Is Virtual Reality the Key to the Perfect Smart Home?
The Internet of Things (IoT) might still be in relative infancy, but it’s really starting to take hold in the smart home industry. Admit it, you’ve been drooling over some of the features these homes can have: smart thermostats so you’re never too hot or too cold, remote controlled locks, or even a smart toilet.
All these features are great, but they’re not quite perfect—yet. The good news is that technology is moving very quickly, and virtual reality in particular is beginning to really take off. Though VR was originally envisioned as mostly as a tool for entertainment, its applications are expanding and becoming more diverse. With all the exciting developments in the industry, it’s possible that VR could be the perfect complement to smart home IoT devices. Could VR help make the perfect smart home a reality? Let’s take a look at some of the exciting possibilities!
An Entertaining VR Home Environment
IMAX has recently opened up one of the most immersive VR experiences to date in the first of its new VR Centers, offering games in an open environment that allows for truly heart-pounding experiences you can have alone or with friends.
It’s no surprise that VR is projected to be the basis of the next big entertainment device. Smart homes already can be equipped with television controls—but imagine being able to experience VR as an integrated part of your home, without bumping into walls or otherwise being taken out of the experience.
It’s hard to predict how the technology will develop, and how VR entertainment might integrate into a smart home system, but as VR becomes more popular, consumers will want to integrate the experience into their homes. That may not mean something on par with the VR centers (we’re not all millionaires, after all), but smart and innovative minds in the IoT industry are always hard at work thinking about integration.
As time goes on, the availability of VR for live events like sports and concerts will almost certainly increase, and we can probably expect the introduction of VR movies in the not-so-distant future. A smart home equipped with the devices and dedicated space for VR equipment will definitely become one of the most popular houses on the block.
Connecting with IoT Devices
While the technology has not matured yet, VR is projected to be able to connect with IoT devices, improving both reality and the VR experience. There’s a lot of potential there, but at the moment, it’s still in the discovery phase. Startups in particular are gauging the needs and interests of consumers by using analytics and business intelligence to find out how VR could enhance the smart home experience.
Some of the z-wave devices can turn on light bulbs, control door locks, provide enhanced security, and other convenient features. Using VR to enhance those features further could make smart homes go from great to perfect. Now, VR and IoT developers just have to figure out exactly what customers want from a smart home, and determine how VR can help them reach those goals.
Shopping for New Devices & Designs
Even though we have to wait a while for full VR integration with smart home devices, VR can already help enhance shopping from the comfort of home. Designers are beginning to showcase their work remotely through the VR experience, sparking inspiration, and some stores are even allowing customers to design their own virtual kitchens and home environments. Taking the pressure and guesswork out of the home remodeling sales environment, customers can look at the VR space and deck it out any way they want…virtually. Lowe’s is currently offering this option via Google Cardboard, and it’s a great way for customers to tweak as much as they want to before making a decision.
The Perfect Home Powered by Virtual Reality?
The home is an oasis, and IoT devices are already making our lives more comfortable and convenient. Though we’re not sure the full role VR will play in creating the perfect smart home, the possibilities are endless—and we’ll be able to explore them all from the comfort of our couches.