Smart Home technology: Making life easier with automation
AI is integrating into all aspects of our lives, even into our home. As home automation tools are becoming more and more affordable, the smart home is no longer just for the rich. What does the future of home automation hold and how can smart homes save you money and energy consumption?
Since the invention of the modern computer, electronics have perforated our lives to an extraordinary extent. As electronics become cheaper and more advanced, their presence becomes even more prolific. One of the newer and most intriguing emerging markets in modern electronics is in home automation.
Home automation is not a new idea, but it is quickly becoming a popular tool; creating powerful solutions to solve routine everyday tasks.
Artificial intelligence (AI), also becoming a powerful presence in technology, has been swiftly dominating the home automation market. AI allows us to integrate smart solutions into our everyday tasks. Not only is AI creating solutions to common everyday problems, but it also making life simpler for everyone. Its presence in home automation allows us to control our appliances, secure our homes, and even limit our expenses. The ultimate goal of home automation is to limit the need for human involvement. With AI, this goal is well within reach.
Artificial intelligence, although only a relatively new idea, is accessible today by anyone who has access to a computer or a smart phone. Artificial intelligence as a term was only created in 1956, when modern computing as a field was still in its infancy. Today, large tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon allow mostly free access to their smart assistants or AIs. Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa are all readily available to help us busy humans.
These modern AIs are powerful but still many decades away from true superintelligence when AIs become smarter than humans. AIs are created to help humans solve problems, whether it be creating schedules, finding songs on being played on the radio, or being available to answer nearly any question. But AIs can do much, much more than what most people use them for today.
In the future, AI integration will likely be available on nearly every home device. Once linked, smart devices can respond remotely to a user’s voice commands or to a pre-programmed AI command. AIs can be taught when to activate or deactivate a specific device, like a heater or a fan. These types of solutions do exist today and will only become more intelligent in the future.
Internet of Things
In today’s home, an overwhelming majority of devices and appliances are operated manually or with preset timers. An alternative to this classical method of control is through automation. When devices and appliances are linked through a home network, they become controllable from any point inside and even outside of a home.
Linked devices such as these are referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). These devices can share information with each other and with a home’s AI. When these devices are allowed to be controlled by AI, life tasks can become simplified. AI can monitor the status of any linked appliance or device and update a user on its status in case something happens or needs to be adjusted. The user can ask an AI to make adjustments as they see fit.
Smart devices could solve so many different challenges. For example, if a user is cooking food by means of a smart oven or stove, an AI could monitor the internal temperature of the food being cooked. If the food reaches a prime temperature, the AI could lower the cooking temperature to prevent the food from being burned. The AI would also be able to notify the user that the food is ready to be removed from the oven or stove.
Many other creative solutions exist in the home. AIs are able to learn and anticipate the needs of a user. For example, a smart kitchen could be prepared before a user even gets home to begin cooking. With AI, there are endless solutions to make home life simpler.
Not only does AI offer simplicity, but it also offers safety through home automation. Home security, once only available to the rich, is becoming cheaper and more accessible.
With home automation, home security is becoming smarter. Linked IoT camera systems can be connected to a home AI, alerting the user of any changes in or around the home or any suspicious activity. Camera systems can also be accessed from a phone or computer if the AI detects something out of place. Typical home security systems require a lot of user input. When leaving a home, a security system must be activated or deactivated from a local access point.
With home automation through AI, this is no longer the case. Security systems can be activated or deactivated with a simple voice command. This allows remote access to a home’s security system by use of a cell phone or a computer.
AIs are also smart enough to recognize different voices. Without a password, a person not vocally authorized to enter a home would not be allowed to enter. The simplicity of such systems allows users to worry less, and spend more time living.
Integrating a smart network
Utility costs are a concern for every household. Rising costs have limited the amount of waste and excess that was allowed in the past. To solve this, companies have been creating high-efficiency systems for the home. Appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, heaters, and even televisions are made in a way that reduces power consumption. Water usage is also a worry. Lower usage bathroom amenities and washers and garden systems are appearing on the market.
Mostly these systems work well, but they can work even better if integrated into a smart network. IoT high-efficiency home appliances can decrease a user’s costs even further by intelligently controlling the use of specific resources. For example, if a user is not home, the AI can turn off the heating or cooling system. Smart window blinds or shades can also be adjusted throughout a day to adjust the amount of sunlight let through a home.
When an AI is put in control of these systems, a user does not have to worry about monitoring the status of such devices. An AI will alert a user if a change needs to be made, or if a device is not functioning efficiently. As a result, AI takes the effort out of cost-saving.
The future of smart homes
Home automation is changing the way people think about their daily tasks. AI is currently becoming so powerful that the tasks of yesterday are no longer a concern of today or tomorrow.
The reason why AI is so powerful is that it can think problems through. AI can learn and adapt to changing environments. They are programmed to complete tasks for us and get smarter by continuously evaluating their own performance. Simplicity, access, and affordability are some of the most important factors in creating smart homes.
As technology advances and access increases, smart homes will be a very common sight in the future. Whether it be home security, smart lighting, or temperature control, Artificial intelligence is making home life simpler. Mundane tasks that took time out of people’s lives will become completely automated and painless. By doing so, Artificial Intelligence is making the goal of home automation — limiting human involvement — a reality. Beyond this, future possibilities are endless.