I often overhear conversations on the bus, in the elevator or the next table at a restaurant—not eavesdropping mind you—the ears just happen to pick up certain keywords of interest; words like “4K”, “Netflix”, “NFC” and “Homeplug”. Then I end up following the conversation whether I actually want to or not. This “superpower” of mine is kind of like when you first notice a dead pixel on a screen and from then on cannot un-see it. You’ll always know it’s there, drawn to it…but I’m digressing.
My main point is that technology is becoming mainstream, and more people know of or at least have heard of these terms to be topics of general conversation. Even the most techadverse individual will work out how to use their smartphone; to Whatsapp, to Instagram and to stream their favorite Korean dramas. Parents showing up on Facebook are becoming more of a norm than a culture shock.
Technology has also become easy. One does not need to know the actual details behind Bluetooth and its underlying specifications and protocols. One normally just presses a button and in most cases, it’ll work. Similarly, you do now need to know how to overhaul an engine in order to drive a car. Another example: IP telephony and internet video calls used to involve complicated software setup and hardware driver installations. Today, FaceTime is just another button to press.
This is how far we’ve progressed today, and there’s no arguing that technology is enriching our lives. In this issue of HWM, we look past personal gadgets such as the smartphone, tablet and PC. Instead, we delve into the next-generation of devices and appliances that aim to provide even more automation, connectivity and convenience in and around the home. We also look at internet technologies and services that break down traditional boundaries to bring the world ever closer in this digital age.
Are you ready for the era of the smart home?