As AI helps smart devices to make daily routines easier, constant improvements are making them safer
Smart home or automation technology that converts a home fully tech-driven with a remote program device has integrated home appliances with sensors and actuators via the internet. But the next phase of it is bound to be of Artificial Intelligence that is fast taking off in this segment.
The technology available so far is able to control devices like light, fan, TV, climate, enjoyment systems, and appliances. Some common applications include lighting control, HVAC, outdoor lawn irrigation, kitchen appliances, and security systems are already part of our daily life.
Voice control devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home have accentuated the process to control almost every aspect of home through the Internet of Things (IoT) at a cost that ranges from $174 to $10,000, which has made repetitive daily routines easier and significantly cut down on energy costs too.
But home automation remains largely grounded to doing a few things like locks, security cameras and sometimes connected appliances but not yet truly intelligent and automatic.
What if a damaged pipe starts to leak or your new puppy ransacks your bed or worse, you suffer a fall with no one around to help? So, modern homes are on a journey transitioning from the days of App-based connectivity to understand your habits over time and make relevant adjustments independently using AI.
Let’s see some AI-aided major smart home options being rolled out now.
Ring and Nest, the two major companies manufacturing video doorbells have recently turned to AI to overcome certain anomalies. Alina d’Aubermont, Director of Product for Ring Alarm explains, “We want to eliminate the need for the customer to have to ‘program’ their smart home system” every time and let AI take over.
Robot vacuums create chaos if not made intelligent machines. But the iRobot Roomba j7+ detects an obstacle in the room and asks you to confirm whether it’s a permanent obstacle, or suggest a “keep out” zone.
Next time, it knows that area and avoids it or cleans better. As iRobot’s Jones says, “AI is what’s powering the advancements to give users personalization of the product so it increasingly works better and better for them in their home.”
Read: The world of Artificial Intelligence (September 6, 2020)
There are energy-saving smart thermostats which can make temperature adjustments in respect to clean energy schemes. The Nest Renew initiative, for example, shifts usage to times when the grid is cleaner or energy is less expensive, saving on fossil fuels. In turn, Nest will purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) on your behalf.
Some smart plumbing solutions help detectors find water leak and save us money. Phyn Plus Automatic Water Shut Off Valve, for instance, learns your plumbing system’s habits and stops leaks even if there’s a minor anomaly in pressure without waiting for the broken pipe flood the basement. Moreover, insurers are happy that it reduces claims or constantly monitoring water usage.
Some security cameras and doorbells are equipped with facial recognition, allowing the owners to keep a database of regular visitors who can be announced automatically via voice assistant upon arrival. Doorbells like the Nest Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 can differentiate 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 user’s health with just a radar sensor.
Kenneth Camp, Sengeled Product Innovation Director says, “With several bulbs networked together via Bluetooth Mesh, say, in a bedroom, the bulbs can determine if someone has taken a fall based on their movements and where those movements are in the room. Once that has been determined, help can be contacted without input from the user.”
Read: Artificial Intelligence is Artificial Ignorance (December 23, 2019)
Though the Sengled Smart Health Monitoring Light is far from availability, it’s certainly moving toward life-saving role. Amazon’s Alexa Together service already helps users keep an eye on loved ones in other homes as well. Alexa Guard uses AI to identify sounds like glass breaking or fire alarms, too.
Some major smart home platforms like HomeKit, Alexa and Google Home have made the data secure locally so these smart home devices will continue to work even without internet, if necessary.
Essentially, AI helps transition of smart devices to bring peace of mind and security to homes, while constant improvements make them safer for humans.