Technology Trends – The absolute Top 5 Trends going forward

In all of us we hold some level of affection or wonder over various technological achievements, gadgets or stuff for our homes which in many ways have improved our home lives. However, in other ways some might argue our lives aren’t all that improved because of technology trends in Home Electronics. And yet, even fewer intend to give some of em up despite their effect… good or bad. Regardless, we march on…we want to improve our home lives and conduct business.

When it was set out to develop this website it was with an ambition to provide information to answer questions that were asked repeatedly. Clients would seek solutions to their wants and needs or service related issues for their Home Electronics. I felt, if asked this many times by comparatively so few (as compared to the reach of the Internet) why not create a website to tell the stories and answer those questions? Some have asked about the future.

But why me? What makes me an authority on this topic?

I’ve asked myself this question yet the question quickly morphed into, “how will this website be different from other larger websites already covering electronics?”  Actually, the answer to that question came from a bit of an odd place. The attic? No, not “just” the attic but it sure did have an influence.

One thing you can be assured…. crawl into different attics in summer, when they are very hot, humid and sweaty dusty and dirty, to install or service something only to bang your head on a very sharp roofing nail or beam a couple times or forget a tool while deep into that dark tiny crevice (there’s only so much you can carry in at any given time), or, accidentally break something in the process (no one is perfect) and you too will quickly gain a whole new perspective on the subject of technology trends.

Just how many attics,  crawl spaces, or (more importantly) homes, are there in the world?

Or, just imagine taking phone calls that wake you from sleep. Or, leave a job site because a small yet important special order part doesn’t function when you pull it out of it’s packaging for the first time! Don’t believe me? It happens way more often than you think!

By now you probably get the idea, when you’re in the trenches one can develop a very clear picture of what tends to be real solutions versus what could be seen as media hype just because it makes for an interesting read or news story. When we weigh both viewpoints however, those of the inside looking out vs. outside looking in, it is probably then that we have the clearest picture of the most likely technology trends.

For me, like so many, my passion for electronic gadgets began in my childhood…graduating to the Commodore VIC-20 (not even a 64? Mom n Dad! Seriously?) as an adolescent (and yes, for those who are still paying attention I just gave away my age). I loved to tinker with stuff, any electronic stuff I could get my hands on. I wanted to figure things out.

Case in point, when my older brother was graduating to his new, larger bedroom and thus handing down his smaller bedroom to me he unknowingly left me a simple gift. The gift was wire, one of the twisted pair variety. But it wasn’t just any old wire simply sitting in a small pile. No, this was wire that was actually installed, installed from the next house, the neighbor’s home to mine. You see, a child neighbor had just finished running one twisted pair (now considered old phone line wiring) between homes but connecting the bedrooms of several kids in our neighborhood. So when I got my “new” bedroom I was intrigued about what this wire could do. “When would I be able to communicate or hear someone else talking on it?” I often wondered. I spent the next few weeks hoping to have this new communication system working. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm apparently wasn’t shared by the other kids, I only heard it work one time and then it forever fell silent. But that one time was all I needed I suppose, I was hooked. Still to this day when I think back I realize we all have some measure of anticipation or enthusiasm for the next new thing.

Fast forward to today.

As I see the technology landscape develop and evolve I find myself often wondering what really do the next few decades hold as compared to the advancements we enjoy today. From this we present the list of the Absolute Top 5 Trends moving forward, all certain to evolve.


Technology Trend #1 – Home Automation & Systems Monitoring

From the advent of the dishwasher to door locks and thermostats, automation and security had begun at the most elementary form with the advent of the thermostat and even earlier,  with the use of the lock. The thermostat automated the home’s temperature and the lock provided improved security.

Fully automated home systems and security technology trends will eventually become as commonplace as the television, dishwasher or bath tub. These devices will all communicate with one another and monitor one another’s status. As the status changes each system will respond according to that individual homeowner’s preference. Nest is one example of the latest advancement as it relates to thermostats.

Technology Trend #2 – Household Robotics

The first sign of technology trends in robotics arguably came with the advent of the simple remote control overhead garage door opener. And more recently, the Rumba Vacuum. The Rumba vacuum is a robot, and in a somewhat similar light it’s popularity will grow like that of Henry Ford’s model T, an innovation also having mass popularity. How many of us truly enjoy vacuuming the floors? Robotics will develop from tiny programmable bots patrolling our homes at the sign of a potential intrusion or fire to easier swap-able single pole WiFi ready light switches we automate and control on our phones. Many developments will include fuzzy logic, a term coined well over a decade or so ago yet in hind site slow to develop. I recall watching the Apple produced video while working on my bachelors in the earliest of the 90’s where Apple predicted fuzzy logic with the computer. Robots will eventually make their way into every facet of our lives at home and quickly become indispensable tools or, sadly (depending on who you are) companions able to hold some form of intelligent conversation as well as perform research type tasks. If you haven’t already heard about it the 3D /Prototyping Printer is actually already available to buy as an in Home device. They work pretty well but only produce small objects that you design on your pc. But imagine the day when you need something and their an application that has the design already for you. You activate the app on your tablet, input a few instructions and a few minutes later the piece you need is sitting ready in your 3d printer. Its not just an idea, its available and will improve fast. Anyone owning a piece of this technology should go ahead and book your future resort island vacation destination now (at least years from now)!


 

Trend #3 – Improved Cross Communication & Convergence

The speed of development, the race to be first, that need to capture the biggest slice of market share are all universal drivers of innovation. But with this type of exploration and speed came divergence, there’s was no uniform communication or translation of communication between system but this problem will be solved also by the free market where technology communication standards will trend toward inter-relatability. Systems will more seamlessly work with one another and those that don’t adapt will selectively fall into obscurity. Blue Tooth, WiFi, Z Wave, USB, HDMI…are all catchy acronyms and names and for certain types of communication protocol between devices and appliances. Will there ever be just one or two formats? Although it’s unlikely but there will be greater communication between the formats over time. And even new Apps will be developed to manage all the apps we use. (Wouldn’t you like a personal assistant?)

Technology Trend #4 – Dramatic improvements in ease of setup, use and customer service.

To some folks, setup and use of today’s technology is a snap. Certain people inherently get how things work. But for many others (and possibly the vast majority) it’s just not as easy to work with today’s home electronics as believed to be.

“Anything is easy to do if you already know how to do it” 

Engineers and designers become so invested in their products and developments it’s human nature to lose site of the end user experience. End users often have little to no context from which to begin to understand a product as designers do. And the company’s designers work for often rush to be first to market.

Recently there was a piece on TV where an analyst laughed at a major retailer because their business model included helping customers with new product setup and installation. In our opinion the analyst was a bit short sighted and clearly had never spent any real time in hundreds of real life technology situations.

As it relates to setup and use… big retailers have a significant opportunity but only if they truly open their eyes and minds and listen to what consumers want.(and I don’t mean focus groups – if you want to truly understand go do the job yourself…at the very least one time) Consumers want and crave help with new technology products and you can easily monetize that help.


Trend #5 – Search Engines, Social Media and Siri – “Siri? Google the word Facebook”

Although they’re not so much a Home Electronic they will be integrated into more and more home electronics seamlessly becoming one. Google, Facebook and products such as Apple’s Siri will all have increasing significance as the years pass. From our phones to our tablets and into smart televisions that allow us to integrate our shopping, we enjoy face to face leisure communications or gaming experiences which immerse players into the middle of the action rather than just being an observer who controls an action avatar. And additionally, there’s simply way too much information available to process without the complex mathematical search engine algorithmic equations to help sort and find the information we seek.

Social media has already and will further weave it’s way into the fabric of our lives. Many of us feel compelled to tell the world our stories while increasingly returning to carefully guarding certain parts of our privacy.

With social media things are becoming more open and with this we’ll find more and more that maybe it’s not always a best practice to be too open; we’ll better define that line and society will trend to that line but also practically demand we have access to one another’s life stories and history via these social media platforms. It’s the Yellow pages, our Resume, Photo album and life’s “year book” rolled into one.

In walked Siri.

We apologize in advance Apple but it’s relatively true, Siri was late in her arrival; but she did arrive… … and very fashionably we might add.

In the earliest part of the 90’s there was an Apple movie, in it Apple depicted Siri in the future except the technology wasn’t called Siri and Siri was a he. The movie depicted the technology in 10 years and being much more capable of carrying on a more nature type conversation and assistant search function.

Siri and her competitive counter parts will develop very very rapidly. Her technology will help in search, becoming the assistant many hope for and soon find they can’t function without.

“Siri. Scan the frig and send the grocery & replenishment list to my smart phone.”

There is an End (sort of) to all the Technology Trends !

Actually we are just past the beginning stage of a technological revolution in which, a decade or two into the future, when looking back, this period’s technology may seem more like the telegraph or phone lines of yester year.

Eventually the development of new home electronic technologies will begin to plateau although advancement will never fully cease. The upward growth trend, although much less steep in the future will still let us experience that ever evolving, “new & improved” version.

But why the plateauing?

If we ask ourselves, “what is the ultimate home electronic gadget?” Is it teleportation, the facsimile of ourselves or an object to a different place would most certainly be on the short list. Sure, this one is a little bit of an odd, way out there concept but let’s not forget, at one time people would not believe in the idea that the world was round.

Or is it holographic interactive TV, interactive special television where you can virtually become part of the program? Would that even become popular? We’d have to say yes especially in the gaming arena where developers will continue to seek new innovations to further enhance the gaming experience. Outside of these things what’s even left? Well, one gadget that’s in the works and, initial tests have shown some levels of sucess, is a mind reading device. Yep, you read that right. 

So at the end of all this future technology development, in many respects, we are actually already there; in other words, the technology trends to occur in home electronics over the coming decades that is….we are already beyond the beginning point of this journey.

Our homes will only become smarter and more automatic, our home entertainment will become technologically richer and allow us to engage more so then ever before. Shopping will be integrated into our television experience as will viewer involvement in programs. We will have further improved access to even more relevant information via evolving search engines and, social media will help support our belief that what we are discovering from our search results is in fact correct.

Now, if only we could command, “Beam me up Scotty” and it actually worked, there’d be fewer airline delays and traffic jams!

Google’s Project Glass