White paper details home automation trends and opportunities
Molex has released a white paper for electronics design engineers and product developers addressing growing consumer demand for smart home automation technologies. It examines home technology trends as the IoT continues to drive the evolution from simply connected to truly smart and proactive — and outlines how electronics designers and manufacturers can successfully position themselves to maximise future opportunities and demand.
Over the past few decades, technology has transformed homes into ‘hubs of functionality’ — centres of entertainment, environmental management, work, fitness, security and more. Intelligent and integrated smart home systems are bringing next generation connected devices into multiple consumer markets. Smart appliances and thermostats, networked security and lighting, and wireless media devices feature prominently in today’s connected home.
The white paper, entitled ‘Home Technology — From Connected to Proactive’, begins by reviewing the evolutionary context of home technology:
- Increased miniaturisation and digitisation first drove enabled appliances, from refrigerators to VCRs and programmable thermostats, that improved consumer safety, comfort and convenience, while taking up less space and at lower cost.
- As sensors and interconnects became more pervasive, and cloud technology more robust, today’s connected home evolved, enabling devices to connect with each other and the cloud through greater interoperability, while reducing the need for human actuation.
- The next evolution is leveraging growing artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and visual recognition capabilities to give the proactive home the ability to sense — to ‘watch’, ‘listen’, ‘smell’ and ‘feel’.
“Molex believes this coming proactive home will improve quality of life for millions of people globally, both by eliminating repetitive tasks and routine chores, but also by making the home a proactive partner in our daily existence,” said Mikko Poikselka, Industry Manager Connected Home, Molex. “It will predict what we need or want, and act — based on current or changing conditions — at times before we realise our own inclination.”
The white paper also outlines the importance of selecting the right solutions provider for OEMs that want to capture and lead these new markets — one that not only delivers the products and solutions to help them win consumer acceptance in a crowded field, but that understands the possibilities of the underlying technologies to transform what their products can become, making them indispensable to modern life.
With an electronic solutions ecosystem among the world’s most extensive and trusted, covering over 100,000 reliable products — from capacitive switches and LED displays to antennas, sensors and interconnects — used by major consumer electronics, appliance and device OEMs across many industries, Molex's extensive portfolio adds value to a wide range of smart home applications. Its deep experience with a vast array of production and manufacturing methods also enable it to balance creative design and smart engineering — optimising cost, performance or weight and other requirements such as power consumption, connectivity and interoperability — to deliver effective custom, semi-custom or off-the-shelf solutions.