Wow, 2018 was quite a year in energy – from the continued rollout of smart meters meaning people can monitor their spending and consumption better, to solar technology becoming ever-more available and electric vehicles taking the roads by storm. But now what? What's in store for 2019?
We spoke to the innovation team from EDF Energy Blue Lab to discover a bit more about what's coming up this year. From smart tech to renewables and electric vehicles here are our predictions for 2019.
The next leap in smart tech
Smart tech is ever-evolving and a lot of the original gadgets are maturing. In 2019, we're likely to see:
- Better interconnectivity between devices and a sophistication of current devices on the market.
- More affordable and available tech.
- More Artificial Intelligence integration in the home. (Your smartphone, heating and other devices linking up in a more seamless way.)
- More security-led products on the market that evolve with demand.
Exciting Blue Lab projects in 2019
Want to hear about one of the most exciting Blue Lab projects that not only utilises smart tech but has been created to improve people's lives? Welcome Howz – launched at the end of last year it's now available to families around the UK.
Howz is a solution for independent living – easy-to-use, discrete home sensors let you know all is well in a family member’s house. Howz uses sensors to measure the use of electrical appliances, the opening of doors and movement around the home. The sensors link to the app on your smart device so you can make sure there's no changes in the home's normal routine.
This is where technology meets a real need – helping to put worry to rest and encourage independent living.
What other ways will smart tech help us?
We see smart tech aiming to tackle health and wellbeing, safety and security and financial vulnerability. There are products which are moving towards these areas but this year will see a rise in availability and advancement in the tech.
For example, for security, there could be a sensory system in the house that knows whether there's someone at home – e.g. it could tell you your children are home from school because they’ve turned on the TV.
2019 could be the year where we see a lot more health and well-being focused tech – not just monitoring routines but things like air quality in the home. In fact, health in the home is definitely the next trend in controlling your own environment and how that impacts you, particularly with the elderly or young children.
The future of renewable technologies
New tech is emerging in the world of solar energy. Powervault are a company that makes fully-integrated and easy-to-install home energy storage systems. The Powervault 3 is their latest model that stores free energy generated from rooftop solar panels during the day for use in the evening. This is bringing solar energy and battery storage options to the home.
With lots of warnings about climate change we might also start to see some changes in government policy on renewables and domestic renewables. So watch this space!
Have more questions about Powervault? Read our handy guide.
Trends to watch
The biggest trends to look out for? It's AI. Much more AI in the home – this means a sophistication of the devices and the experience we have now.
Another area that will flourish is the smart home tech around security and keeping elderly relatives both safe and independent.