This story is part of itCNET’s look at how the world will continue to evolve starting in 2022 and beyond.
It’s been almost ten years since the smart home introduced voice commands. Today, there are thousands of smart home devices, apps, services, skills and ways to bring the internet to every inch of your home. In 2021, we saw little butto the smart home that set the stage for a big 2022. This is what the next year in smart home technology could bring.
Every year, we look forward to new products from big smart home brands and exciting new ideas from startups too. Perhaps the two most anticipated devices in 2022 are Amazon devicesand the Ring .
Amazon Astro could be our first real smart home robot. We have beenfor years, but Astro is a robot designed to interact and help its owners in a different way.
Astro is, in some ways, likeon wheels. It will be equipped with a 1080p periscope camera that can extend up to 42 inches above the floor. Wheels allow the Astro to roam around your home providing Alexa services such as video calls. It can also be integrated into the Ring ecosystem to serve as a home security droid. The $1,000 robot is currently available for pre-order via invitation only.
Speaking of, the Always Home Cam is a $250 drone designed to patrol your home. It will reportedly debut in 2022. The drone can learn a flight path around your home and be prompted manually or by others. products. You can also schedule route patrols for routine monitoring. There are some limitations with the device. It can’t fly up stairs, record footage while docked or be controlled remotely.
Then, of course, there are theRing and Amazon devices always seem to go. Can consumers trust those brands with flying cameras and roaming robots? It will be interesting to see how many people give these autonomous cameras a chance in their homes.
Still, it’s a new category of smart home device that we’re eager to test this year.
Astro and Ring’s drone camera are security-focused gadgets, but arguably the biggest trend in the home security market isn’t individual headline devices like these: the push is for deeper integration with the smart home.
That’s no secretmoving more and more towards , where you can personalize your setup, do the installation yourself and monitor your own devices. Brands like Ring, SimpliSafe and Wyze are making inroads into a la carte systems.
Some offer professional monitoring, and long-term contracts are now going ahead with traditional TV subscriptions. You can choose the perfect subscription service for you and cancel it at any time. Ring, for example, offers $3, $10 and $20 monthly plans with increased levels of service.
Both professionally installed and DIY systems have one thing in common, however: they’re both getting smarter. Whether by including smart home routines in the app (so when you open a door your lights turn on), or by connecting traditional devices to smart speakers, routers and thermostats, these systems are creating more integrated home experiences.
and both offer smart home device installations and incorporation into their larger home security ecosystems. This pattern is likely to increase in 2022 — united by smart routers like the and speakers, the de facto hubs of the modern smart home.
Then there are smart home brands that seem to be pushing their way into home security as a product category. TP-Link, for example,four security cameras, two sensors and a hub at . It’s not uncommon or new for companies to try to branch out into home security, so expect to see more of it in 2022. The apparent urge to unseat Ring from the leaderboard doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon. early.
The biggest change in smart home software and integration this year won’t come from a security system: it probably will. This multi-brand project began life as Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP for short), but has since been renamed Matter.
The idea is a universal protocol that allows smart home devices across major brands to connect and integrate with each other much more easily. Matter is a single, open source, IP-based standard that works over Wi-Fi. It supports all major control platforms and acts like a universal language that smart home devices will use to connect and understand each other. Thousands of companies have already done socompatibility.
“New products will be coming, but what will be fun to watch are the integrations. Previously, developers and brands had less resources for use cases and more on development and certifications,” said Blake Kozak, senior principal analyst at technology research firm Omdia. “For everyday users, Matter would likely mean fewer product returns. If everything with the Matter logo works together in one app, consumers will have an easier time setting up the products and growing their smart home.”
Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Google are all invested in making Dance happen. Amazon has already promised that Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Studio and Echo Show devices will be compatible. Google and Apple also announced compatibility for Android and iOS devices. In fact, the protocol was originally scheduled for 2021, but it was. Because most of Matter’s support announcements the protocol is likely to go live this year, and has the potential to simplify the smart home a bit.
What we don’t know yet is what Matter might mean for smart home security and personal data. Kozak noted that the multi-server nature of the protocol raises questions about how data will be shared between platforms and brands.
“If an Amazon device is being controlled through the SmartThings app, it’s still a question of who has access to that underlying data,” Kozak said. “I think what could be the biggest game changer here is adding a specification for video cameras. This would flip the current smart home business model upside down because many brands rely on video cloud storage for recurring revenue. If this is achieved). , consumers benefit from lower costs and more privacy, but brands may lose revenue.”
Find the groove
The smart home has been around for years, and there is a fixture or device around your home that can be brought online, someone might have a smart version of it. While there is still plenty of room to grow, the smart home has largely moved out of its nascent stage (robots and drones in the home notwithstanding). In 2022, the smart home will take a much-needed step towards maturity, especially through Matter. That might not have the same headline-grabbing, gee-whiz appeal as the first smart lock or connected light bulb, but especially for those who’ve bought into smart homes and found that the reality doesn’t live up to the home automation hype, sounds like Matter. attractive
We’ve tackled privacy, compatibility issues, pricing for smart home services and plenty of other issues in the smart home space. This year, many of those issues could take major steps to resolve or at least improve.
The prospect of a more adaptable, customizable and secure smart home is enough to give you hope for this new year in technology. And hey, we might get robots, too.