Transforming Traditional Residences: The Rise of Smart Homes in India

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In today's era, the omnipresence of smart technology extends to various aspects of our lives, ranging from TVs, geysers, fans, and cars to entire homes. A rapidly growing trend in Indian households involves transforming traditional residences into smart homes, enhancing day-to-day operations. Smart home devices not only contribute to security but also elevate comfort, convenience, and energy efficiency by enabling remote control via smartphones or voice-activated devices like Google Home and Alexa.

The appeal of smart homes has become increasingly compelling, especially for young and millennial homebuyers seeking comprehensive control over their living spaces. It has evolved beyond mere functionality and is now considered an integral part of home decor. Many interior designers are now incorporating these smart solutions into their services, recognizing the added value they bring to modern living.

From Sweet Home to Smart Home -> The new normal

Several factors are compelling individuals to transition to smart homes, including :

(a) Access to Smartphone : The widespread availability and usage of smartphones have played a pivotal role in the adoption of smart home technology. The convenience of controlling various devices from a handheld device has become a significant motivator.

(b) Affordable Data Plans : The affordability of data plans has made it more accessible for users to connect their smart devices to the internet, facilitating seamless communication and control.

(c) Craze for Digital Voice Assistants : The popularity and fascination with digital voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and the Google Home Range have contributed to the appeal of smart homes. The ability to control devices through voice commands adds a layer of convenience and sophistication.

(d) Technology Acceptance : The embrace of technology, evident in activities such as video calling, group meetings, and online hobbies like yoga, cooking, and music, is now deeply ingrained in the daily lives of both children and adults. This widespread acceptance and integration of technology have fostered a sense of comfort with digital interfaces.

The constraints imposed by the COVID-19 period compelled people to turn to technology for various needs. This period served as a catalyst, pushing individuals to explore and utilize technology more extensively. The experiences during this time not only showcased the benefits of technology but also normalized its use, making the transition to smart home solutions a more natural and acceptable progression.

“Home automation is no longer associated with the rich and affluent but is considered an option available to all sections of society in India. It’s a new normal now a days.”

What are the various features and benefits in smart homes, which people are looking for :

• Control : The ability to control devices effortlessly, manage functions with a touch, and schedule daily routines for increased automation.

• Enjoy: : Creating a source of enjoyment, whether for personal leisure, family time, or engaging activities with children.

• Look: : Integration with home decor, ensuring that smart home devices seamlessly blend with the aesthetic of the living space.

• Practical : Ease of use, designed to be user-friendly for individuals of all ages within the family.

• Peace : Providing a sense of security and tranquillity, especially when away from home or during time constraints like guest arrivals, morning rush, or festive occasions.

• Simple : Offering simplicity through a single, intuitive interface, eliminating the need to navigate through multiple apps or complex voice commands formats along with the ability to personalize and tailor smart home setups according to individual preferences and needs.

Indeed, the increasing busyness in our daily lives has led to a greater reliance on technology, especially smart devices, to streamline routine tasks and enhance efficiency. Smart devices prove beneficial in various ways: In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the touchless and remote capabilities of smart devices are particularly valuable. They contribute to minimizing physical contact at common points, promoting safety and hygiene.

What all devices can be made Smart?

• Kitchen : Induction Cooktop, Rice Cooker, Dishwasher, Water Kettle, Toaster, Chimney, RO, Coffee Maker

• Bedroom : Mosquito repellent machine, Night Lamps, AC,

• Bathroom : Geyser, Exhaust Fan

• Study/Work : Bluetooth Speakers, Tablet, Laptop, Printer, Fax

• Common Area : Room Heater, Aquarium, Water Cooler, Battery Chargers (Camera, Mobile, BT earphones), TV, Setup Box

• Other : Terrace Lighting, Entrance Lighting, Water Motor, Temple/Decoration lights, Garden sprinkler, security camera
and many more. Possibilities are endless.

Let us see at some of the use cases where it can be used effectively at :

  • Schedule your outdoor/balcony lights on daily basis (6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., whether you are at home or not)
  • Put milk for boiling on induction and set timer for 10min, no need to keep checking for milk, (especially during morning rush hour of making kids ready for school)
  • Schedule Geyser everyday morning from 6:00 – 6:30 in wintertime, switch it ON after you finish your GYM session and on way your back home
  • Protect your mobile and other gadgets from overcharging, by auto OFF after a fixed time. Put them to charging and go to sleep.
  • Don’t have to worry in movie hall or family function, whether you have switched OFF or not something important.
  • Turn OFF the AC and Switch ON the FAN at 5 a.m.
  • Control your AC at your home, shop, office as per your needs
  • A Farmer can switch ON its tubewell at field from the home, avoiding the risk of travelling a distance in dark
  • Fish aquarium equipment can be automated to perform operations at fixed time.

When going for home automation, there are plenty of options available in market with many brands coming up with solutions. Each of these can be broadly categorized under following 2 approaches.

Approach A

  • Install individual devices as SMART devices(AC, Geyser, Light, Fan, Cooler, etc.)
  • Manage multiple APPs for controlling all devices, or integrate them with a 3rd party APP.
  • Manage support, warranty, guarantee of each device individually.

Approach B

  • Configure a platform and control any device through it, even if they are not SMART.
  • Use a single APP for all support and maintenance needs.
  • Greater flexibility on configuration

Whichever approach or options you select :

  1. Install the device at home
  2. Add the device to the APP provided by manufacturer.
  3. Configure & connect it with your Home Wi-Fi router.

Done! You are ready to control the devices from your smartphone.

Once this basic setup is done, you can pair it with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for Voice Control. This is just the start, once you get used to the technology, start exploring with he advanced options available with each product and also with Alexa/Google Home features.

The question(doubt) which comes to mind first, is it really that simple or too complex for a common person with limited exposure to technology behind?

The widespread adoption of any technology is often driven by its ease of use and seamless integration into daily life. Many technological advancements, like ATM machines, mobile networks (3G/4G/5G), and video calling, have become integral to our routines without requiring in-depth knowledge of the underlying technology.

Likewise, smart home technology is evolving to prioritize user-friendly interfaces and straightforward setups, making it accessible to a broad audience. The initial doubts and uncertainties associated with any new technology are expected, and it is the responsibility of solution providers to address these concerns and build consumer confidence. As users become more familiar with the benefits and simplicity of smart devices, the adoption is likely to increase, making them a new normal in households.

The trajectory of technology often follows a pattern where initial scepticism gives way to widespread acceptance as people experience the convenience and advantages it brings to their lives. As the demand for smart devices continues to grow, it is foreseeable that they will become an integral and commonplace aspect of modern living.