How the smart home will change in 2022

Amazon

This story is part The year to come, CNET’s look at how the world will continue to evolve from 2022 and beyond.

It’s been nearly a decade since the smart home introduced voice commands. Today, there are thousands of devices, apps, services, skills, and ways to add the Internet to every inch of your home. In 2021, we have seen small but important updates home technology that set the stage for a great 2022. Here’s what the next year in smart home tech could bring.

Devices

Every year, we look forward to new products from major smart home brands and exciting new ideas from startups. Perhaps the two most anticipated devices of 2022 are those from Amazon Astro home robot and the ring drone always at home.

Read more: The CES 2022 trends we’ll all be talking about this year

Amazon Astro could be our first real smart home robot. We have had robot vacuum cleaners for years, but Astro is a robot designed to interact and support its owners in a different way.

Astro is, in some ways, like a Alexa on wheels. It will be equipped with a 1080p periscope camera that can extend up to 42 inches above the ground. The wheels allow the Astro to move around your home providing Alexa services like video calling. It can also integrate with Ring’s ecosystem to serve as a home security droid. The $1,000 robot is currently available for pre-order by invitation only.

Speaking of Ring, the Always Home Cam is a $250 drone designed to patrol your home. It would debut in 2022. The drone can learn a flight path around your house and be triggered manually or by others Alarm bell some products. You can also schedule route patrols for routine monitoring. There are some limitations to the device. It cannot fly down stairs, record footage while anchored, or be controlled remotely.

Then, of course, there are the privacy issues which still seem to come with Ring and Amazon devices. Can consumers trust these brands with flying cameras and roaming robots? It will be interesting to see how many people give these standalone cameras a chance in their homes.

Still, it’s a new category of smart home devices that we’re looking forward to testing this year.

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The Ring Always Home Cam drone docks and takes off inside your home.

Amazon

Security

Both Astro and Ring’s camera drone are security-focused gadgets, but arguably the most important model in the home security market isn’t headline-grabbing standalone devices like these- ci: this is the push for deeper integration with the smart home.

It’s no secret that home security systems are moving more and more towards DIY structures, where you can customize your setup, install yourself, and monitor your own devices. Brands like Ring, SimpliSafe, and Wyze are paving the way for pay-as-you-go systems.

Some offer professional monitoring, and what used to be long-term contracts are now taking over traditional TV subscriptions. You can choose the perfect subscription service for you and cancel it at any time. Ring, for example, offers monthly plans at $3, $10, and $20 with increasing service levels.

Read more: Best DIY Home Security Systems for 2022

Systems installed by professionals and do-it-yourselfers, however, share one thing in common: they are both getting much smarter. Whether it’s including smart home routines in the app (so that when you open a door, your lights come on) or connecting traditional devices to smart speakers, routers and thermostats, these systems create more integrated home experiences.

ADT and Comcast Xfinity both offer the installation and integration of smart home devices into their larger home security ecosystems. This model will probably expand in 2022 – united by smart routers like the Eero WiFi 6 and speakers, the de facto centers of the modern smart home.

Then there are the smart home brands that seem to be making their way into home security as a product category. TP Link, for example, announcement four security cameras, two sensors and a hub to THOSE. It’s not uncommon or new for companies to attempt a home security branch, so expect to see more in 2022. The apparent urge to knock Ring down the rankings doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

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Artwork by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Software

The biggest change in smart home software and integration this year won’t come from a security system: it will likely come from Matter. This multi-brand project started life as Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP for short), but has since been renamed Matter.

The idea is a universal protocol that makes it much easier for smart home devices from major brands to connect and integrate. Matter is a single open-source, IP-based standard that works over Wi-Fi. It supports all major control platforms and acts as a universal language that smart home devices will use to connect and understand each other. Dozens of companies have already made material announcements compatibility.

“New products will come, but what will be fun to watch will be the integrations. Previously, developers and brands had fewer resources dedicated to use cases and more to development and certifications,” said Blake Kozak. , senior principal analyst at the technology research firm. Omdia. “For everyday users, Matter will likely mean fewer returned products. If anything with the Matter logo works together in any app, consumers will have an easier time setting up products and growing their smart home.”

Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Google are all invested in making Matter happen. Amazon has already promised that Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Studio and Echo Show devices will be compatible. Google and Apple also announced compatibility for Android and iOS devices. In fact, the protocol was originally planned for 2021, but was postponed to 2022. Given the gist of Matter support announcements made at CES, the protocol is likely to go into effect this year, and it has the potential to simplify the smart home a bit.

What we don’t know yet is what Matter could mean for smart home security and your personal data. Kozak noted that the multi-admin nature of the protocol raises questions about how data will be shared across platforms and brands.

“If an Amazon device is controlled through the SmartThings app, who has access to this underlying data remains unclear,” Kozak said. “I think what could be a game-changer here is if a specification for video cameras is added. recurring revenue. If removed, consumers benefit through lower costs and greater privacy, but brands could lose revenue.”

find the groove

The smart home has been around for years now, and if there’s a device or device around your home that can go online, chances are someone has a smart version of it. Although there is still plenty of room to grow, the smart home is well out of its initial novelty phase (bots and home drones notwithstanding). In 2022, the smart home will take an essential step towards maturation, thanks in particular to Matter. It may not have the same appeal as the first smart lock or smart bulb, but especially for those who have purchased smart homes and found the reality doesn’t quite match the home automation hype, Matter seems attractive.

We’ve struggled with privacy, compatibility issues, smart home service pricing, and many other issues in the smart home space. This year, many of these problems could take great strides towards solving or at least improving them.

The possibility of a more compatible, more customizable and more secure smart home is reason enough to be hopeful for this new technological year. And hey, we might have robots too.

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