great opportunity for these gadgets to combine seamlessly in one magnificent ecosystem that is responsive and can cater for people’s needs automatically.

New and efficient smart homes will grant us more time to relax and do things we enjoy, but they will also address real human needs, including controlling exposure to germs and allergens, protecting families against crime and guarding against environmental degradation.

Samsung is in the driving seat to deliver products and services that improve people’s lives for years to come without compromising the things that make them happy

Meaningful innovation means addressing challenges, not inventing distractions. It starts with tracking emerging behaviours and attitudes, giving the creators of technology the opportunity to anticipate future needs.

By focusing on people, Samsung is in the driving seat to deliver products and services that improve people’s lives for years to come without compromising the things that make them happy.

Every new product starts with lifestyle research and the question, “what do people need to help them do things better?” It investigates shifts in family structures, work, health, leisure, education and society as a whole, leading to powerful insights into what the future will look like.

A major constant in this learning process is the fact that more activities are being done inside the home that used to be done outside it.

MULTIFUNCTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

Connected devices and the cloud mean we can work at home, biotechnological devices mean we can pursue good health without going for a check-up, we can shop from the sofa and learn online without going to school or college.

Technology has a role in making homes more flexible and previous divisions which dictated where activities took place – cooking in the kitchen or watching TV in the lounge – have become blurred. In the UK, many homeowners are literally knocking down walls to create more sociable spaces.

Research shows one in five workers telecommute frequently, a number which will increase over time. Meanwhile, just under six in ten consumers agree they need to use every inch of their home efficiently. Together, these factors are causing some big changes.

People eat in the living room, watch TV in the bath and work in bed. Experiences are therefore more streamlined, no longer siloed or fragmented, and families can come closer together. The person cooking dinner is not exiled from the rest of the house, but at the heart of it, surrounded by other family members socialising and relaxing.

On the flipside of the equation, rising house prices mean people are living with their parents for longer and multiple generations are cohabiting at single addresses. Meanwhile, increasing housing stock is gradually making cities denser and more crowded.

Homes are becoming more open, yet space is at a premium. Demand is increasing for devices and services that create harmony in this environment. Versatility will be key in a world where family members want to be doing different things together; enjoying life as a family unit, but demanding experiences tailored to the individual.

The way we use technology is as contradictory as our lifestyles. Nearly seven in ten web searches conducted on a mobile device are done within the home. It seems even when other devices are available, people go for the convenience of the small screen in their pocket.

As the number of connected devices increases – at the last count, the average US home has 24 – people’s homes will adapt to take advantage by sharing content and functionality between them. Different devices will communicate with each other invisibly and they will learn their owner’s preferences and those of their guests.

Media will be responsive to our movements, and wearable technology will give people constant access to friends, colleagues and projects. In general, homes will follow cues set by people’s mobile lives, understanding expectations, and catering for the way we connect and consume.

Samsung’s vision of the smart home is one that helps people live their life. It is working to develop collaborative smart solutions that lighten the load of chores, make entertainment a consistent, involving experience and bring people together in a way no one has ever seen before.

With its leading position in the market, thanks to its acquisition of SmartThings, Samsung is poised to deliver joined-up technological experiences that will delight users for years to come.