The verdict is in. Broadband internet and the smart home features it powers are not only here to stay, they are game changers. Combined with structured wiring and the Wi-Fi transparent enclosures you install, it provides the vital infrastructure necessary to live our lives in new and exciting ways.

According to a recent report released by GFK Research, 58% of consumers expect smart home technology to change their lives in the coming years. Tom Neri, commercial director for Tech & Durables at GFK says, “Smart home devices and services are becoming part of people’s everyday lives, and the advantages of having these devices synchronize and work together are very real – in particular for home entertainment and home security systems.”

The GFK report goes on to suggest that the only factors slowing adoption are interoperability issues and data security concerns. One area that holds promise to resolve these issues is homebots. A homebot functions as an assistant that will provide homeowners with one source to manage all of their smart home devices.

Andrew Arnold, writing for Forbes, likens homebots to a universal remote for the smart home. Arnold predicts that Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft will be dominant in the homebot market.

But what exactly is a bot? A bot is a software application that is able to perform automated tasks. Many bots are designed to communicate with us like humans. Siri and Cortana (the Windows personal assistant) are bots, and bots are used online as well as with SMS for customer service.

According to a recent report released by GFK Research, 58% of consumers expect smart home technology to change their lives in the coming years. Click To Tweet

Homebots can be installed directly into individual devices, or they can be standalone platforms that control multiple devices. They may even manage devices without homeowner intervention. In Spain, homebots are used to detect electrical surges and other issues, and they can send instructions to devices to shut down to prevent damage.

In some instances, homebots are actual robots. One example of this is Jibo, a small robot that can set reminders and timers and provide updates on weather, sports, and airline flight status. While Jibo is able to control Nest thermostats, the device has no other smart home capabilities.

Keecker is an entertainment homebot, a mobile unit that comes with a video projector and speakers. Keeker can play movies, TV, and music anywhere in the home. It can also control smart appliances and has home security features via a smartphone appthat allows customers to check on a home remotely.

Cutii is a homebot with a focus on companionship for seniors. This robot that can be controlled by anyone, allowing professionals and family members to interact with the owner of the robot. Cutii can also connect to IoT devices in the home and comes with fall detection, facial recognition and alarm control features.  

Another promising homebot is Netatmo, which allows users to text directions to their smart home devices. This is a good option for your customers who don’t want to use voice controls. Netatmo is compatible with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant and can control smart home devices such as lights, thermostats, and blinds. Netatmo works with Messenger, the messaging app used on Facebook.

The makers of Netatmo are working on the ability to have the bot control multiple devices at the same time with only a single command. “I’m coming home” could trigger changes to temperature and lights and home entertainment systems.  

Robots that help with household chores are coming to market as well. Aeolus Robotics makes a robot that can pick up stray toys, run a vacuum, and even retrieve a cold drink from the fridge. What’s missing is the ability to prioritize chores, and do them quickly.

Homebot technology is still in its infancy, but it promises to change your customers’ lives. And once the technology has matured, it could be the feature that converts the majority of homeowners to smart homeowners.