Smart home systems continue to become more sophisticated and all-encompassing. As a result, more and more homeowners install these systems to improve the security, comfort, and energy usage of their properties.
You, too, can enjoy all of the benefits of a smart home system today. But which among the many options should you select? Here are 5 trending smart home systems this year that are worth considering:
1. Amazon Alexa
Technically, Alexa is an AI virtual assistant technology developed by the giant conglomerate, Amazon. It was first integrated with the Echo smart speakers and became a handy voice-activated assistant for playing music, providing information such as news and sports updates, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, and more.
Amazon Alexa-powered devices. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Alexa has evolved so much that now it is also integrated with a wide variety of smart home devices, which makes this technology one of the top smart home systems in operation today. The devices that are powered with Alexa include thermostats, smart plugs, HVAC systems, home security cameras and alarms, home entertainment devices, and many more.
Imagine living in any of these stylish Theory condos and modernizing every space of it. Brew coffee before getting up from bed, turn on the lights and the air conditioning system even if you haven’t gotten into your unit yet, or control your speakers and television even while your hands are busy with the cooking. Quite nice, right?
IoT (internet of things) devices produced by other companies also install Alexa into their systems. This makes the AI assistant by Amazon even more popular among homeowners. To activate Alexa’s functions or skills, a user will have to use a wake-up word (Alexa or Alexa wake). It is fast becoming a household name and Alexa continues to make homes across the world more comfortable and pleasurable to live in.
2. Google Nest
In direct competition with Alexa in the AI assistant landscape is Google Assistant. There used to be a Google Home department as well that focused its energies on creating smart home devices. Nest Labs was a separate company that grew in fame for its highly effective smart home system and appliances. But in 2014, Google acquired Nest Labs. And then in 2019, they announced that Home and Nest will be reorganized under Google Nest and will be powered by the Google Assistant technology.
Now, Google Nest products include smart everything – thermostats, speakers, doorbells, smoke detectors, security cameras, locks, displays, streaming devices, and more. You can activate most of these devices through voice. All you have to do is say, “Ok Google or Hey Google” and then you can dictate which function you wish to use.
The Next x Yale lock, one of many Google Nest products. (Image source: Google Store)
Google Nest continues to incorporate more streamlined and high-functioning technologies from the other companies acquired by Alphabet (the parent company of Google). Third-party companies also integrate Google Assistant with their devices as they do Alexa. All of these mean that Google Nest isn’t that far behind Alexa in the smart home systems industry.
3. Samsung SmartThings
The SmartThings system by the well-known smartphone company, Samsung, is yet another popular contender in the smart home system stage. Like the two above, it integrates with a wide variety of devices and enables users to control these appliances wirelessly as they see fit.
Samsung offers a wide range of products (alarm, coffee machine, lightbulb, security camera, thermostat, lock, etc.) under their SmartThings hub. These devices are also voice-activated and are designed to make living easier and more modern. For example, you can turn on your lights or brew your morning coffee by just telling them or through the connected app on your phone.
Since Samsung’s SmartThings hub isn’t on the same level as Alexa and Google Nest yet, the company decided to strike a deal with the two giants in the scene. This means that the smart home devices they offer can also be controlled via an app powered by Alexa and Google Assistant.
4. Apple HomeKit
Apple was a bit late into the smart home systems party but they are doing their best to catch up with HomeKit. Since iPhone users number in millions and are quite loyal to Apple, they tend to readily use iPhone accessories and buy other Apple products. As a result, the popularity of HomeKit also rose in a short period.
One of the security cameras running the HomeKit system. (Image source: Apple Store)
The system is powered by Apple’s popular AI assistant, Siri. There is also a variety of devices that can be connected. These include thermostats, security systems, home entertainment devices, light bulbs, smart plugs, and more.
5. Philps Hue Smart Hub
While Philips mainly focuses on smart home lighting systems, they are still worth mentioning here as the Hue Smart Hub system is quite popular. Homeowners appreciate that these lights are quite sophisticated and can be controlled through voice activation or wireless connection (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth).
Philips’ Hue lights often come with dimmers for mood lighting and energy-saving protocols. For anyone who wants an ultra-modern lighting system, these are definitely a great option.
Smart home systems are a delight for many homeowners as they allow the seamless control of appliances and can help boost a property’s security and livability factor. They are great investments as well since most of them are energy-efficient. And, of course, they raise the users’ comfort and lifestyle quality to a whole new level.
The 5 trending smart home systems above will easily meet your modern living needs.