You thought smart homes, smart devices, the IoT, smart entertainment, anything “smart” is just a fad?

It’s far from that.

The early days of smart homes are over and predict its only getting more exciting. According to Statista, the global smart home market size is estimated to grow to $US 53.5 billion by 2022. The revenue of the global smart home security market alone is pegged at $US 2.58 billion while the revenue for the smart home entertainment market stands at $US 1.98 billion.

It’s the start of a new decade, and it only springs a whole new range of devices that can connect to the Internet, to other devices, and give you an unparalleled set of comforts that you only dreamt of. This decade is only set to surprise you furthermore with new features, new devices, and new trends. There’s going to new cases, modern design, and far more connections than ever.

Prepare to be assaulted by a hodge-podge of technology (such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and more) creeping in to make your life better.

If anything, this is only the beginning. Here are the best Smart Home trends in 2020:

Better WiFi With Mesh WiFi Systems

No one likes a spotty Internet connection given that we spend so much on the Internet, WiFi routers, and the Internet connection itself. This is notwithstanding scores of devices connected to the Internet and that we are all dependent on the Internet to watch our favourite shows on Netflix, listening to our podcasts, or enjoying music on Spotify.

That’s where there’s a need for better WiFi protocol (and there’s work happening on that front anyway). However, you can now say hello to Mesh WiFi systems (for homes and offices).

There is also a range of devices by Eero (purchased by Amazon) along with offerings from Netgear and Google Nest. There’s the new Google WiFi and also Nest WiFi with Google Assistants built into the range extender.

Mesh WiFi systems allow you to rack up better speeds, help you avoid WiFi blind spots, and get a much better and seamless Internet connection at home (regardless of the size of your home).

At the time of writing, there are also advanced Mesh WiFi systems (by LinkSys, for instance) using WiFi 6 technology.

Gesture Controls (Without You Having To Own a Beemer)

We somehow foresee that typing is already out and voice-commands are in. Soon, voice-commands will be out as well. What will take over you ask? Gesture controls.

Remember the fancy finger-twirling gesture control feature that comes with BMW vehicles? You can lower or raise the volume of your sound system in a typical BMW car by just rotating your fingers (and not touching a thing or yelling out at the car’s audio system).

At the moment, gesture controls for anything that sits in the smart home market are kind of rare.

For instance, only the Nest Hub Max understands a single gesture: hold up your hand. When you do that, it will cycle between playing or pausing whatever music or video it’s currently playing.

That’s about it. Nothing else works this way at the moment. Starting 2020 and beyond, however, it’ll be all about gesture controls (along with manual and voice commands as fall-back options).

Imagine beckoning your robotic vacuum cleaner with a finger or wave off to dim lights. Maybe you’d like to raise the projector screen and stop playing your favourite movie with just a combination wave of your hands.

It’s the only logical next step. Say hello to smart home automation innovation.

Even Smarter Home Security

Let’s be honest: we don’t need panic rooms or bunkers several miles inside the earth. We just need smart, effective, and cost-efficient security systems. It’s even better if these are smart security systems that do most of the job themselves (on most occasions we can’t predict or bother much anyway).

Think of Alexa Guard — a free feature enabled with every Amazon Echo device.

This feature enables your smart speaker to listen (properly) using far-field microphones for window-breaks and alarms.

In addition, your device can now turn any connected smart lights on and off to simulate someone walking around the house, and it can send any notifications to ADT and Ring security services if you use them.

This is just the beginning. New technologies could make your humble smart home security even smart by using predictive analytics, pattern recognition, adaptive learning, and so much more.

Standardization & Compatibility: Making Devices Work Together Better

Not everything is hunky-dory in the world of smart home automation. Just as it is with IoT (and other emerging tech) today, there are issues concerning privacy, compatibility, lack of standardization, and seamless connectivity.

Did you know that two out of five smart homes are at risk? According to an Avast – HubSpot report in 2019 more than 40.3% of homes worldwide have more than five smart devices connected and 40.8% of these smart homes contain at least a vulnerable connected device.

It’s a good thing to see that manufacturers and everyone in the smart home entertainment, smart kitchens, smart devices, smart television, and other aspects of the smart home automation space are all working together to help create devices that’ll truly connect seamlessly.

As Bernard Marr of Forbes writes,

Relying on a mish-mash of different solutions can also cause security vulnerabilities – so it’s encouraging to see plans from Apple, Google, and Amazon to team up to create a set of standards designed to make smart homes simpler and, importantly, more secure.

Starting this year and moving beyond, there’s going to be a confluence of mega-companies, technologies, and several others who’ll work together to make smart homes more possible — in terms of connectivity, compatibility, security, compliance, privacy protocols, and more.