I may be rounding the corner to 31, but I still remember when a cellular phone was a cellular phone and nothing else. I remember the giant battery pack that was thrice the size as most whole cell phones now, and I even remember having to pull an antenna out of the phone to get better reception. There was a screen that displayed the number you were calling, and that’s it. Those were the days. Right?
Wrong. While I occasionally enjoy waxing nostalgic about the good old days when we weren’t tethered to our mobile devices, I also couldn’t live without mine now. As I type this blog post, my iPhone is sitting next to me charging. Honestly, I hardly ever let it out of my sight, and on the rare occasion that I accidentally leave it at home, my anxiety is palpable. (I nearly had a panic attack last week at a PETCO when I realized I’d left it behind.)
But I obviously don’t just use it as a phone ? I also use it for email, social media, banking, music, movies and shows, games, and so much more. In fact, I just installed an app on my smartphone that tells me if my garage door is open (and for how long) while also letting me open and close my garage door from anywhere. I also have an app that lets me control my smart thermostat and check on my Wi-Fi-connected smoke/CO detector from my phone.
And though I’m a technology-loving millennial, we Gen Yers certainly are not the only ones utilizing our smartphones to control our homes. My 62-year-old father has a Wi-Fi-connected smart thermostat, too, and I have talked to industry leaders who have said it’s often the older homeowners with disposable income who seek out high-end smart products for their homes.
These days, numerous thermostat manufacturers are putting out products that give homeowners the ability to control their homes’ HVAC systems from anywhere using their smartphones, and these products are gaining market share. And with Google jumping into home automation with its recent acquisition of smart thermostat manufacturer Nest, the sky is the limit.
How smart and connected will our homes get? Only time will tell, but it’s clear that the future of home automation is certainly an exciting one full of possibilities. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the industry comes up with next.