The IoT market is rapidly growing. IoT technology has already been applied to multiple industries, and it’s expected to continue branching out toward other various fields. Today, I’d like to introduce IoT being applied in the home decoration industry.
People are spending more time at home after a long stressful day in competitive environments in order to relieve stress and relax. In advanced countries, the term ‘staycation’, a combination of ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’, has been coined to describe a new trend where people spend time at home to feel completely relaxed.
For this reason, people are feeling more connected to their homes, and have become more interested in expressing themselves by uniquely styling their homes through ‘self-home decoration’.
Korean society is also following this trend, where more people perceive their homes as a place for living and resting rather than as simply a piece of property and have become much more interested in decorating their own houses. Internationally, when the GDP per capita reaches about 30,000 USD, people tend to find decorating their homes more interesting.
As the market for home decoration is getting bigger, the interior design industry is also making larger investments to develop dynamic new products by adopting IoT. The fact is that the interior design industry had been attempting to combine IT and home decoration products even before IoT was introduced, and terms like ‘IT-terior’ and ‘ITerior’ came up as a result.
Since these attempts met IoT, home decoration products now offer not only aesthetically pleasing looks, but also smart functions to provide more convenient home environments.
I’d like to introduce some of the decorative items with IoT technologies that have been recently developed.
① Lighting: Philips Hue
Lighting is one of the most effective instruments that can change the entire tone of your home. IoT has been applied to various lights since the very beginning of their development.
The key features of the Philips Hue are as follows.
- Voice control through spoken demands such as ‘bedroom lights off’ and ‘living room lights on’
- Automatic control function which turns off all light when residents leave home and turns them on when they come back by sensing the home owners’ smart phones
- Remote color, power, and intensity control (scheduled light change setting available)
② Windows: LG Houses Smart Window
LG Houses, one of the top three companies for construction materials, launched a smart window as an IT-terior product. Their flagship store Z:IN Square has them for clients to try them out.
Key features of the LG Houses smart window are as follows.
- Windows opened or closed through smart phone control, with alarm function as well as phone notification when forcibly opened
- Magic glass with transparency control function for privacy and better day lighting control
- Indoor air quality sensors in bedrooms and living rooms connected to open windows for ventilation while running high-performance filters when air quality drops
③ Table: I-KAIST Touch Play
A Korean company I-KAIST launched Touch Play, a smart table with a 46-inch touch screen.
Major functions of I-KAIST Touch Play are as follows.
- 46-inch screen with Full-HD 1920 x 1280 resolution
- 700cd/㎡ brightness, high enough to use in bright environments
- File transmission and import function for data exchange as well as many other purposes such as education, advertisement, exhibition, and consulting
④ Bed: Smart Bed EIGHT
Next is the smart bed called Bed EIGHT for which INDIEGOGO is raising funds.
The smart bed EIGHT has the following features.
- Mattress divided into two for separate temperature control
- Sleep status tracking(wearable devices such as band or headband unnecessary)
- Compatible with smart homes with IFTTT (If This, Then That) automation technology (i.e. ‘lights on when awake’ command)
- Automatic learning of sleep patterns
- Mobile control function(smart phone or tablet)
- Smart alarm: alarm goes off at the best time to wake up based on user’s sleep cycle
The famous line from a Korean bed commercial ‘Bed is not furniture, it’s science’ feels more real with all these interesting and smart functions.
⑤ Vanity Table: LTE Magic Mirror from LG U+ and Hansaem
LG U+ recently launched LTE Magic Mirror in collaboration with the furniture company Hansaem
LTE Magic Mirror supports the following functions.
- Precise skin status monitoring system runs when user sits in front of the vanity table
- Suitable skin care methods and cosmetic products suggested according to skin monitoring results
- Skin care information provided by experts
There are a number of other IoT products for home decoration which can be used in unique ways without complicated construction.
Beyond IoT home decorating products, there are services which connect home appliances users already have with IoT. The best example of this is SKT, which provides Smart [Home] services in accordance with home appliance providers.
This service provides the entire home control system as a package for users to easily decorate their homes while setting up a new IoT environment.
Last year’s huge enthusiasm for ‘what to eat and how to prepare meals’ seems to have been replaced this year by ‘how to enjoy restful and relaxing lives at home through proper decoration’.
Homes are no longer just a space we stay, and are becoming more of a place of piece and rest through IT and intelligent services.
In the near future, home construction and remodeling will be planned based on what IoT functions the house will implement.
Written by Wookjin Lee, LG CNS