Industry Focus: Appliances and Audio Devices
Digital advances are emerging as a trend in the field of smart home appliances and audio devices. Every part of our homes is changing and being replaced by new and improved versions. These new appliances are accommodating to the Millennial’s lifestyle. This article will introduce you to the changes in the tech world related to appliances and give you a perspective on how you can find a job in the field.
The Emergence of Technology in Our Homes
The evolution of these new appliances can be traced to the explosion of mobile devices. Another factor is cloud computing, which allows many devices to easily communicate and sync with one another. Tech consumers want their traditional white-box appliances to do the same. In addition to smart technology, more consumers demand energy-efficient appliances. In fact, with higher utility bills and gasoline prices, consumers are more concerned about saving energy and money than saving water and using less plastic, according to a recent study by the Consumer Technology Association.
In CNBC article named 10 Smart Digital Appliances You Wish You Owned, Shawn DuBravac (the chief economist and director of research for the Consumer Electronics Association) expresses his opinion that the market for connected appliances is just beginning. Looking ahead, he imagines a futuristic home, where your digital body scale and refrigerator sync to offer healthy meal ideas and recipes; maybe even a polite, audio reminder to stay away from the ice cream. “Consumers are just now being presented with the opportunity of accessing a host of different information from different devices,” DuBravac says.
Appliances and IoT
None of this would be possible without the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is the network of “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with other connected devices. According to the Connected Appliances: Charting Progress and Identifying Consumer Value webinar report, today, the IoT has 15 billion connected devices. By 2020, it is forecasted the IoT will have 50 billion connected devices.
It was also reported that nearly 60% of consumers say they want their devices to use data, analytics, and sensors to work on their own. The most popular devices listed by consumers to read their minds are indoor lighting in 1st place, followed by coffee as 2nd.The washer/dryer was the 3rd most popular device listed as one they wish to operate itself.
Now, let’s review some of the innovations in the field of home appliances and audio devices.
Smart Home Appliances
Hiku made a device for the kitchen that quickly assembles shopping lists. Using a barcode scanner or the owner’s voice, it lets the owner plan his or her next trip to the grocery store without searching for the phone or bothering with pen and paper. Hiku (the company) has spent the last few years working with retailers in France, Australia, and the UK, giving Hiku (the device) the ability to shop for users based on the lists they were creating. This ability is now coming stateside thanks to integration with APIs from Walmart and Peapod, which Hiku CEO Rob Katcher says makes the smart shopping feature available in more than 40 markets across 24 states.
Innit, a pioneer in food tech innovation, leverages information within food using advanced sensors, machine learning, and nutritional science, and seamlessly connects that information to the smart kitchen. The technology aims to make cooking gourmet meals fast and efficient. Innit senses what’s in the fridge, helps the customer decide on a recipe and then makes it based on algorithms that figure out the perfect way to cook any given food.
Kitu Systems designs, develops, and deploys Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Its IoT technologies include Smart Energy Profile 2.0, an IP-based application protocol specification that provides smart grid services for home and business energy devices. The company provides smart electric vehicles charging, smart appliances, and enterprise solar panel management solutions. Its software enables secure and reliable communications from the Thing to the Cloud over various wired and wireless networks.
Smart Audio Devices
Sonos aims to transform the home sound system for the digital age. Its products and software are designed to fill every room of the home with music and to do it with flexibility and functionality. It fills the home with music by combining the incredible sound and wireless performance in a smart system that’s easy to set up, control, and expand. Their easy-to-use Controller app makes everyday use even easier. In the app, you can assign each speaker to a room of the house, program it so the volume can be controlled via your TV’s standard remote, and add your favorite streaming services.
Musaic is a new kind of HiFi system made up of wireless speakers that you place around your home, designed from the ground up for sound quality and ease of use. But Musaic is not just a HiFi system, it’s an Internet of Things connected device. Musaic can create and control lighting moods, integrate with security and other home automation technologies in novel ways and be part of a Smart Home.
Job Opportunities Related to Appliances and Audio Devices
As the craze for technology supported appliances keeps rising, it is inevitable that job positions in this field will open. Technology oriented youth will be provided with the chance to make a change in the world by maintaining, developing, and inventing new appliances and audio devices. Here are some examples of the jobs in this field for which companies will be on the lookout:
Engineer oversees and optimizes the design, operation, and maintenance of all technical and media systems. He or she also provides technical support and consultation for various device properties and new business opportunities for the company. In addition, the engineer executes the research and development of all technical upgrades. Education-wise, an Associates Degree in a related field is required.
This job includes architecting data infrastructure and creating data models for scale. You can be the right candidate if you have advanced knowledge of predictive analytics, statistical modeling, machine learning such as regression analysis, predictive models, Bayesian classification, collaborative filtering, decision trees, and clustering problems applied to large data sets. It is preferred if you have a degree in Computer Science or equivalent.
One of the key traits of the ideal candidate is to be self-motivated, proficient at transforming concepts into a solid architecture and requirements, detail oriented, and able to quickly come up to speed on new technologies. The responsibilities include developing, designing, and implementation of the devices’ software. Having a degree in Software Development or similar is desirable.
In order to get the job position related to smart home appliances, you’ll need the appropriate background knowledge. Regarding that, the list of universities and majors that will follow can help you steer your education in the right direction.
- Technische Universität Dresden: Mechatronics
- Vienna University of Technology: Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
- University of Bristol: Computer Science and Electronics
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology: Food Technology
- Politecnico di Milano: Automation and Control Engineering
- KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology: Mechatronics and Information Technology
- Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: Computational Science and Engineering
- Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya: Wireless Communications
Technology is undeniably making its way into our homes and transforming our lives. This is not only in the sense that your everyday routine is changing and your chores are being replaced by smart devices, but also in the field of business, putting an emphasis on tech-related job positions.
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