This past year we've seen a lot of growth in home technology. Unfortunately, it wasn't all perfect just yet. A lot of these developments added to frustrations in the household instead of doing what it was made to do — make things easier. With that said, in 2017 we won't see a lot of new ideas in home tech, but what we will see instead is a huge improvement made to the smart home tech we were introduced to in the past year. Here's a list of the top five home tech trends we look forward to in 2017.
Smart Home Tech Gets Smarter
For a very long time, home automation was a thing of the future. Thanks to some recent advances in the industry, we've seen a lot of things become automated around the home. Because of smart home tech you can now operate lights and appliances with an app or through voice activation. Sadly, it's been a hit or miss with the app or voice recognition hub actually recognizing what you're telling it to do. New for 2017 will be a change for the better. Apps and devices that connect to smart home hubs and voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home will work better thanks to new algorithms and advances in voice activation and recognition.
Virtual Reality at Home
Virtual reality (VR) really began taking some big steps forward in 2016, but it's in 2017 that we'll truly see it take off. VR technology isn't just for home gaming systems, though. There's also some great applications for use for your home, such as in landscaping and homebuilding. Wouldn't it be great to create designs on your computer and then walk around your new yard or home in a virtual world to see if everything is just how you imagined it? Other ways VR will grow will be in the home theater. Watching movies and live events on VR gear will be bigger and better as the entertainment industry gets more involved. In 2017 VR tickets will be sold to live events at bigger venues like Madison Square Garden.
Grocery Shopping 2.0
Ordering your groceries online and having them ready for pickup or delivery has long been a dream for anyone who hates grocery shopping. Many companies have tried and failed to implement such services over the years, but in 2017 we'll see a lot more that actually work. Grocery chains like Kroger, Publix, and other stores that sell groceries such as Fred Meyer and Walmart are rolling out their online grocery ordering and pickup services to cities nationwide in 2017. Amazon, which has been in the online grocery and delivery game for years now, will also continue to grow, not only in home delivery, but also in stores that allow shopping without the hassle of a checkout. Just grab it off the shelf and walk out—it will charge automatically to your credit card.
Smart Home Repairs
Smart appliances are getting much smarter in 2017 with an ability to self-diagnose and repair themselves when trouble pops up. Even better, they can alert you and even the manufacturer if that problem needs further attention. Depending on the issue, a smart home tech can send a fix electronically or, if it's an internal issue, alert you so that you can fix it yourself. This also includes anything with water, which means that if it begins to leak you can hopefully be alerted before that water leads to any major damages.
Robots in the Home
The robotics industry has finally begun to explode in healthcare and manufacturing realms, but what will we see in home robotics in 2017? You may not have a robot that serves you meals it's prepared, but you can get a robot that cooks for you, and its name is Moley. Although most of us won't get to see Moley in action in our kitchen, we can still look forward to robot tech in our homes—it will just be more of the same, but better (meaning more realistic robot pets and better robot vacuums).
Although most of what we'll see of home tech in the coming year is an improvement to what we already have, it doesn't mean we won't see new tech in the home (we will!). For the most part, we'll see a more frustration-free year of smart home technology, which to most will be even better than a year of new tech that doesn't work.