The future of architecture and home planning is normally considered synonymous with the grandeur of the building itself, but what about the daily home practices that are considered when home planning? Smart homes are at the forefront of many home planning projects; with the ability and opportunity to control the functions of our home even when we’re not in it, the consideration of catering to the growing needs of smart homes is becoming ever more primary when home planning and building a not so humble abode. With technology infusing the everyday home more than ever, can we continue to possibly streamline our home further and introduce further tech to make our home lives easier, and will the accommodation of these new technologies now be forefronted within the future of architecture?
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home is a home that is equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by a smartphone or a computer. The scope of what a smartphone can control in modern homes seems endless. Home automation is now an increasing consumer desire, from heating and lighting to turning on your washing machine and closing your blinds. With many home devices and functions, connecting to the internet equates to them connecting to our internet devices and, in turn, being able to control them from wherever we are.
Over the last 10 years, implementations of smartphone technology have become so accessible that the accessories supporting smartphones have become even more forefronted. From smartwatches to virtual assistants and home speakers, the range of smart technology paired with the devices within our homes is rapidly expanding.
The History of Alexa
The idea of a virtual assistant was once seen as a gadget that was only seen in sci-fi movies but has now become a common tool used in the modern world and is increasingly being seen in the everyday home. Amazon Alexa was introduced to the world in March 2013 and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. With less than 10 years on the market, consumers often forget a time where Alexa wasn’t part of their everyday routine.
Amazon Alexa is a virtual assistant that uses AI technology to carry out consumer commands. Often hosted by the Amazon Echo, Amazon’s smart speaker, it can be used to tell you the weather, play music, and instigate the activation of any smart devices you may have in your home.
The total number of smart home devices that can be controlled using Alexa has shown tremendous growth since 2017. This reflects how smart homes are becoming more and more common in home planning and consumer demand.
Eyewear within smart homes
With Amazon Alexa and the use of smart speakers in the home, smart glasses are now a new development on the market. In alignment with Amazon’s smart speaker and its impact on the home, their Amazon Echo Glasses Frames are another tool that Amazon has available for consumers to control their smart devices.
Engadget did a comprehensive review on these particular smart glasses and found that their mobility of them ensured that a user didn’t have to be in proximity of the speaker to make commands. This feature increases the potential movement within the home and allows the user to be more mobile and remote.
With accessories entering the smart market that increases the mobility of smart homeowners, home planning companies will have to consider this when designing homes for modern and tech-savvy consumers. For example, remote-controlled blinds or mood lighting controlled via this eyewear. With the Amazon Echo glasses, users have access to Alexa, notifications, and music wherever they go through the devices’ open ear speakers, which still allows consumers to be aware of their surroundings.
There is a range of virtual assistant tools that are available in the market that can be an aid to your average smart home residence. Still, the Amazon glasses frames are designed to work in alignment with Alexa, illustrating these devices’ application within a smart home. Having been on the market for over a year, these frames are available to suit all prescription types, making them open to an even wider market. Furthermore, it has been reported that by 2025, it is estimated that the global eyewear market is expected to reach 210.8 billion U.S. dollars. This presents a great opportunity for Amazon Echo Frames to take a slice of this massive pie.
Although the software seems to be a welcome addition to smart homes and smart eyewear seems to be a dream team pairing with their virtual assistants, the use of smart eyewear is still very much in its infancy. Reviewers comment on the comfortability of the Amazon glasses, eyewear companies are still working on offering a range of frame options that can house the internal speakers and components. At the moment, there are two color options available with the Echo glasses and consumers can hope to see more fitting and varied ranges with this also.
With the smart glasses’ functionality, there is an option to hear any impending notifications that you may not be able to access on your phone at a certain time. This could be a desirable function when considering using this technology in your smart home just in case of an emergency. The reaction time to do something seemingly decreases and ensures the most efficient response to potential problems in the home, even if you’re not there.
Although smart glasses are still developing in reactions to user experience, the speed of growth and implementation of previous smart accessories give us an indication that smart glasses may not be too far from becoming another modern household staple. It may not be so far off to predict that modern-day house planning and architecture will revolve around smart technology just as they have in the past to other luxuries that are now considered basics.