Infrared, Bluetooth, NFC. Over the years, there have been several ways to connect our devices. If you had told someone ten years ago how many smart devices you use every day and which work seamlessly together, they would have been stunned.
As much as technology has advanced, the way our devices connect is far from perfect. There are concerns about privacy and security, certain products only work within specific ecosystems, reliability is not always guaranteed and there are missed opportunities to make smart home technology really useful.
Industry experts believe a new era of connectivity is ahead thanks to connectivity protocols, 5G, collaboration tools, wearable sensors and much more. These developments allow us to use our devices more intuitively, leading to better work, better smart homes, better health and well-being and ultimately a better life.
In time for all announcements at IFA (opens in new tab) – most of which is about connected tech – we wonder: what does the future of connectivity look like in the coming years?
Smartphones and smart homes
Smart home technology has changed the game for many people, giving them greater energy efficiency, security, peace of mind and control over their homes. But there are still issues, including security, compatibility, and reliability, just to name a few. Smart home technology is often only as good as your Wi-Fi connection and the ecosystem you bought into.
But the way your smart home works will soon be shaken up thanks to Matter. A new smart home protocol launched as a concerted effort by the biggest names in the smart home space — and it’s much needed.
At present, people cannot buy the smart home device they want. They need to provide the right home hub, the right accessories, the right assistant, and the right ecosystem. It’s confusing and not beginner-friendly – no wonder some people are still afraid of smart home technology.
But it’s not just bad news for consumers. There was a time when it made perfect sense for brands to sign someone up for your tech ecosystem. Now that is not always the case. When people feel tied to a brand, they can resent having no choice and drop out of the smart home promise altogether.
That’s why many of the major smart home brands are joining Matter to make it easier for everyone — those who make the technology, those who sell it, and those who buy it.
Matter ensures that smart home devices work well with each other without the need to buy from the same brand, download new apps or log into accounts. In theory, your Ring doorbell from Amazon should work fine with your Amazon Dot, Google Home, and Apple iPhone.
But Matter doesn’t just solve compatibility issues. It also promises more security, data protection and more reliable connections.
All the names behind Matter will soon be launching products – or updating old ones – to align with the new Matter protocol. In addition to brands such as Google and Samsung, we recently found the name of HONOR in the list of Matter participants.
Connect and collaborate
Better connectivity leads to better productivity. When devices work well together, you don’t have to waste time signing up for new accounts, unplugging cables, or emailing yourself the latest version of presentations.
We predict that in the coming years, it will become standard for all devices used for productivity, especially laptops and tablets, to be automatically and wirelessly connected to each other.
Apple already delivers some great connectivity features within its ecosystem called Continuity. It allows you to connect Apple devices and share content and information about these devices. For example, AirDrop lets you wirelessly send documents, photos, videos, and more from one device to another. At the same time, Auto Unlock lets you access your Mac when you’re wearing your Apple Watch.
Other brands are now realizing the potential to ensure that experiences are merged between apps and devices, including Honor. The brand has recently been launched Honor Connect (opens in new tab)that allows you to share content, files and media across devices without logging into accounts or downloading apps.
Many of the features of Honor Connect are small and handy for everyday work. For example, if you right-click on a document on your computer, there’s an option to send it straight to your phone – great for working on the go. But there are also other more important features, such as multi-screen collaboration. Allows you to project and mirror the screen of a mobile phone to the desktop of a computer. Once it is on a large computer desktop, you can view three app windows of the phone at the same time.
Many of these features also make for more flexible and enjoyable entertainment. Like a split screen movie mode, which allows two people to watch two different movies from one screen and control the sound and action with their phone.
In the future, we expect even more intelligent collaboration between devices and improved interoperability between smartphones, tablets, computers, wearables and more. It’s possible to imagine a paradigm shift in how we work, where people don’t even think about which devices they need, but move fluidly between the devices.
wear and share
Wearable devices will become more intelligent, smaller and more helpful in the coming years.
They will become more experienced medical devices. Not just tracking information about your workouts, steps, or heart rate, but collecting data about your body that would have required you to visit a hospital to find out. If wearables fulfill these critical roles, they should be capable of more reliable connectivity. At the moment, wearable technology is often connected to one kind of technology, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but they need access to multiple network technologies to ensure they are always on and constantly tracking the all-important health metrics.
Wearables are also becoming more integrated into your smart home, allowing you to automatically identify and connect surrounding devices to suit your preferences. This can also go hand in hand with health data. For example, your wearable can detect an increased heart rate so it can automatically create a calming atmosphere in your home with warm heating and relaxing lighting that help you de-stress.
While we may think of wearables as solely health and fitness devices intended for people who want to improve their lifestyles, in the future they will be used as tools to enable productivity, unlock and authenticate devices, monitor important medical data. and keep your tech to your unique physiology.
According to the IFA website, HONOR will deliver a keynote speech called Embracing the Connected Future on September 2 – that makes sense, since HONOR’s name is mentioned in the Matter project. We look forward to seeing what the brand plans to usher in the new era of connectivity.