What to Watch for at SXSW in Home Improvement

The smart home industry is growing almost as quickly as SXSW attendance. Here's what to look for when the two converge this weekend.

SXSW Interactive annual attendanceThis weekend tens of thousands of people will descend on Austin for SXSW, a “unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies.” Porch won’t be presenting anything at this year’s SXSW, but there are still going to be plenty of interesting home improvement technology on display.

Three of the 48 companies competing Saturday and Sunday in the SXSW Accelerator pitch event are developing new products for the home: Plum, InsideMaps, and CubeSensors.

CubeSensors are small networked sensors that measure your home’s air quality, temperature, humidity, noise, light, and barometric pressure. Use your smartphone to see at a glance the quality of the environment in every room of your house. Read more about CubeSensor at TechCrunch.

With InsideMaps you’ll be able to use your smartphone or tablet to easily create a “photorealistic 3D model” of your home to visualize what your rooms would look like with new furniture or a change of paint. Read more about InsideMaps at TechCrunch.

Plum smart plugs

Plum is making “Wi-Fi enabled lightpads, smart plugs and smart outlets” that will “let you control your lights and electronics from your wall switch or from anywhere in the world using your smartphone.” Want to control all of the lights in your home by pinching a single touchscreen light switch? No problem with Plum.

As evidenced by these and many other products, we’re in the middle of an explosion of new smart home devices hitting the market. A recent study by Juniper Research predicts that the smart home industry will grow from $33 billion in 2013 to $71 billion by 2018, and a report from Allied Market Research calls for annual growth of nearly 30 percent through 2020. To get an idea of how fast that growth is, consider that if your salary grew 30 percent every year between now and 2020, you would be making over six times your current income just six years from now.

Even if you can’t make it to SXSW, you’ll no doubt be reaping the benefits of the rapid advancements in smart home technology soon. For those of you who are able to attend SXSW, if you fall in love with Austin next week, hop on Porch once you’ve moved into your new southwest home, and we’ll connect you the right professionals—we’ve got over seven thousand in Austin—for all your home improvement and home maintenance project.

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