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Create a new smart home, rescue home automation systems or get support to ensure smart home systems deliver the best experience.
+44 (0) 20 7193
January 26, 2024

Smart Homes and Society

“No man is an island entire of itself: Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”. So goes John Donne’s well-known saying about society and connection. Less well known is his observation a few lines further on that people's houses are connected and valuable, just like the people themselves. “as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were (sic) washed away; any man’s death diminishes me.” A lot of our blogs up to this point have treated smart as islands on their own, asking how they can change the lives of its owners and other questions. But the effect of smart homes doesn’t terminate at their exterior walls. This blog will take a look at how home automation has changed our communities and society as a whole.

More scope for luxury and culture

victorian, 19th centuryWho else remembers dressing up as a little Victorian boy or girl to go on a school trip? We were randomly put in upper, middle, or lower class and I remember being a little miffed at being made a third-class urchin. Nevertheless, I dressed up in my flat cap and braces and went to a local stately home to learn all about amazing new inventions that changed home life and society 150 years ago. We also realised what a long distance they had to go to the comparative luxury of our own young years.

The main takeaway was that a revolution was happening in the 19th-century home. New machines, from simple hand cranks to early electric devices were lifting millions out of poverty into comparative luxury, giving them time and money to enjoy themselves. Throughout the latter 19th century, a whole new class of people was created with time and space for enjoyment, ambition, and culture.

The reason I’m going back to primary school history lessons is that something similar to the 19th-century home revolution could be about to happen again. As you read this, the smart home is slowly but surely being normalised as a  universal idea with enough force to change society from the bottom up. The technologies involved create more scope for wider varieties of luxury pursuits and cultural enjoyment. The many home cinemas and media rooms being commissioned by smart homeowners, for example, allow for the direct consumption of new cultural media in new ways. Meanwhile, task automation and management by smart home devices make enjoying culture and luxury indirectly easier by creating more time for it.

Smart homes countering the stress crisis

stress, stressed woman

The technological revolution in the 19th century home cut out vast swathes of time from individual jobs, carving out much free time for many people. Nearly two centuries later, the home automation revolution that is happening now is smoothing out the seams between different jobs, making home lives easier and less stressful to manage, as well as reducing the amount of time given to chores a little more.

This reduction in stress and anxiety is direly needed in a country where 74% of people feel so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope (Mental Health Foundation and YouGov - 2023)  and inpatient hospital admissions caused by stress-related illnesses in the UK cost around £8.13bn (Statista and Champion Health).

Perhaps then smart home innovations are spreading through society at the perfect time, helping to reduce a significant cause of stress just as the issue is really taxing the nation.

New and rewarding jobs

We at Baker Stone love installing and integrating smart home technology. Crafting new systems and helping people intelligently develop their home lives to suit them better is incredibly rewarding.

As home automation becomes more popular and normal, there will be more of these great jobs installing,, managing, and repairing it. This is perhaps a good job as we’ve heard often recently that another technological revolution - that of AI - is set to wipe out a wide range of skilled jobs.  As soon as it can figure out how to draw fingers and stop its habitual lying, that is.

Joking aside, PwC predicts that around 30% of jobs could be affected by AI by the mid-2030s in its report asking “Will robots really steal our jobs?”. It says near the end of said report that there will be plenty of opportunities for retraining to take advantage of new technologies involving AI, robotics, and smart technology.

Fortunately, in a similar period, the smart home industry is projected to grow rapidly from $154.4 bn in 2024, to  $231.6 bn in 2028 (Statista) and on to $338.28 bn in 2030 (Fortune Business Insights). While this may not offset all the job losses from AI, it will certainly provide a good foundation on which to build and grow a new skilled employment market. The household penetration of smart home technology will grow from 18.9% this year to one-third or 33.2% in 2028 (Statista). This means we won’t just see an increase in the amount of revenue available to fund employment but also in the popular demand for skills in the home automation area. By the time AI and robotics pose a real threat, we predict that smart homes will be a well-developed and secure employment sector.

More effective crime fighting

A hooded man burgling a residential home during the daytime. View from a surveillance security camera in the house.

From Bond to Batman to Black Ops, the concept of smart, futuristic gadgets fighting crime is a common one in literature, film, and games. And modern home automation technology is bringing smart gadgets into the crimefighting arena more than ever before. The increasing popularity of smart home security systems, video doorbells, and access control systems is changing how crime is dealt with.

The US leads the way in many areas of smart homes. But it seems that the UK has got the jump on our transatlantic cousins where crime is concerned. The British National College of Policing has implemented a training module showing trainees how to use doorbell camera footage to secure convictions. Essex Police did exactly this recently, using doorbell footage to convict a man who tried to break into a family home with a three-foot-long sword. We can all feel a little safer thanks to that.

Perhaps more dramatically, a recent landmark case saw doorbell footage used as a key piece of evidence in a murder trial. In May 2021, A former soldier was captured on doorbell camera footage clambering into his neighbours’ house and murdering the residents. The jury was shown footage of this act captured from a nearby doorbell camera. This thankfully led to a conviction.

Questions about recording people without them knowing, police acceptance of footage and issues of privacy remain in relation tothese technologies. However, we are beginning to see a new chapter in modern crime fighting. Increasingly smart technology is helping to discourage crime and encourage convictions. Donna Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire Police has said “This technology’s power in preventing and prosecuting crime is endless.”, according to IOT Insider.


Luxury, culture, mental health, employment, security and crime: The areas where home automation is changing our society for the better are many and varied. The idea that these technologies could make us a safer, happier, more productive, and more cultured society is a compelling one. Viewing our smart homes as part of a society shows us that home automation doesn’t just change our individual houses for the better, it has the potential to improve our society, too. If you want to automate your home for your own reasons or for society as a whole, contact Baker Stone.