The world will be a different place once the coronavirus pandemic has passed. Not all of the changes it leaves behind will be negative, though. Increasingly, there is evidence the restraints and risks of the virus have driven Covid-19 smart home innovation to a new level.
People are starting to realize how helpful smart home technology can be in the middle of an outbreak. This realization has also helped drive companies to develop innovative solutions to the new problems that have emerged. Here are just five of the ways Covid-19 has driven smart home innovation and adoption.
The option for voice control has never been more appealing as it is amid the pandemic. Despite widespread economic issues, experts expect voice control device shipments to increase by 30% over 2019 this year. Why? Think about how many high-contact surfaces you can avoid by using voice control.
Using voice control to adjust the thermostat or change the channel means you don’t have to touch possibly infected surfaces. Hands-free approaches are your safest bet in a pandemic, and voice control provides just that. As more people opt to use this feature, you’ll start to see more products offering it.
2. Remote Light Control
Voice control isn’t the only way that smart homes let you avoid touching high-contact surfaces. If you don’t have an Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, or Google Nest smart speaker, you can still use your smartphone to control things like smart lights. Since light switches tend to be hotspots for germs, this option comes in handy.
If you live with a lot of people, smart lights are ideal for the pandemic. You’re probably the only person who handles your phone, so turning it into a remote light switch is a sanitary step. Like with voice control, this advantage is driving the adoption of smart lights.
3. Smart Mirrors
One of the most compelling examples of recent smart home innovation is smart mirrors. An Indian tech company developed the Miaza smart mirror that can sense people and display interactive visuals in 2018. Now they’re modifying this technology to demonstrate proper hand-washing techniques in public restrooms.
Washing your hands is one of your best defenses against the virus, but you may not know how to do it thoroughly. With this technology, people can get a refresher as they wash their hands. The need for better sanitary practices has pushed augmented reality tech forward.
4. Air Quality Monitors
With an airborne disease going around, home air quality is a growing concern. As people become more concerned about this subject, the advantages of smart air quality monitors become clearer. These internet-connected sensors enable you to check your air quality or the life of your filters from your phone.
The coronavirus is just 0.1 microns in size, much smaller than most dust particles. Smart air quality monitors can help you make sure your HVAC filter is filtering out the smallest particles. If you need to change it to prevent any diseases from spreading, you’ll know.
5. Virtual Assistants
You’ve probably noticed that there’s a lot of confusion going around in the middle of everything. With so much unknown about the Covid-19 virus and the future of the economy, people want answers more than ever. That’s led to an increase in people using virtual assistants like Alexa, Apple Siri, or Google Assistant.
Since the outbreak started, 35% of American smart speaker owners now use it to listen to the news more. These little devices help people find information in these confusing times, making them valuable tools. This trend may lead to virtual assistants becoming an essential part of future emergency responses.
Smart Homes Amid Covid-19
Smart home technology is a helpful thing to have in the middle of Covid-19. These strange and changing times have revealed just how much potential they have, leading to further smart home innovation. These technologies are now developing faster and further in one positive part of the global situation.
There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. If you can be sure of one thing, though, it’s that technology across the board will improve. Emergencies are an opportunity for positive change, and smart home innovation is leading the way in that field.
Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist and productivity blogger. She is a senior writer for MakeUseOf and the owner and editor of her tech productivity blog, Productivity Bytes. You can read more by Kayla at Inc.com, VentureBeat, DMN, and more.