Narender Yadav / April 22, 2019
The smart home was just a concept a few years ago. We used to see intelligent and remotely controlled home appliances and instruments in super-hero movies. It was beyond our imagination that this could someday turn into reality and yet here we are!
Many of us now own some form of the smart home device. This is a testament to the fact that IoT has reached mass adoption in the consumer space. Smart home technology is making homes secure, comfortable, convenient, and energy-efficient by allowing users to control smart devices, often through a smart home app on their smartphone or other networked devices.
Smart home systems are a collection of IoT-powered devices that may perform distinct functions but that have the capability of operating together. They may share data about the user and behavior patterns among themselves and leverage that information to automate actions driven on the owners’ preferences. The introduction of Artificial Intelligence into IoT devices like Alexa and Google Mini has created a new paradigm. These devices can learn the patterns of behavior in users and drive ever more homes to deliver an enriched living experience.
Using a smart home system is no longer just about asking Alexa to play music, book a cab, or read out the weather. Now you can use smart devices to grill chicken at your next family barbecue, turn the lights off in the living room from miles away or vacuum your floors without being physically present.
Smart homes can also tackle more serious tasks, like acting as your home security system when you’re out on vacation. In other words, they aren’t just for fun anymore — they also fulfill some serious roles now.
There are many IoT-driven devices that help in making our homes smart. Let us look at a few of these smart devices and their capabilities.
Amazon Alexa:- Alexa is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive smart home ecosystems available today. Since Amazon’s ecosystem is one of the most common in the industry, most smart products integrate seamlessly with Alexa. This includes Smart Home products made by Philips, Samsung, Nest, and Schlage. That means Alexa can now close your garage, lock your doors, and adjust your home’s temperature.
Google Assist:- Even though Google Assistant has less third-party integrations, it has the capability of answering questions and completing commands that perhaps Alexa can’t. Assistant works with products from most major brands, including Philips, Nest, August, and also popular apps such as Uber.
Wink Hub 2:- Wink Hub 2 is touted as the “first smart home hub designed for the mainstream consumer”. Wink Hub 2 supports smart home protocols including Bluetooth LE, Kidde, Lutron Clear Connect, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and more. If you’re looking to create a fully integrated smart home with kitchen and wall appliances in-sync, Wink Hub2 is emerging as a great option.
Smart Plug:- A smart plug is a power receptacle that plugs into a traditional electrical outlet and integrates it into your smart home network -essentially making a more traditional system smarter. It allows you to control anything you connect with in this manner through an app in the phone or through voice.
Smart homes are not only about making life easy for us. A key value proposition is their ability to help users save on energy, electricity and other utilities. There are many benefits of making our home smart using IOT and AI. Let’s look at some of the benefits brought home by some smart home devices.
Electricity Saving Suggestions:- A product called Currant uses artificial intelligence to identify energy usage patterns and suggest changes that can help you rationalize consumption. It also notifies you of possible wastage, for e.g. if a light is lit in an unoccupied room, and suggests switching it off to save electricity
Energy Saving:- Smart plugs can help save on electricity usage by automatically turning off appliances like your TV and cable box, which would otherwise consume energy in standby mode.
Convenience:- Smart plugs can help in automating everyday kitchen devices. You can start your day with the tea or coffee already on the boil. You could also do your cooking by loading up your Crock-Pot in the morning and switching it on with your smartphone from work. Smart refrigerators that keep track of product expiration dates, make shopping lists or even create recipes based on ingredients currently on hand are no longer products of the future.
Security:- With smart security cameras, residents can monitor their homes when they are away or on vacation. Smart motion sensors identify the different patterns of residents, visitors, pets and burglars, and can notify the authorities if suspicious behavior is detected.
Safety Measures:- Automation of home safety and protection from possible disasters like fire or flooding from pipes is also a value that Smart Homes are delivering. Household system monitors may, for example, since an electric surge and turn off appliances before damage occurs. They could sense water failures or freezing pipes and turn off the water so there isn’t a flood to contend with in your basement.
Clearly, Smart Homes can add convenience to our lives. There is a stream of innovative products in the pipeline looking to deliver exciting new ways to brighten up your life and your home. That said, this increasingly smart world brings with it its own share of risks and threats. The responsibility lies with the solution providers to take care and build the invulnerability of their Smart Home solutions. The solution providers must protect their users against issues like Identity Theft. Malicious activity can leave IOT devices vulnerable to break-ins and even fires or could leave the users’ apps open to unwanted purchases.
It’s time for the Smart Home revolution – your customers are ready. Is your product ready?