As AI helps smart devices make daily routines easier, constant improvements make them safer
The smart home or the automation technology that converts a fully technological home with a remote program device has integrated home appliances with sensors and actuators through the Internet. But the next phase will surely be Artificial Intelligence which is rapidly taking off in this segment.
The technology available so far is capable of controlling devices such as lights, fans, television, climate, entertainment systems and household appliances. Some common applications include lighting control, HVAC, outdoor lawn irrigation, kitchen appliances, and security systems that are already part of our daily lives.
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Voice control devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home have heightened the process to control almost every aspect of the home through the Internet of Things (IoT) at a cost ranging from $174 to $10,000, making it easier repetitive daily routines and has significantly reduced energy costs as well.
But home automation is very much about doing a few things like locks, security cameras, and sometimes connected appliances, but it’s still not really smart and automatic.
What if a damaged pipe starts leaking or your new pup ransacks your bed, or worse, takes a fall with no one around to help? Thus, modern households are on a transition journey from the days of app-based connectivity to understanding their habits over time and independently adjusting accordingly using AI.
Let’s look at some of the top AI-assisted smart home options being rolled out now.
Ring and Nest, the two main companies that make video doorbells, have recently turned to AI to overcome certain anomalies. Alina d’Aubermont, Product Manager at Ring Alarm explains: “We want to eliminate the need for the customer to ‘program’ their smart home system” each time and let AI take over.
Robot vacuum cleaners create chaos if they don’t become intelligent machines. But the iRobot Roomba j7+ detects an obstacle in the room and asks you to confirm if it’s a permanent obstacle or suggests a “keep out” zone.
Next time, know that area and avoid or clean it better. As iRobot’s Jones says, “AI is what’s driving the advancements in giving users customization of the product to make it work better and better for them in their home.”
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There are smart energy saving thermostats that can make temperature adjustments in regards to clean energy schemes. The Nest Renew initiative, for example, shifts usage to times when the grid is cleaner or power is less expensive, saving fossil fuels. In turn, Nest will purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) on your behalf.
Some smart plumbing solutions help detectors find water leaks and save us money. The Phyn Plus automatic water shutoff valve, for example, learns the habits of your plumbing system and stops leaks even if there is a minor pressure anomaly without waiting for the broken pipe to flood the basement. In addition, insurers are happy that you reduce claims or constantly monitor water use.
Some security cameras and doorbells are equipped with facial recognition, allowing owners to maintain a database of regular visitors who can be automatically announced via a voice assistant upon arrival. Doorbells like the Nest Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 can tell the difference between a person or a package at your door and alert the owner.
For smart lighting, Smart Health Monitoring Light is another innovation that can scan the user’s health with just a radar sensor.
Kenneth Camp, Director of Product Innovation at Sengeled, says: “With multiple bulbs networked via Bluetooth Mesh, for example in a bedroom, the bulbs can determine if someone has fallen based on their movements and where they are. those movements in the room. Once that has been determined, help can be contacted without user intervention.”
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Although Sengled’s smart health monitoring light is far from being available, it is certainly moving towards the role of saving lives. Amazon’s Alexa Together service already helps users keep an eye on loved ones in other homes, too. Alexa Guard also uses AI to identify sounds like breaking glass or fire alarms.
Some of the major smart home platforms like HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home have secured data locally so these smart home devices continue to work even without internet, if needed.
Essentially, AI helps the transition from smart devices to bring peace of mind and security to homes, while constant improvements make them safer for humans.